Origins and Formation of the League
- The League of Nations (LON) was set up in Geneva the capital of Switzerland.
- It was the brainchild of Woodrow Wilson’s
Aims of the League
- To maintain peace and security through out the world
- To reduce armaments to the lowest level.
- To prevent secret diplomacy in treaties or alliances a thing that had caused The First World War.
- To control drug trafficking.
- To give financial support to countries in need.
- To promote general labor interest.
- To supervise the administration of mandated territories like Danzig.
- To safeguard the welfare of minorities and refugees.
Organisation of the League
1. The General Assembly
- Was the main body made up of representatives from member states.
- Was the debating chamber of the league and each member had one vote.
- It met annually and discussed issues affecting world peace.
- It handled the finances of the league and drafted the budget.
- It elected the non-permanent members of the council (see below).
- It decided on general policies of the league.
- It admitted new members of the league.
- It was supposed to raise an army for the league when needed.
2. The council
- It was a much smaller body which met more often, at least 3 times a year.
- It had 5 permanent members i.e. Britain, Fance, USA, Italy and Japan. ( Do not confuse this with the members of the Security Council. The USA never joined the League)
- There were 3 non-permanent members which were elected by the General Assembly and had a 3 year tenure.
Functions of The Council
- It passed decisions on matters referred to it by the General Assembly
- It decided on punishments for members found guilty of threatening peace for example imposing sanctions, take military action.
- It submitted recommendations to the General Assembly.
3. The Secretariat
- It was headed by the Secretary General.
- Worked at the headquarters of the League.
Functions of the Secretariat
- It looked after the paper work of the league.
- kept minutes of meetings of the proceedings of the league’s various sectors.
- It implemented decisions of the League.
- It carried out day to day chores of the League, for example the preparations of agenda.
4. The Court of International Justice
- It was based in The Hague in the Netherlands.
- It was made up of 15 judges from different countries.
Functions of the ICJ
- Dealt with legal disputes amongst nations.
- It interpreted treaties.
- It advised the Council and the General Assembly on any matters brought to it.
5. International Labour Organisation
- Dealt with matters involving employment relations on a global scale.
- Met once a year.
- Members states sent 4 representatives ( 2 government officials, 1 worker representative and 1 employer representative)
Functions of the ILO
- To improve working conditions by doing things such as fixing working hours, setting minimum wages, leave days, employment and unemployment benefits, compensation and old age pensions.
6. Special Committees.
- Refugee commision-which was responsible for monitoring the welfare of refugees.
- Minorities commission- which was responsible for taking care of interests of small ethnic groups.
- Health committee-carried out Research and Development in health and monitored diseases.
- Mandates commission-oversaw the administration of the mandates.