Preamble section 4:
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,


The fourth recital of the Preamble echoes the first article of the UN Charter and was included on the recommendation of the delegation of the USSR. Article 1(2) of the UN Charter states that one of the purposes of the United Nations is

[t]o develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.

It thus plays a behind-the-scenes role in the call for a new international order. Principles of that new international order can be found in the Declaration on Principles of International Law, Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, adopted by the General Assembly on October 24, 1970. [link to Documents button - include this Declaration] This Declaration emphasizes the paramount importance of the UN Charter and the progressive development of the principles of international law for the maintenance of international peace and security, for the promotion of the rule of law among nations, and for the development of friendly relations and co-operation among states.

The fourth recital of the Preamble thus situates the Universal Declaration in the heart of the long historical battle between two disciplines with different views on what governs, and should govern, the relations between nations: law or power. Today, this tension is often seen as straddling the two disciplines of international law and international relations. In the discussion that follows, these two schools of thought are briefly outlined and the modern roots of each described. Second, the significance of the Universal Declaration to this relationship, and its influence as a non-binding instrument in the friendly relations between nations, is discussed.

See further Morsink, sections 2.5, 6.4, and 8.5.

Peter Danchin, Columbia University