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May 23, 2013

Citing the Charter of the United Nations

Melissa.photoby Melissa

We’re sometimes asked about how to cite international agreements, such as the Charter of the United Nations, in APA Style. You won’t find an example of how to cite that document in the APA Publication Manual.


The Charter of the United Nations is a legal document, so use The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation as your foundation for building APA Style references and citations.

The APA Style reference for the Charter of the United Nations can include these elements:

  1. Name of the agreement
  2. Article number
  3. Paragraph number


The reference format and an example using that format appear below.

U.N. Charter art. xx, para. xx.
U.N. Charter art. 1, para. 3.

If you want to reference an entire article of the charter, you can omit the paragraph element:

U.N. Charter art. xx.
U.N. Charter art. 1.


In-Text Citations
In text, use one of these citation formats:

U.N. Charter art. xx, para. xx 
(U.N. Charter art. xx, para. xx)

In the below example of an in-text citation, the article and paragraph numbers (rather than page numbers) pinpoint the location of quoted text from the U.N. Charter.

The founders of the United Nations encouraged countries to work 
cooperatively on “international problems of an economic, social, 
cultural, or humanitarian character” (U.N. Charter art. 1, para. 3).

Consult the latest edition of The Bluebook to learn more about citing United Nations documents and other international agreements.



For seventh edition guidelines, visit the seventh edition APA Style blog.

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