United Nations trust territories

United Nations trust territories were the successors of the remaining League of Nations mandates and came into being when the League of Nations ceased to exist in 1946. All of the trust territories were administered through the United Nations Trusteeship Council. The concept is distinct from a territory temporarily and directly governed by the United Nations.

Palau District Police greet the UN Visiting Mission to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (1973)
Arrival of UN Visiting Mission in Majuro, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (1978). The sign reads "Please release us from the bondage of your trusteeship agreement."
UN trust territories by trustee
Modern successor states of UN trust territories
  Modern states composed solely of former trust territories
  Modern states composed partially of former trust territories

The one League of Nation mandate not succeeded by a trust territory was South West Africa, at South Africa's insistence. South Africa's apartheid regime refused to commit to preparing the territory for independence and majority rule, as required by the trust territory guidelines, among other objections. South-West Africa eventually gained independence in 1990 as Namibia.

All trust territories have either attained self-government or independence. The last was Palau, formerly part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which became a member state of the United Nations in December 1994.


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