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UN Documentation: Trusteeship Council

Documents of the Trusteeship Council

UN Photo #372765 : The Trusteeship Council Petitioners on Togoland Unification Problem

While the Trusteeship Council was active (1947-1994), three main types of documents were produced in accordance with Article 87 of the UN Charter:

  • Petitions from individuals and groups from a territory
  • Reports of Member States with administrative power of a trusteeship territory
  • Reports of visiting missions of the Trusteeship Council to a territory

In addition, the other types of documents included:

  • Annual reports to the General Assembly and the Security Council
  • Meeting records
    • Meeting records are issued as individual documents as T/PV.--
    • From the second session, meetings records issued in the Official Records (TCOR) were summary records
  • Resolutions
  • Documents of subsidiary bodies on petitions of the Trusteeship Council issued under the following series symbols:
    • T/AC.4/-- (1947)
    • T/AC.5/-- (2nd session, 1947-1948)
    • T/AC.20/-- (6th session, 1950)
    • T/AC.24/-- (7th session, 1950)
    • T/AC.34/-- (8th session, 1951)
    • T/AC.41/-- (9th session, 1951)
    • T/C.2/-- (1952-1961)

Petitions

Article 87b of the Charter states that the Trusteeship Council may "accept petitions and examine them in consultation with the administering authority".

Petitions were submitted by groups and by individuals, both in written form and in oral statements made in meetings of the Trusteeship Council.

Written petitions were issued with a special document series symbol:

  • T/PET/--
    • T/PET/General/--  Trust Territories in General
    • T/PET.1/--  Western Samoa
    • T/PET.2/--  Tanganyika
    • T/PET.3/--  Ruanda-Urundi
    • T/PET.4/-- Cameroons under British Administration
    • T/PET.5/-- Cameroons under French Administration
    • T/PET.6/-- Togoland under British Administration
    • T/PET.7/-- Togoland under French Administration
    • T/PET.8/-- New Guinea
    • T/PET.9/-- Nauru
    • T/PET.10/-- Strategic Trust Territories of the Pacific
    • T/PET.11/-- Italian Somaliland
  • Observations on Petitions
    • Originally T/--
    • After 10th session, T/OBS.--
    • Number corresponds to the petition number
      • T/OBS.General/--
      • T/OBS.1/-- Western Samoa
      • T/OBS.2/-- Tanganyika
      • T/OBS.3/--  Ruanda-Urundi
      • T/OBS.4/-- Cameroons under British Administration
      • T/OBS.5/-- Cameroons under French Administration
      • T/OBS.6/-- Togoland under British Administration
      • T/OBS.7/-- Togoland under French Administration
      • T/OBS.8/-- New Guinea
      • T/OBS.9/-- Nauru
      • T/OBS.10/-- Strategic Trust Territories of the Pacific
      • T/OBS.11/-- Italian Somaliland

Reports of Administering Powers

Articles 87 and 88 of the Charter concern the reports of the administering authorities. These reports responded to a questionnaire prepared by the Trusteeship Council on the "political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of each trust territory".

  • There is no document series symbol
  • Only the note transmitting the report was produced as a UN document
    • Reports were usually publications of the administering power and only a few copies were available for consultation at the UN
    • May be available from the national archives of the administering power, or for consultation at a UN Library
  • For citation to the note transmitting the report, see the relevant box on the page for the territory of interest

Visiting Missions of the Trusteeship Council

The Trusteeship Council sent visiting missions to territories. For each visiting mission, the Council adopted a resolution setting the terms of reference for the mission. In general, each territory was visited about every three years.

  • Issued as Supplements to the Trusteeship Council Official Records (TCOR)
  • Often visited several territories in a region