UN Charter


United Nations Charter

The Charter of the United Nations is the founding document of the United Nations. It was signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and came into force on 24 October 1945.

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

Since the UN's founding in 1945, the mission and work of the Organization have been guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter, which has been amended three times in 1963, 1965, and 1973.

The International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, functions in accordance with the Statute of the International Court of Justice, which is annexed to the UN Charter, and forms an integral part of it. (See Chapter XIV, Article 92

Find the full text of the UN Charter, or read about the history of its making. Listen to a reading of the Preamble.

Copies of the UN Charter on a table.

Buy the UN Charter

A booklet is available for purchase. This redesigned edition for the UN’s 70th anniversary features a new introduction titled “From War to Peace,” exclusive archival photos and the Statute of the International Court of Justice.

An image of a video of someone signing the UN Charter in 1945.

UN Audiovisual Library

Watch historical footage of the signing of the UN Charter Documentary about the founding of the United Nations Organization and the San Francisco Conference in 1945

A photograph of buildings seen from the air.

Fanfare for All Peoples

This film, set against the stirring words of the Preamble of the United Nations Charter, premiered to an audience of Heads of States from around the world. Fanfare incorporates six languages and incorporates cutting-edge drone footage and breathtaking aerial photography with an inspiring original symphonic score.