Why research an Article of the Charter?
Last Updated: Mar 25, 2015
In addition to being the founding document of the organization, the Charter of the United Nations also sets out the principles and purposes of the UN: the activities carried out by the organization proceed from the statement of principles and purposes as expressed in the Charter. Scholars who research Articles of the Charter examine how the activities of the organization reflect the Charter and the ways in which the Charter has been interpreted over time.
Researchers who identify which article of the Charter is relevant to their topic often save time by using a Charter commentary as their first research resource. The commentaries not only provide an historic overview and citation to relevant primary UN documents of importance, it also provide selected bibliographies that help the researcher delve further into the topic. Other reference works about the UN also may relate discussion of UN activities to the relevant Charter provisions. The UN legal publications, the Repertory of Practice of the UN Organs and the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council, provide analysis of UN activities as they relate to Charter provisions.
Because the actions of the organs correspond to provisions of the Charter, scholars of the UN may use the Charter to structure research. Research into a particular topic such as self-defense (Article 51), membership (Chapter II, Articles 3-6), international economic and social cooperation (e.g. Article 55) or the work of the Secretariat (Chapter XV, Articles 97-101) may be informed through an investigation into the relevant Article of the Charter.
Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.