Chapter XVI of the United Nations Charter
Chapter XVI of the United Nations Charter
United Nations Charter
The Charter of the United Nations is the foundational treaty of the international organization called the United Nations. It was signed at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in San Francisco, United States, on 26 June 1945, by 50 of the 51 original member countries...

contains miscellaneous provisions prohibiting secret treaties
Secret treaty
A secret treaty is a treaty between nations that is not revealed to other nations or interested observers. An example would be a secret alliance between two nations to support each other in the event of war...

, establishing the UN Charter as supreme over any other treaties
A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

, and providing for privileges and immunities of UN
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 officials and representatives.

Article 102

Article 102 bans secret treaties
Secret treaty
A secret treaty is a treaty between nations that is not revealed to other nations or interested observers. An example would be a secret alliance between two nations to support each other in the event of war...

. Under this article, all international treaties must be registered with, and published by, the UN Secretariat
United Nations Secretariat
The United Nations Secretariat is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and it is headed by the United Nations Secretary-General, assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies for...

. The article also states that secret treaties concluded in violation of this provision are unenforceable before UN bodies. Secret treaties were believed to have played a role in the events leading to World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Accordingly, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 had proposed banning them in the 1910s, and the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 had created a special bureau of treaty registration under the League of Nations Secretary-General
Secretary General of the League of Nations
During its existence, the League of Nations had three Secretaries General:#Eric Drummond, 7th Earl of Perth, of the United Kingdom served from 1920 to 3 July 1933.#Joseph Louis Anne Avenol of France served from 3 July 1933 to 31 August 1940....

 and had set aside a section of the League of Nations Journal for treaty publication. Article 18 of the Covenant of the League of Nations
Covenant of the League of Nations
-Creation:Early drafts for a possible League of Nations began even before the end of the First World War. A London-based study group led by James Bryce and G. Lowes Dickinson made proposals adopted by the British League of Nations Society, founded in 1915. Another group in the United States—which...

 held that "Every treaty or international engagement entered into hereafter by any Member of the League shall be forthwith registered with the Secretariat and shall as soon as possible be published by it. No such treaty or international engagement shall be binding until so registered," so Article 102 is basically a continuation of this policy.

Article 103

Article 103 states that members' obligations under the UN Charter override their obligations under any other treaty. Thus, countries cannot use other treaties (such as the North Atlantic Treaty
North Atlantic Treaty
The North Atlantic Treaty is the treaty that brought NATO into existence, signed in Washington, D.C. on 4 April 1949. The original twelve nations that signed it and thus became the founding members of NATO were:...

) to override their UN Charter obligations, a fact that has been used to question the legality of military actions conducted under regional treaty organization auspices, such as the 1999 NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Similarly, the Greek Cypriot
Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots are the ethnic Greek population of Cyprus, forming the island's largest ethnolinguistic community at 77% of the population. Greek Cypriots are mostly members of the Church of Cyprus, an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 and Greek
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 governments claimed that Turkish
Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots are the ethnic Turks and members of the Turkish-speaking ethnolinguistic community of the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The term is used to refer explicitly to the indigenous Turkish Cypriots, whose Ottoman Turkish forbears colonised the island in 1571...

 military intervention, although authorized under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee
Treaty of Guarantee
The Treaty of Guarantee is a treaty between the Republic of Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland promulgated in 1960. Article I bans Cyprus from participating in any political union or economic union with any other state. Article II requires the other...

 to maintain the status quo in Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 (see Cyprus dispute
Cyprus dispute
The Cyprus dispute is the result of the ongoing conflict between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey, over the Turkish occupied northern part of Cyprus....

), was banned by UN Charter's prohibitions against the use of force, which were supreme under Article 103. Article 103 was also used by the UN Security Council, in passing Resolution 1696, to trump Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

's right to uranium enrichment under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Article 103 is analogous to the League of Nations Covenant Article 20, which held that "The Members of the League severally agree that this Covenant is accepted as abrogating all obligations or understandings inter se
Inter se
Inter se is a Legal Latin phrase meaning "between or amongst themselves". For example;In Australian constitutional law, it refers to matters concerning a dispute between the Commonwealth and one or more of the States concerning the extents of their respective powers....

 which are inconsistent with the terms thereof, and solemnly undertake that they will not hereafter enter into any engagements inconsistent with the terms thereof." The intent of both articles was to establish a "super-treaty" in much the same way that the supremacy clause
Supremacy Clause
Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, known as the Supremacy Clause, establishes the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Treaties, and Federal Statutes as "the supreme law of the land." The text decrees these to be the highest form of law in the U.S...

 of the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 establishes the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. This interpretation has been affirmed by the World Court.

Articles 104 and 105

Articles 104 and 105 provide for privileges and immunities of the UN and its officials and representatives. The use of this immunity has been the subject of some contention, as UN diplomats racked up $18 million in unpaid parking tickets between 1997 and 2002.
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