Transfer of the League of Nations to the United Nations, Ceremony with Sean Lester and Wlodzimierz Moderow


By the end of World War II, 43 countries technically were still members of the League of Nations, but the organization, which had been established after World War I to prevent another great war but had failed in this mission, for all practical purposes had ceased to exist. A new international organization, the United Nations, came into being with the signature, in San Francisco on June 26, 1945, of the Charter of the United Nations. At the initiative of the British Foreign Office, the League held a final Assembly (the 21st) in Geneva on April 8, 1946, for the purpose of dissolving the League and transferring its property, including its library and historical archives, to the new organization. This photograph shows the final act of transfer being signed in Geneva on April 18, 1946, by Sean Lester, the last secretary-general of the League of Nations, and Wlodzimierz Moderow, the representative of the United Nations. The photograph is held in the archives of the League at the UN office in Geneva. The archives were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 2010.

Last updated: May 24, 2017