On 8 April 1946, with the presence of delegates from 28 countries, the last, 21st session of the League of Nations opened. The session was intended to officially declare its dissolution, as well as to transfer its property to new owners.

Despite the great desire of the world community to prevent a new world war, the League of Nations, created in 1920 to “develop cooperation among nations and achieve international peace and security” had failed in its task. Rather, it served the interests of the victorious powers in the First World War, which determined both the Charter and the structure of the League of Nations. The USA did not join the organisation at all; Germany and Japan left it in 1933, and Italy departed in 1937. The Soviet Union became a member of the League in 1934 but was expelled from it in 1939. Only two permanent members remained in the Council of the League of Nations - Great Britain and France. The League failed in its pre-war tasks and did not play a major role in the post-war ones.

The decision on the liquidation of the League of Nations was taken unanimously. The final act on the dissolution of the organisation was signed on 18 April. It was assured by the last Secretary-General Sean Lester (Ireland), and the head of the UN European Delegation Wlodzimierz Moderow (Poland). The League of Nations officially ceased to exist on 20 April 1946.

The property of the League - the Palais des Nations and other real estate - was equally divided between the UN and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Many working bodies of the League of Nations were absorbed into the UN, changing only their names and addresses.


Scott, George. The Rise and Fall of the League of Nations. - Hutchinson & Co LTD, 1973