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Stories from the UN Archive: How the UN was founded amid the ashes of war

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We are taking you back to the summer of 1945, when leaders from 50 countries gathered in San Francisco to agree upon an international treaty to enshrine the equal rights of all people and maintain peace.

This resulting treaty, the UN Charter, is the founding document of the United Nations, which pledged to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.

Watch UN Video’s Stories from the UN Archive episode on the founding of the UN below:

Charting a path forward

Delegates agreed on the UN Charter and the Statute of the new International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the conclusion of the UN Conference on International Organization on 26 June 1945. Listen to a UN Radio Classics report, revisiting that date a decade later:

All delegates signed the UN Charter, which entered into force on 24 October 1945.

In over 75 years since its creation, the UN maintains international peace and security, protects human rights, delivers humanitarian aid, supports sustainable development and climate action and upholds international law.

The UN Charter codifies the major principles of the multilateral rules-based order, from sovereign equality of States to the prohibition of the use of force in international relations.

As such, the United Nations can take action on a wide variety of issues due to its unique international character and the powers vested in its Charter, which is considered an international treaty. As such, the UN Charter is an instrument of international law, and UN Member States are bound by it.

Minerva Bernardino, a delegate from the Dominican Republic, signs the UN Charter on 26 June 1945. (file)

Minerva Bernardino, a delegate from the Dominican Republic, signs the UN Charter on 26 June 1945. (file)

Stories from the UN Archive

UN News is showcasing epic moments across UN history, cultivated from the UN Audiovisual Library’s 49,400 hours of video and 18,000 hours of audio recordings.

Catch up on UN Video’s Stories from the UN Archive playlist here and our accompanying series here.

Join us next week for another dive into history.

The seventy-third session of the General Assembly pays tribute to the memory of the late former Secretary-General Kofi Annan. (file)

The seventy-third session of the General Assembly pays tribute to the memory of the late former Secretary-General Kofi Annan. (file)



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