Chapter XVI of The United Nations Charter - Article 103

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) 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 and Greek governments claimed that Turkish military intervention, although authorized under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee to maintain the status quo in Cyprus (see Cyprus dispute), 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'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 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 of the United States Constitution establishes the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. This interpretation has been affirmed by the World Court.

Read more about this topic:  Chapter XVI Of The United Nations Charter

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