Nonaggression, Principle of

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nonaggression, Principle of


a fundamental principle of present-day international law; it signifies that a state may not initiate a war or other use of armed force against any other state for any economic or political reason. By adhering to the principle of nonaggression a state is in practice following a policy of peaceful coexistence.

The principle of nonaggression is one of the basic principles of the UN Charter. Article 2 of the Charter states: “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any member or State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.”

The principle of nonaggression is extremely important in international relations. Many states not only proclaim their recognition of it but also strive to conclude special agreements with other states in order to emphasize the international legal force of the principle of nonaggression. When concluding such agreements, both parties obligate themselves to refrain from attacking one another individually or jointly with other countries. The Soviet Union also concludes bilateral agreements in which the principle of nonaggression and the obligations that arise from it are especially affirmed.

The principle of nonaggression has also been established in numerous multilateral agreements (for example, the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, which the USSR joined; the Saavedra Lamas Pact of 1933; and the Saadabad Pact of 1937, which was concluded by Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan). All of these agreements played an important part in forming the principle of nonaggression, which was later formulated in the UN Charter.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.