United Nations Security Council Resolution 21

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Adopted unanimously by the Security Council at its 124th meeting, on 2 April 1947

Whereas Article 75 of the Charter of the United Nations provides for the establishment of an International Trusteeship System for the administration and supervision of such territories as may be placed thereunder by subsequent agreements; and

Whereas under Article 77 of the said Charter the Trusteeship System may be applied to territories now held under mandate; and

Whereas on 17 December 1920 [1] the Council of the League of Nations confirmed a mandate for the former German islands north of the Equator to Japan, to be administered in accordance with Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations; and

Whereas Japan, as a result of the Second World War, has ceased to exercise any authority in these island;

Now, therefore, the Security Council of the United Nations, having satisfied itself that the relevant Articles of the Charter have been complied with, hereby resolves to approve the following terms of trusteeship for the Pacific Islands formerly under mandate to Japan:

Article 1[edit]

The Territory of the Pacific Islands, consisting of the islands formerly held by Japan under mandate in accordance with Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, is hereby designated as a strategic area and placed under the Trusteeship System established in the Charter of the United Nations. The Territory of the Pacific Islands is hereinafter referred to as the Trust Territory.

Article 2[edit]

The United States of America is designated as the Administering Authority of the Trust Territory.

Article 3[edit]

The Administering Authority shall have full powers of administration, legislation, and jurisdiction over the Territory subject to the provisions of this Agreement, and may apply to the Trust Territory, subject to any modifications which the Administering Authority may consider desirable, such of the laws of the United States as it may deem appropriate to local conditions and requirements.

Article 4[edit]

The Administering Authority, in discharging the obligations of trusteeship in the Trust Territory, shall act in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, and the provisions of this Agreement, and shall, as specified in Article 83, paragraph 2, of the Charter, apply the objectives of the International Trusteeship System, as set forth in Article 76 of the Charter to the people of the Trust Territory.

Article 5[edit]

In discharging its obligations under Article 76a and Article 84 of the Charter, the Administering Authority shall ensure that the Trust Territory shall play its part, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, in the maintenance of international peace and security. To this end the Administering Authority shall be entitled:

1. To establish naval, military and air bases and to erect fortifications in the Trust Territory;

2. To station and employ armed forces in the Territory; and

3. To make use of volunteer forces, facilities and assistance from the Trust Territory in carrying out the obligations towards the Security Council undertaken in this regard by the Administering Authority, as well as for the local defense and the maintenance of law and order within the Trust Territory.

Article 6[edit]

In discharging its obligations under Article 76b of the Charter, the Administering Authority shall:

1. Foster the development of such political institutions as are suited to the Trust Territory and shall promote the development of the inhabitants of the Trust Territory toward self-government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of the Trust Territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned; and to this end shall give the inhabitants of the Trust Territory a progressively increasing share in the administrative services in the Territory; shall develop their participation in government; shall give due recognition to the customs of the inhabitants in providing a system of law for the Territory; and shall take other appropriate measures toward these ends;

2. Promote the economic advancement and self-sufficiency of the inhabitants, and to this end shall regulate the use of natural resources; encourage the development of fisheries, agriculture, and industries; protect the inhabitants against the loss of their lands and resources; and improve the means of transportation and communication;

3. Promote the social advancement of the inhabitants and to this end shall protect the rights and fundamental freedoms of all elements of the population without discrimination; protect the health of the inhabitants; control the traffic in arms and ammunition, opium and other dangerous drugs, and alcohol and other spirituous beverages; and institute such other regulations as may be necessary to protect the inhabitants against social abuses; and

4. Promote the educational advancement of the inhabitants, and to this end shall take steps toward the establishment of a general system of elementary education; facilitate the vocational and cultural advancement of the population; and shall encourage qualified student to pursue higher education, including training on the professional level.

Article 7[edit]

In discharging its obligations under Article 76c of the Charter, the Administering Authority shall guarantee to the inhabitant of the Trust Territory freedom of conscience, and, subject only to the requirements of public order and security, freedom of speech, of the Press, and of assembly; freedom of worship, and religious teaching; and freedom of migration and movement.

Article 8[edit]

1. In discharging its obligations under Article 76d of the Charter, ad defined by Article 83, paragraph 2, of the Charter, the Administering Authority, subject to the requirements of security, and the obligation to promote the advancement of the inhabitants, shall accord to nationals of each Member of the United Nations and to companies and associations organized in conformity with the laws of such Member, treatment in the Trust Territory not less favourable than that accorded therein to nationals, companies and associations of any other Member of the United Nations except the Administering Authority.

2. The Administering Authority shall ensure equal treatment to the Members of the United Nations and their nationals in the administration of justice.

3. Nothing in this article shall be so construed as to accord traffic rights to aircraft flying into and out of the Trust Territory. Such rights shall be subject to agreement between the Administering Authority and the State whose nationality such aircraft possesses.

4. The Administering Authority may negotiate and conclude commercial and other treaties and agreements with Members of the United Nations and other States, designed to attain for the inhabitants of the Trust Territory treatment by the Members of the United Nations and other States no less favourable than that granted by them to the nationals of other States. The Security Council may recommend, or invite other organs of the United Nations to consider and recommend, what rights the inhabitants of the Trust Territory should acquire in consideration of the rights obtained by Members of the United Nations in the Trust Territory.

Article 9[edit]

The Administering Authority shall be entitled to constitute the Trust Territory into a customs, fiscal, or administrative union or federation with other territories under United States jurisdiction and to establish common services between such territories and the Trust Territory where such measures are not inconsistent with the basic objectives of the International Trusteeship System and with the terms of this Agreement.

Article 10[edit]

The Administering Authority, acting under the provisions of Article 3 of this Agreement, may accept membership in any regional advisory commission, regional authority, or technical organization, or other voluntary association of States, may co-operate with specialized international bodies, public or private, and may engage in other forms of international co-operation.

Article 11[edit]

1. The Administering Authority shall take the necessary steps to provide the status of citizenship of the Trust Territory for the inhabitants of the Trust Territory.

2. The Administering Authority shall afford diplomatic and consular protection to inhabitants of the Trust Territory when outside the territorial limits of the Trust Territory or of the territory of the Administering Authority.

Article 12[edit]

The Administering Authority shall enact such legislation as may be necessary to place the provisions of this Agreement in effect in the Trust Territory.

Article 13[edit]

The provisions of Articles 87 and 88 of the Charter shall be applicable to the Trust Territory, provided that the Administering Authority may determine the extent of their applicability to any areas which may from time to time be specified by it as closed for security reasons.

Article 14[edit]

The Administering Authority undertakes to apply in the Trust Territory the provisions of any international conventions and recommendations which may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of the Trust Territory and which would be conducive to the achievement of the basic objective to the achievement of the basic objectives of article 6 of this Agreement.

Article 15[edit]

The terms of the present Agreement shall not be altered, amended or terminated without the consent of the Administering Authority.

Article 16[edit]

The present Agreement shall come into force then approved by the Security Council of the United Nations and by the Government of the United States after due constitutional process.


[1] League of Nations, Official Journal, 2nd Year, No. 1 (1921), pp. 87-88.

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