Featured Document Display: 75th Anniversary of the United Nations Charter

Thursday, June 11, 2020 - Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Cooperating for post-war peace and security

As World War II reached its climax, the United Nations Conference on International Organization convened on April 25, 1945, in San Francisco, CA, for the purpose of drafting the United Nations Charter. For two months, delegates from 50 nations representing every race, religion, and creed, worked to turn Allied proposals for the United Nations into a charter that all member nations agreed to. On June 26, the UN Charter was unanimously adopted and signed. It came into force on October 24 after it was ratified by the requisite signatories. 

At its founding, the United Nations had 51 member states. Over 75 years membership has grown to 193 countries, representing most of the world's sovereign states. The purposes and principles contained in the United Nations Charter continue to guide the work of the world’s largest intergovernmental organization. Those objectives include maintaining international peace and security and to achieve cooperation among nations on economic, social, and humanitarian problems.


United Nations Charter, page 1
United Nations Charter, page 2
United Nations Charter

Article 111 of the Charter of the United Nations indicated that "The present Charter, of which the Chinese, French, Russian, English, and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall remain deposited in the archives of the Government of the United States of America.” The preamble and signature page for the American delegation are both part of the original United Nations Charter located at the National Archives.

National Archives, General Records of the United States Government, 1778-1992

Click here for more information on the United Nations Charter at the National Archives.