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Failure Of The League Of Nations And The Establishment Of Un Charter

The League of Nations came into existence on 10 January 1920 by the Paris Peace Conference. After the first World War, the member states realized the need to establish an intergovernmental organization to avoid the situation of war. The aim to establish the league of nations was to maintain international peace and security worldwide. It was established by President Wilson of America. Initially 62 nations signed the League of Nations but later on the number reduced to 32 due to certain weaknesses in it.

It was comprised of three organs namely; Assembly, Council and the Secretariat. The league of Nations was termed as "Child of War" due to its establishment after first World War. In the year 1918 Lloyed George, the Prime Minister of Britain said that, "We must seek by the creation of some international organization to limit the burden of armaments and diminish the probability of war." In the same year, the President Wilson of America introduced his 14-point programme for establishing the League of Nations. The Peace Conference accepted the draft in 1919 resulting in the adoption of the Covenant of the League of Nations.

Reasons for the failure of League of Nations

There were certain defects in the League of Nations that resulted in its failure:

  • As per the provisions mentioned under the League of Nations, the decisions must be taken unanimously but the states were divided into groups due to which the unanimous decisions were impossible.
  • The aim of this intergovernmental organization was to maintain peace and promoting international cooperation but this aim was not accomplished by the League of Nations. It failed to prohibit the situation of war.
  • America was not the part of the League of Nations. As per the provisions of American Constitution, the consent must be obtained by the Senate but the things were contrary. So, America never ratified the League of Nations.
  • Another point that leads to the failure of the League of Nations was the amendment provision. If any state is against the amendment of the covenant, then it is deemed hat it ceases to be the member of the League of Nations due to which many states ceased to be its member.
  • The withdrawal of membership was also included in the covenant that resulted in the reduction in the number of member states.
  • The international disputes were not settled effectively by the League of Nations.
  • The exploitation of small states was not handled efficiently by the present charter.
  • The great power and the small states were discriminated.
  • The major reason that resulted in the failure of the League of Nations was the incapability to maintain international peace.

Establishment of the UN Charter

After the miserable failure of the League of Nations, the UN Charter was adopted on 26 January, 1945 as a result of San Francisco Conference.

Events that lead to the establishment of the UN Charter:

  1. The Declaration of St. James Palace:

    On 12 June, 1941, nine exiled governments expressed their desire to establish peace and signed a declaration. The parties were the representatives of Greece, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Yugoslavia and France assembled at St. James Palace to sign the declaration.
  2. The Atlantic Charter:

    On 14 August 1941, the President of Britain, Winston Churchill and the President of America, Franklin Roosevelt met in a ship in Atlantic Ocean (due to which it was named as an "Atlantic Charter") to express their desire to maintain peace and curb the situation of war.
  3. The United Nations Declaration:

    On 1 January, 1942, the United Nations Declaration was signed by President Roosevelt of America, Winston Churchill of Britain, Maxim Litvinov of Russia and T.V. Soong of China. In addition, 20 more states signed the present declaration and undertook the duty, not to sign any agreement with the enemy state.
  4. Moscow Declaration:

    On 30 October, 1943, the representatives of Britain, America, Russia and China gathered in Moscow to sign the declaration. It was concluded by the member states that there is a need to establish an international organization to maintain peace, equality and security among the nations.
  5. The Tehran Conference:

    Again the same issue was raised in Tehran Conference i.e. the need to establish an International Organization to maintain peace and security. Churchill, Roosevely and Stalin signed the Tehran Conference to fulfil this objective.
  6. Dumbarton Oaks Conference:

    This was one of the major conferences that contributed greatly towards the establishment of the UN Charter. Britain, China, Russia and America conclusively decided the name of an organization to be "The United Nations." The organs of UN were also decided in this conference but the left-over questions and issues were resolved in San Francisco Conference.
  7. The Yalta Conference:

    Nearly all the issues were resolved in this conference. On 11 February, 1945, the Foreign Ministers and Military Heads of Britain, America and Russia, Churchill from Britain, Roosevelt from America and Stalin from Russia gathered to give the final shape to the UN Charter.
  8. San Francisco Conference:

    This was the most important event that changed the history of International Law. After long wait and efforts, finally the UN Charter was framed. The Charter came into force after the ratification of China, France, Britain, America and Russia including the majority of other nations. On 24 October 1945, the Charter was finally enacted. There were 51 original members and 193 members so-far joined the UN Charter.

The UN Charter was the result of devastating effects of the World War. The Charter also enumerates and recognized the human rights. It has a separate legal personality with an aim to establish international peace and security among the nation worldwide. The establishment of the UN Charter was one of the major historical events that took a considerable time of 25 years. The basic aim of the present charter is to "save the succeeding generations from the scourge of war" that can only be possible by the maintenance of international peace and security.

Pope John Paul II has rightly said that, "I hope the United Nations will remain the Supreme Forum of Peace and Justice, the Authentic Seat of Freedom."


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