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UN Trusteeship Council Documentation

A wide view of the Trusteeship Council chamber with attendees sitting behind placards with country names at their seats.

Wide view of the Trusteeship Council chamber, where the ceremony to launch the International Human Solidarity Day was held, at the UN Headquarters in New York. November 2006. UN Photo UN7708872.

A wide view of the Trusteeship Council chamber.

A wide view of the Trusteeship Council Chamber during the event “Interactive Dialogue of the Assembly on Commodity Markets”. March 2022. UN Photo UN7928775. 

A wide view of the Trusteeship Council chamber with Melanne Verveer shown speaking on a large screen at the front of the room.

A wide view of the event on “Upholding Women's Rights in Afghanistan: An Urgent Moment for Renewal of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)”. On the screen is moderator Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. UN Photo UN7926436. 

A view of the wooden sculpture

The sculpture "Mankind and Hope" in the Trusteeship Council chamber. March 2022. UN Photo UN7928774. 

Introduction to Trusteeship Council

The Trusteeship Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. From 1947-1994 it was instrumental in the decolonization and subsequent independence of territories in Africa and the Pacific. In accordance with T/RES/2200 (LXI) of 25 May 1994, the Trusteeship Council currently only meets "as and where occasion may require". 

Chapters XI-XII of the UN Charter concern the work of the Trusteeship Council.

Membership of the Trusteeship Council varied over time, in accordance with Article 86 of the UN Charter. Members included:

  • UN Member States administering trust territories
  • Permanent Members of the Security Council not administering trust territories
  • "As many other Members elected for three-year terms by the General Assembly as may be necessary to ensure that the total number of members of the Trusteeship Council is equally divided between those Members of the United Nations which administer trust territories and those which do not."

Currently, the permanent members of the Security Council serve as members of the Trusteeship Council in accordance with Article 86 of the Charter. 

The Rules of Procedure of the Trusteeship Council are found in T/1/Rev.7.

UN Charter Provisions Related to Non-Self-Governing Territories and the UN Trusteeship Council

Chapter XI : Articles 73-74 : Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories

Chapter XII : Articles 75-85 : International Trusteeship System

Chapter XIII : Articles 86-91 : The Trusteeship Council

  • Article 86 : Composition
  • Articles 87-88 : Functions and Powers
  • Article 89 : Voting
  • Articles 90-91 : Procedure