Few people may have heard or know about the “enemy state” clauses that still exist in the Charter of the United Nations. The clauses, incorporated into the charter by the victorious Allied powers when the organization was created in 1945, spell out discriminatory arrangements against the former enemy states of World War II.

Article 53 of the U.N. Charter provides that “no enforcement action shall be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the authorization of the Security Council, with the exception of measures against any enemy state,” thus allowing, theoretically at least, enforcement action to be taken without the council’s authorization in the event that the former enemy states challenge international peace and security. Article 107 justifies action taken by the Allied powers against the former WWII enemy states, while Article 77 contains reference to enemy states in relation to the U.N. trusteeship.

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