What Were The Trust Territories Of The United Nations?

Papua New Guinea was previously a UN Trust Territory.
Papua New Guinea was previously a UN Trust Territory.

The trust territories of the United Nations came into being after the League of Nations was dissolved in 1946. These trust territories were the successor of the remaining League of Nations mandate which was governed through the UN’s Trusteeship Council. The only region which was not turned over was South-West Africa since South Africa claimed that they should remain under the League of Nation’s mandate. The trust territory guidelines demanded that these regions should be prepared for majority rule and independence. Some of the United Nation’s trust territories include:

UN Trust Territories

French Cameroons

The French Cameroons which is part of Cameroon was a League of Nation Mandate territory in Africa. Present-Day Cameroon came under Germany at the end of the nineteenth century during the scramble for Africa. It became a German protectorate after the Germans, and the local chiefs signed a treaty in Douala region. The French ceded part of their territory to German Cameroon after the second Moroccan Crisis. The French and the British troops occupied German Cameroon during the First World War. The League of Nations mandated this territory to the French and British in 1922. After the Second World War, they became UN’s Trust Territory. French Cameroon gained their independence in January 1960, and South British Cameroon joined them on October 1960 to create the Republic of Cameroon.

British Cameroon

British Cameroon was smaller than French Cameroon, and it was administered in two parts the Southern and Northern Cameroon. The area was occupied by the Belgian, French, and British troops during the First World War. British Cameroon became League of Nation mandate to British in 1922, and it was administered as two regions the Southern Cameroons and Northern Cameroons. The two sections were divided at a place where the Cameroon and Nigeria boundary met. Southern Cameroon became a part of Republic of Cameroon on October 1961, and after a referendum, Northern Cameroon joined Nigeria in May 1961.

Territory of New Guinea

The south-eastern part of the island of New Guinea was Australian while the north-eastern section was League of Nations Mandate territory before the First World War. After the Second World War, they were united for administrative purposes although a legal distinction was maintained between the Territory of New Guinea and Territory of Papua. The two territories were unified and declared independent as Papua New Guinea in 1975.


Ruanda-Urundi was a territory on the Great Lakes region of Africa which was once part of the German East Africa which was ruled by the Belgians from 1916 to 1962. Occupied by the Belgians during the First World War, the area became Belgian-controlled mandate under the League of Nations. After the Second World War and the dissolution of the League of Nations, it became UN’s Trust Territory under the Belgian control. Ruanda-Urundi gained their independence in 1962 and was separated into Burundi and Rwanda.

Other United Nations' Trust Territories

Tanganyika was administered by the British from 1916 to 1961 when they gained their independence. Tanganyika merged with Zanzibar to form Tanzania in 1964. The French Togoland gained their independence in 1960 while the British Togoland joined with Gold Coast in 1956 to form Ghana which became independent in 1957. Western Samoa was known as the Western Samoa Mandate during the civil administration by New Zealand and gained their independence in 1962.


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