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Lesson 6: The Charter of the United Nations

The Charter of the UN:

  • What it is
  • How it gained it’s “legal personality”
  • What that means to the nations that signed the charter
  • The components of the charter
  • Does the charter enable the UN to “stay relevant” to the times?
  • Now may IGOs have international status and legal personality
  • The international landscape is very different than 1945
  • Can it cope with the challenge of transnational crime & terrorism?
  • What of the challenge of the  borderless information age?


Discuss either with a colleague or by making your own notes:

  • Read Chapter I, Article 2 Paragraph 7 and Chapter VII (& especially Article 39) in relation to the Rwandan Genocide. How would you have voted if you had been in the Security Council at the time of the plea for help from Rwandans?
  • Your reading of  Chapter VII and Article 39 in particular: How well can the SC deal with terrorism and similar transnational crimes that “threaten the peace”?


The UN Charter

Suggested Reading and Resources

United Nations Today. New York: United Nations Dept. of Public Information, 2008. Print.
—Matheson, Michael J. Council Unbound: The Growth of UN Decision Making on Conflict And Postconflict Issues After the Cold War. Washington, D.C: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2006. Print.
—Welch, Gita H, and Zahra Nuru. Governance for the Future: Democracy and Development in the Least Developed Countries. , 2006. Internet resource.
—Annan, Kofi A. In Larger Freedom. New York: United Nations, 2005.

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