UN Trusteeship Council
The United Nations Trusteeship Council, one of the principal organs of the United Nations, was established to help ensure that non-self-governing territories were administered in the best interests of the inhabitants and of international peace and security. The trust territories – most of them former mandates of the League of Nations or territories taken from nations defeated at the end of World War II – have all now attained self-government or independence, either as separate nations or by joining neighboring independent countries. The last was Palau, which became a member of the United Nations in December 1994.
Its mission fulfilled, the Trusteeship Council suspended its operation on November 1, 1994, and although under the United Nations Charter it continues to exist on paper, its future role and even existence remains uncertain. The Trusteeship Council is currently (as of 2005) headed by Michel Duclos, with Adam Thomson as vice-president, although the sole current duty of these officers is to meet once annually with the heads of other UN agencies. The formal elimination of the Trusteeship Council would require the revision of the UN Charter.
The Commission on Global Governance's 1996 report Our Global Neighborhood recommended amending Chapters 12 and 13 of the United Nations Charter to give the Trusteeship Council authority over the global commons, which consists of oceans, the atmosphere, outer space, and Antarctica (). The World Federalist Association issued an action alert calling for members to lobby the Government in support of this reform. Their theory is that an international regulatory body is needed to protect environmental integrity on the two-thirds of the worlds surface that is outside national jurisdictions ().
In March 2005, however, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan proposed a sweeping restructuring of the United Nations, including an expansion of the Security Council. As this restructuring would involve significant changes to the UN charter, Annan proposed the complete elimination of the Trusteeship Council as part of these reforms ().
- UN General Assembly
- UN Security Council
- UN Economic and Social Council
- UN Secretariat
- International Court of Justice
- Trusteeship Council UN web site
- Main points of Annan's new UN reform plans, Reuters, Mar. 20, 2005.
- Shaw, John: UN Adviser Says World Must Focus On Sustainable Development, The Washington Diplomat.
- UN Reform – Restructuring for Global Governance, Eco-Logic, July/Aug. 1997.
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