Fact Sheet: Becoming a New Member State of the United Nations
- Becoming a New Member State
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- Credentials of Representatives of the Member States
- Growth in UN Membership
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As stated in Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations “Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving States which accept the obligations contained in the [present] Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.”
The procedure of becoming a new Member State is as follows:
- Any State which desires to become a Member of the UN shall submit an application to the Secretary-General and a formal declaration stating that it accepts all obligations contained in the UN Charter.
- If appropriate, the Secretary-General submits the application for consideration to the Security Council. In order to be recommended for admission, a Member State must receive the affirmative votes of 9 of the 15 members of the Council, provided that none of its five permanent members - China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America – has voted against the application.
- If the Council supports the admission, the application is presented to the General Assembly for consideration. A two-thirds majority vote is necessary for admission of a new State. Membership becomes effective on the date the resolution for admission is adopted.
At the beginning of each session, the General Assembly reviews the credentials of all participating representatives of Member States. During such consideration, the issue can be raised whether a particular representative has been officially accredited by the Government in power. If contentious, the issue is decided upon by a majority vote of the General Assembly.
It should be noted that the change of a Government, through a democratic election, does not raise any issue concerning the credentials of the representative of a State.
Also, the recognition of a new State or Government is an act that only States and Governments may grant or withhold. The United Nations does not possess any authority to recognize a State or a Government.
The United Nations was founded in 1945 after the Second World War and officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter was ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and a majority of the other 46 signatories.