United Nations Resolutoin 1541-1966

General Assembly Resolutions

Historical General Assembly Resolutions

  1. Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
    General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV)
  2. General Assembly Resolution defining the three options for self-determination
    General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV)
  3. General Assembly Resolution establishing the Special Committee on Decolonization
    General Assembly Resolution 1654 (XVI)

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541

[Principles which should guide Members in determining whether or not an obligation exists to transmit the information called for under Article 73e for the Charter]

The General Assembly,

Considering the objectives set forth in Chapter XI of the Charter of the United Nations,

Bearing in mind the list of factors annexed to General Assembly resolution 742 (VIII) of 27 November 1953, examined the report of the Special Committee of Six on the Transmission of information under Article 73e of the Charter, appointed under General Assembly resolution 1467 (XIV) of 12 December 1959 to study the principles which should guide Members in determining whether or not an obligation exists to transmit the information called for in Article 73e of the Charter and to report on the results of its study to the Assembly at its fifteenth session,

  1. Expresses its appreciation of the work of the Special Committee of Six on the Transmission of information under Article 73e of the Charter;
  2. Approves the principles set out in section V,part B, of the report of the Committee,as amended and as they appear in the annex to the present resolution;
  3. Decides that these principles should be applied in the light of the facts and the circumstances of each case to determine whether or not an obligation exists to transmit information under Article 73e of the Charter.

948th plenary meeting,
15 December 1960.



Principle 1
The authors of the Charter of the United Nations had in mind that Chapter XI should be applicable to territories which were then known to be of the colonial type. An obligation exists to transmit information under Article 73e of the Charter in respect of such territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure offer

Principle II
Chapter XI of the Charter embodies the concept of Non-Self-Governing Territories in a dynamic state of evolution and progress towards a "full measure of self-government". As soon as a territory and its peoples attain a full measure of self-government, the obligation ceases. Until this comes about, the obligation to transmit information under 73e continues.

Principle III
The obligation to transmit information under Article 73e of the Charter constitutes an international obligation and should be carried out with due regard to the fulfillment of international law.

Principle IV
Prima facie there is an obligation to transmit information in respect of a territory which is geographically separate and is distinct ethnically and/or culturally from the country administering it.

Principle V
Once it has been established that such a prima facie case of geographical and ethnical or cultural distinctness of a territory exists, other elements may then be brought into consideration. These additional elements may be, inter alia, of an administrative,political juridical,economic,historical nature. If they affect the relationship between the metropolitan Slate and the territory concerned in a manner which arbitrarily places the latter in a position or status of subordination, they support the presumption that there is an obligation to transmit information under Article 73e of the Charter.

Principle VI
A Non-Self Governing Territory can be said to have reached a full measure of self-government by:
(a) Emergence as a sovereign independent State;
(b) Free association with an independent State; or
(c) Integration with an Independent State.

Principle VII
(a) Free association should be the result of a free and voluntary choice by the peoples of the territory concerned expressed through informed and democratic processes. It should be one which respects the individuality and the cultural characteristics of the territory and its peoples, and retains for the peoples of the territory which is associated with an independent State the freedom to modify the status of that territory through the expression of their will by democratic means and through constitutional processes.
(b) The associated territory should have the right to determine its internal constitution without outside interference, in accordance with due cosntitutional processes and the freely expressed wishes of the people. This does not preclude consultation as appropriate or necessary under the terms of the free association agreed upon.

Principle VIII
Integration with an independent State should be on the basis of complete equality between the peoples of the erstwhile Non-Self-Governing Territory and those of the independent country with which it is integrated. The peoples of both territories should have equal status and rights of citizenship and equal guarantees of fundamental rights and freedoms without any distinction or discrimination; both should have equal rights and opportunities for representation and effective participation at all levels in the executive, legislative and judicial organs of government.

Principle IX
Integration should have come about in the following circumstances:
(a) The integrating territory should have attained an advanced stage of self-government with free political institutions, so that its peoples would have the capacity to make a responsible choice through informed and democratic processes.
(b) The integration should be the result of the freely expressed wishes of the territory's peoples acting with full knowledge of the change in their status, their wishes having been expressed through informed and democratic processes,impartially conducted and based on universal adult suffrage. The United Nations could, when it deems if necessary, supervise these processes.

Principle X
The transmission of information in respect to Non-Self Governing Territories under Article 73e of the Charter is subject to such limitation as security and constitutional considerations may require. This means that the extent of the information may be limited in certain circumstances, but the limitation in Article 73e cannot relieve a Member State of the obligations of Chapter XI. The "limitation" can relate only to the quantum of information of economic,social and educational nature to be transmitted.

Principle XI
The only constitutional considerations to which Article 73e of the Charter refers are those arising from constitutional relations of the territory with the Administering Member. They refer to a situation in which the constitution of the territory gives it self- government in economic,social and educational matters through freely elected institutions. Nevertheless, the responsibility for transmitting information under Article 73e continues, unless these constitutional relations preclude the Government or parliament of the Administering Member from receiving statistical and other information of a technical nature relating to economic, social and educations conditions in the territory.

Principle XII
Security considerations have not been invoked in the past. Only in very exceptional circumstances can information on economic, social and educational conditions have any security aspect. In other circumstances,therefore, there should be no necessity to limit the transmission of information on security grounds.

UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTION 1514- December 14,1960
1514 (XV). Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples

The General Assembly,
Mindful of the determination proclaimed by the peoples of the world in the Charter of the United Nations to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Conscious of the need for the creation of conditions of stability and well-being and peaceful and friendly relations based on respect for the principles of equal rights and self-determination of all peoples, and of universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race,sex,language or religion.

Recognizing the passionate yearning for freedom in all dependent peoples and the decisive role of such peoples in the attainment of their independence.
Aware of the increasing conflicts resulting from the denial of or impediments in the way of the freedom of such peoples, which constitute a serious threat to world peace,
Considering the important role of the United Nations in assisting the movement for independence in Trust and Non-Self -Self Governing Territories,

Recognizing that the peoples of the world ardently desire the end of colonialism in all its manifestations,

Convinced that the continued existence of colonialism prevents the development of international economic cooperation,impedes the social,cultural and economic development of dependent peoples and militates against the United Nations ideal of universal peace,

Affirming that peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law,

Believing` that the process of liberation is irresistible and irreversible and that, in order to avoid serious crises, an end must be put to colonialism and all practices of segregation and discrimination associated therewith,

Welcoming the emergence in recent years of a large number of dependent territories into freedom and independence, and recognizing the increasingly powerful trends towards freedom in such territories which have not yet attained independence,

Convinced that all peoples have an inalienable right to complete freedom, the exercise of their sovereignty and the integrity of their national territory,
Solemnly proclaims the necessity of bringing to a speedy and unconditional end colonialism in all its forms and manifestations;

Declares that:
1. That subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Ntions and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and co-operation.
2. All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic,social and cultural development.
3. Inadequacy of political, economic,social or educational preparedness should never serve as a pretext for delaying independence.
4. All armed action or repressive measures of all kinds directed against dependent peoples shall cease in order to enable them to exercise peacefully and freely their right to complete independence, and the integrity of their national territory shall be respected.
5. Immediate steps shall be taken, in Trust and Non-Self Governing Territories or all other territories which have not yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories, without any conditions or reservations, in accordance, with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or colour, in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom.
6. Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
7. All States shall observe faithfully and strictly the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration on the basis of equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of all States, and respect for the sovereign rights of all peoples and their territorial integrity.

947th plenary meeting,
14 December 1960

The General Assembly
Considering that resolution 222 (111) adopted by the General Assembly on 3 November 1948, while welcoming any development of self-government in
Non-Self-Governing Territories , considers that it is essential that the United Nations be informed of any change in the constitutional position and status of any such Territory as a result of which the responsible government concerned thinks it unnecessary to transmit information in respect of that Territory under Article 73e of the Charter,
Noting the communication dated 29 June 1950 from the Government of the Netherlands in which it is stated that the Netherlands will no longer present a report pursuant to

Article 73 e on Indonesia with the exception of West New Guinea,(West Papua)

Noting that the full independence of the Republic of Indonesia has been followed by the admission of that State to membership in the United Nations,
1. Takes note with satisfaction of the communication of the Government of the Netherlands with reference to the cessation of the transmission of information on Indonesia :
2. Request the Special Committee on information transmitted under Article such information as nay be transmitted in future to the Secretary-General in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 222 (111) and to report thereon to the General Assembly. 320th plenary meeting
12 December 1950

Agreement Establishing The South Pacific Commission
(Canberra , 06 February 1947) ENTRY INTO FORCE : 29 JULY 1948 Depository : Australian Government

THE GOVERNMENT'S of Australia, the French Republic , the Kingdom of the Netherlands , New Zealand , the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland , and the United States of America , ( hereinafter referred to as "the participating Governments"), DESIRING to encourage and strengthen international cooperation in promoting the economic and social welfare and advancement of the peoples of the non-self-governing territories in the South Pacific region administered by them,
HAVE , through their duly authorized representative met together in Canberra ,made an Agreement in the following terms :

Article I.
Establishment of the Commission.
1. There is hereby established the South Pacific Commission (hereinafter referred to as "the Commission")

Article II
Territorial Scope
2. The territorial scope of the Commission shall comprise all those non-self-governing territories in the Pacific Ocean which are administered by the participating Governments and which lie wholly or in part south of the Equator and east from and including Netherlands New Guinea. (West Papua)