This work aims to fill a gap in the existing legal literature by presenting a compact, concise but nevertheless panoramic view of the law of the United Nations. Today the organisation is at the centre of all multilateral international relations and impossible to avoid. And of course the UN Charter is a foundational document without which modern international law cannot be properly understood. In spite of its importance, this pre-eminent world political organisation is poorly understood by the general public, and the extent and variety of its activities is not widely appreciated. Even lawyers generally possess insufficient knowledge of the way its legal institutions operate. Assessments of the organisation and judgements about its achievements are consequently frequently distorted. This work is aimed especially at remedying these deficiencies in public and legal understanding, but also at presenting the organisation as a coherent system of values and integrated action.
Thus the book presents an overarching view of the significance of the UN organisation in general, the history of its origins in the League of Nations, the aims and principles of the Charter, governmental agencies, members of the Organisation, the non-use of violence and collective security, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and the question of amendments to the Charter. This work will be suitable for students of law and international relations, as well as scholars and those interested in the work and organisation of the United Nations.
Robert Kolb is Professor of Public International Law at the University of Geneva. He has worked as legal adviser at the International Committee of the Red Cross from 1998 to 1999, and occasionally for the International Law Directorate of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Military Department (Law of Armed Conflicts). He is also Counsel for Lalive Attorneys-at-Law, Geneva.
1 Sketch of the Evolution of the Idea for a World Organisation 2 From the League of Nations to the United Nations 3 The Establishment of the United Nations Organisation 4 Phases in the History of the United Nations 5 General Layout of the Charter 6 Ideological Manifesto of the Charter: Peace, Cooperation, Rights of the Human Person 7 Fundamental Principles of the Charter 8 Membership of the United Nations (Chapter II, Articles 3-6) 9 Organs of the United Nations: Functions and Powers 10 United Nations 'Family': Specialised Affiliated Organisations 11 Article 103 of the Charter 12 Amendment and Revision of the Charter 13 Effectiveness of the United Nations