Immunity of the United Nations

Immunity of the United Nations

The United Nations: Background Note

The name “United Nations” was devised by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was first used in the “Declaration by United Nations” of 1 January 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers.

The United Nations Charter was drawn up by the representatives of 50 countries at the United Nations Conference on International Organization, which met at San Francisco from 25 April to 26 June 1945. Those delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by the representatives of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States at Dumbarton Oaks in August-October 1944. The Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. Poland, which was not represented at the Conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 Member States.

The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October each year.

The United Nations is an organization of sovereign nations. It provides the machinery to help find solutions to international problems or disputes, and to deal with pressing concerns that face people everywhere.
It does not legislate like a national parliament. But in the meeting rooms and corridors of the UN, representatives of almost all countries of the world -large and small, rich and poor, with varying political views and social systems -have a voice and vote in shaping the policies of the international community.

Immunity of the United Nations in 2011

United States views on international law (based on the document “Digest of U.S. Practice in International Law”): On July 6, 2011, the United States filed a statement of interest in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Sadikoglu v. United Nations Development Program, No. 11- 0294 (S.D.N.Y.). The United States made its submission in response to the court’s March 18, 2011 letter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office inviting the United States to express its views on the exercise of jurisdiction over the United Nations Development Program (“UNDP”). Plaintiff brought the action against UNDP claiming breach of contract. The statement of interest explained that UNDP, as a part of the UN, enjoys absolute immunity from suit and legal process, absent an express waiver. The statement of interest is excerpted below (with footnotes and citations to the record omitted) and available at (internet link)

Immunity of the United Nations

In relation to the international law practice and Immunity of the United Nations in this world legal Encyclopedia, please see the following section:

Nationality, Citizenship, Immigration

. Note: there is detailed information and resources, in relation with these topics during the year 2011, covered by the entry, in this law Encyclopedia, about Immigration and Nationality Act


See Also

  • Privileges
  • Immunities
  • International Organizations
  • United Nations