Trusteeship Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations (UN), designed to supervise the government of trust territories and to lead them to self-government or independence. The Trusteeship Council was established in 1945 immediately after the Second World War by the UN Charter, under Chapter XIII, to provide international supervision for 11 Trust Territories that had been placed under the administration of seven Member States, and ensure that adequate steps were taken to prepare the Territories for self-government and independence. It was set up to ensure the proper administration and development of those areas of the world that were under foreign rule. The Council was also to take steps to help them attain self-government. By 1994, all Trust Territories had attained self-government. The Council will now meet only if required to do so.
Role or Trusteeship Council: Trusteeship Council may:
(a) Consider reports submitted by the administering authority.
(b) Accept petitions and examine them in consultation with the administering authority.
(c) Provide for periodic visits to the respective trust territories at time agreed upon with the administering authority. Ultimately, the Trusteeship Council came to include only the five permanent Security Councilmembers (China, France, the Soviet Union/Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States), as the only country administering a Trust Territory (the United States) was a permanent member.
Functions of Trusteeship Council:
1) Supervision of Trust Territories: The main function of the Trusteeship Council of the UN is to supervise the administration of the trust territories. It is therefore expected to ensure that the governments entrusted with the administration of the trust territories take appropriate measures to promote the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the territories (Consider reports submitted by the administering authority.
2) Monitoring: It receives reports from the administering authorities concerning conditions in such trust territories. e.g .British Mandated Togoland and Namibia before independence. This enables it to monitor the progress being made in the affected territories.(Accept petitions and examine them in consultation with the administering authority.)
3) Promotion of Welfare of Trust Territories: The Trusteeship Council receives petitions from the inhabitants of trust territories about their wishes. It also undertakes periodic visits to the territories to study conditions there. This is to enable it to obtain first-hand information in order to issues the necessary recommendations.(Provide for periodic visits to the respective trust territories at time agreed upon with the administering authority.)
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4) Facilitation of Independence Process: Among the functions of the Trusteeship Council is the role it plays in making sure that a trust territory attains independence status as early as possible. It is mandated to take the necessary measures to prepare the trust territories for independence.(Take these and other actions in conformity with the trusteeship agreement).
5) Supervision of Elections: It supervises elections in a trust territory to decide its future political status. For example, Trusteeship Council of the UN supervised the plebiscites held in British Mandated Togoland and French Mandated Togoland in 1956. As a result, British Togoland became part of Ghana, while French Togoland became an independent state in 1960.