This Declaration was submitted for approval to the United Nations General Assembly at its 270th plenary meeting on 5 December 1949 by the Commission on International Law. This Commission was established on 21 November 1947 by General Assembly Resolution 174 (II) and currently consists of 34 members (originally 15), all of different nationalities, who must be experts in international law and elected in plenary for a period of 5 years. Although recognized members of the international community are bound by these [and other] established rules of international law without requiring an explicit act of acceptance, they are not required to follow these or other rules without express or implied consent.
General Assembly Resolucion 375 (IV)
Draft Declaration on Rights and Duties of States
The General Assembly,
Having received the draft Declaration on Rights and Duties of States 1prepared by the International Law Commission in pursuance of the instruction given to it by the General Assembly in resolution 178 (II) of 21 November 1947,
Considering that it is a responsibility of the United Nations, and more especially of the General Assembly, under Article 13 of the Charter, to encourage the progressive development of international law and its codification,
Considering that at the present time it has encountered some difficulties in formulating basic rights and duties of States in the light of new developments of international law and in harmony with the Charter of the United Nations, and recognizing the need of continuing study with regard to this subject,
1. Notes the draft Declaration on Rights and Duties of States prepared by the International Law Commission and expresses to the Commission its appreciation for its work on the draft Declaration;
2. Deems the draft Declaration a notable and substantial contribution towards the progressive development of international law and its codification and as such commends it to the continuing attention of Member States and of jurists of all nations;
3. Resolves to transmit to Member States, for consideration, the draft Declaration together with all the documentation relating thereto produced during the present session of the General Assembly, and to request them to furnish their comments and suggestions at the latest by 1 July 1950;
4. Requests Member States to furnish at the same time comments on the following questions:
(a) Whether any further action should be taken by the General Assembly on the draft Declaration;
(b) If so, the exact nature of the document to be aimed at and the future procedure to be adopted in relation to it;
5. Requests the Secretary-General to prepare and publish the suggestions and comments furnished by Member States, for such use as the General Assembly may find desirable;
6. Directs that the text of the draft Declaration be annexed to the present resolution.
270th plenary meeting,
6 December 1949.
Draft Declaration on Rights and Duties of States
Whereas the States of the world form a community governed by international law,
Whereas the progressive development of international law requires effective organization of the community of States,
Whereas a great majority of the States of the world have accordingly established a new international order under the Charter of the United Nations, and most of the other States of the world have declared their desire to live within this order,
Whereas a primary purpose of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security, and the reign of law and justice is essential to the realization of this purpose, and
Whereas it is therefore desirable to formulate certain basic rights and duties of States in the light of new developments of international law and in harmony with the Charter of the United Nations,
The General Assembly of the United Nations adopts and proclaims this Declaration on Rights and Duties of States:
Every State has the right to independence and hence to exercise freely, without dictation by any other State, all its legal powers, including the choice of its own form of government.
Every State has the right to exercise jurisdiction over its territory and over all persons and things therein, subject to the immunities recognized by international law.
Every State has the duty to refrain from intervention in the internal or external affairs of any other State.
Every State has the duty to refrain from fomenting civil strife in the territory of another State, and to prevent the organization within its territory of activities calculated to foment such civil strife.
Every State has the right to equality in law with every other State.
Every State has the duty to treat all persons under its jurisdiction with respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.
Every State has the duty to ensure that conditions prevailing in its territory do not menace international peace and order.
Every State has the duty to settle its disputes with other States by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
Every State has the duty to refrain from resorting to war as an instrument of national policy, and to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with international law and order.
Every State has the duty to refrain from giving assistance to any State which is acting in violation of article 9, or against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.
Every State has the duty to refrain from recognizing any territorial acquisition by another State acting in violation of article 9.
Every State has the right of individual or collective self-defence against armed attack.
Every State has the duty to carry out in good faith its obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law, and it may not invoke provisions in its constitution or its laws as an excuse for failure to perform this duty.
Every State has the duty to conduct its relations with other States in accordance with international law and with the principle that the sovereignty of each State is subject to the supremacy of international law.