Trusteeship Council

UN Photo/Andrea Brizzi
A view of the Trusteeship Council chamber at Headquarters. [1993]

Status

The Trusteeship Council suspended its operations on 1 November 1994, a month after the independence of Palau, the last remaining United Nations trust territory. By a resolution adopted on 25 May 1994, the Council amended its rules of procedure to drop the obligation to meet annually and agreed to meet as occasion required -- by its decision or the decision of its President, or at the request of a majority of its members or the General Assembly or the Security Council.

Background

In setting up an International Trusteeship System, the Charter established the Trusteeship Council as one of the main organs of the United Nations and assigned to it the task of supervising the administration of Trust Territories placed under the Trusteeship System. The main goals of the System were to promote the advancement of the inhabitants of Trust Territories and their progressive development towards self-government or independence. The Trusteeship Council is made up of the five permanent members of the Security Council -- China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. The aims of the Trusteeship System have been fulfilled to the extent that all Trust Territories have attained self-government or independence, either as separate States or by joining neighbouring independent countries.

Functions and powers

Under the Charter, the Trusteeship Council is authorized to examine and discuss reports from the Administering Authority on the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the peoples of Trust Territories and, in consultation with the Administering Authority, to examine petitions from and undertake periodic and other special missions to Trust Territories. 

See also The United Nations and Decolonization.

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