The Aims of the League of Nations

 

as shown in the Covenant of the League

 

THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES,

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In order to promote international co-operation and to achieve international peace and security by the acceptance of obligations not to resort to war,

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by the prescription of open, just and honourable relations between nations,

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by the firm establishment of the understandings of international law as the actual rule
of conduct among Governments, and

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by the maintenance of justice and a scrupulous respect for all treaty obligations in the
dealings of organised peoples with one another, 

agree to this Covenant of the League of Nations. 

 

ARTICLES 1–7  set up the League at Geneva, and organised the membership, meetings and attendance of the Assembly and the Council.

Article 5 declared that ‘decisions at any meeting of the Assembly or of the Council shall require the agreement of all the Members of the League represented at the meeting’. 

Article 6 set up the Secretariat and named Sir James Eric Drummond as the first General Secretary.

  

ARTICLE 8

The Members of the League recognise that the maintenance of peace requires the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety and the enforcement by common action of international obligations.
The Council shall formulate plans for such reduction. Such plans shall be subject to reconsideration and revision at least every ten years.
The Council shall advise how the manufacture by private enterprise of munitions and implements of war can be prevented.

    

ARTICLE 9 set up a permanent disarmament Commission..

ARTICLE 10

The Members of the League undertake to respect and preserve against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members of the League.

 

ARTICLE 11

Any war or threat of war is a matter of concern to the whole League, and the League shall take any action that may be deemed wise and effectual to safeguard the peace of nations.

 

ARTICLE 12

The Members of the League agree that, if there should arise between them any dispute likely to lead to a rupture they will submit the matter either to arbitration or judicial settlement or to enquiry by the Council.

   

ARTICLES 13–17

gave the details about how the League would avert war:

ARTICLES 13 and 14: For the consideration of any such dispute, the court to which the case is referred shall be the Permanent Court of International Justice.  The Members of the League agree that they will carry out in full good faith any award or decision that may be rendered, and that they will not resort to war against a Member of the League which complies therewith.

ARTICLE 15: If there should arise between Members of the League any dispute likely to lead to a rupture, which is not submitted to arbitration or judicial settlement in accordance with Article 13, the Members of the League agree that they will submit the matter to the Council.

ARTICLE 16. Should any Member of the League resort to war in disregard of its covenants under Articles 12, 13 or 15, it shall ipso facto be deemed to have committed an act of war against all other Members of the League, which hereby undertake immediately to subject it to the severance of all trade or financial relations, the prohibition of all intercourse between their nationals and the nationals of the covenant-breaking State, and the prevention of all financial, commercial or personal intercourse between the nationals of the covenant-breaking State and the nationals of any other State, whether a Member of the League or not.

ARTICLE 17: In the event of a dispute between a Member of the League and a State which is not a Member of the League, or between States not Members of the League, the State or States not Members of the League shall be invited to accept the obligations of membership in the League for the purposes of such dispute, upon such conditions as the Council may deem just.

   

ARTICLES 18–22

dealt with previous Peace Treaties:

ARTICLE 18: 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.

ARTICLE 19: The Assembly may from time to time consider international conditions whose continuance might endanger the peace of the world.
ARTICLE 20: The Members of the League severally agree that this Covenant is accepted as abrogating all obligations or understandings inter se which are inconsistent with the terms thereof, and solemnly undertake that they will not hereafter enter into any engagements inconsistent with the terms thereof.
ARTICLE 2: Nothing in this Covenant shall be deemed to affect the validity of international engagements for securing the maintenance of peace.

ARTICLE 22.  states that ‘the tutelage of Germany’s and Turkey’s colonies should be entrusted to advanced nations who by reason of their resources, their experience or their geographical position can best undertake this responsibility, and who are willing to accept it, and that this tutelage should be exercised by them as Mandates on behalf of the League’.

 

ARTICLE 23

The Members of the League:

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will endeavour to secure and maintain fair and humane conditions of labour for men, women, and children, both in their own countries and in all countries to which their commercial and industrial relations extend, and for that purpose will establish and maintain the necessary international organisations;  

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undertake to secure just treatment of the native inhabitants of territories under their control;  

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will entrust the League with the general supervision over the execution of agreements with regard to the traffic in women and children, and the traffic in opium and other dangerous drugs;

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will entrust the League with the general supervision of the trade in arms and ammunition with the countries in which the control of this traffic is necessary in the common interest;  

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will make provision to secure and maintain freedom of communications and of transit and equitable treatment for the commerce of all Members of the League. In this connection, the special necessities of the regions devastated during the war of 1914-1918 shall be borne in mind;  

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will endeavour to take steps in matters of international concern for the prevention and control of disease.

ARTICLE 24 agreed to committees to accomplish Article 23, and that the League pay for them.

ARTICLE 25

The Members of the League agree to encourage and promote the establishment and co-operation of duly authorised voluntary national Red Cross organisations having as purposes the improvement of health, the prevention of disease and the mitigation of suffering throughout the world.

   

ARTICLE 26 set up the rules by which the League’s rules might be changed.