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United Nations Publications - Research Guide



    The Principal UN Organs
    Subsidiary UN Bodies and Their Functions
    Specialized Agencies

  8. REFERENCE Works on the UN


  • UN Home Page

  • AccessUN-- Electronic index to UN masthead documents, official records and selected sales publications including journal articles. Indexing starts with 1951. Permits searching across multi-year time span on various subjects. Includes full text resolutions, selected meeting records, and links to UN documents on the web. Allows searching by various document numbers and for speeches by representatives of various countries. Serves as a guide to the microfiche collection of United Nations documents and publications shelved in the Van Pelt Reference Government Documents Room (Microfiche 125) and the older microprint collection [Van Pelt building storage (dissertation room) - Ask at Circulation (microprint 6)].

  • UNBISnet -- Catalogue of UN publications and documentation indexed by the United Nations Dag Hammarskjvld Library and the Library of the UN Office at Geneva. Included are non-UN publications held in the collection of the Dag Hammarskjvld Library. It also includes the voting records for all resolutions adopted by the General Assembly (1983-) and the Security Council (1946-); and an Index to Speeches, citations to speeches made in the General Assembly (1983-), the Security Council (1983-), the Economic and Social Council (1983- ) and the Trusteeship Council (1982- ).

  • UN-I-QUE : United Nations Info Quest -- UN-I-QUE (UN Info Quest) is a ready reference file created by the United Nations/Specialized Agencies Reference Desk of the Dag Hammarskjvld Library to respond to frequently asked questions. It provides quick access to document symbols/sales numbers for UN materials. It does not give full bibliographic details nor does it replace existing bibliographic databases, such as DHL's own UNBIS, or AccessUN. UN-I-QUE focuses upon documents and publications of a recurrent nature: annual/sessional reports of committees/commissions; monographic series; journals; annual publications; reports periodically/irregularly issued; reports of major conferences; statements in the General Debate; etc. Information within each record is presented in reverse chronological order to facilitate identification of the most recent data.

  • United Nations Documentation: Research Guide - This is the Dag Hammarskjvld Library guide to United Nations documentation. It provides an overview of the various types of documents and publications (e.g, reports, resolutions, meeting records, sales publications, press releases) and explains where to find them in either electronic or paper format. The topics covered include: Document Symbols, Basic Tools, Indexes, Parliamentary Documents, Resolutions/Decisions, Speeches, Press Releases, Special Topics.

  • United Nations Scholar's Workstation at Yale -- The United Nations Scholars' Workstation, developed by the Yale University Library and the Social Science Statistical Laboratory, is a collection of texts, finding aids, data sets, maps, and pointers to print and electronic information. Subject coverage includes disarmament, economic and social development, environment, human rights, international relations, international trade, peacekeeping, and population and demography.

  • Documents Alert -- Documents Alert is a service of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjvld Library providing an annotated list of important documents that have recently been released. Citations remain on the site for two months.

  • United Nations Treaty Collection-- Shows the status of over 500 major multilateral instruments deposited with the Secretary-General of the UN, listing the member states as they sign, ratify, and note reservations and objections. There are bibliographic citations linked to page images for 34,000-plus treaties and a similar number of international agreements registered or filed and recorded with and published by the UN Secretariat. Texts are provided in English and French, as well as in the original languages. For recently deposited multilateral treaties, there are fulltext and page images of treaties not yet published in UNTS.
    United Nations treaty series: Bibliographic citations linked to page images for 34,000-plus treaties and a similar number of international agreements registered or filed and recorded with and published by the UN Secretariat. Texts are provided in English and French translation as well as their authentic languages.
    Recently deposited multilateral treaties: fulltext and page images of treaties not yet published in UNTS

The University of Pennsylvania Library has collected United Nations publications since the organization's beginnings. Many of these are printed volumes for which there are records in Franklin or, in the case of some pre-1968 titles, the card catalog. In the latter individual titles can be found under "UNITED NATIONS followed by titles (e.g., Agreement, Treaty Series, Yearbook, etc.) or under "UNITED NATIONS" followed immediately by the individual agency (e.g., Ad hoc committee on , Commission on Human Rights, Economic and Social Council, General Assembly, etc.).

As subject one can look under "UNITED NATIONS," followed by "UNITED NATIONS AND ," "UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE FOR ...," "UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO)," etc. In Franklin you can also search by author, title, subject, or keyword.

The largest part of the library's UN collections, and the core of the United Nations' own publishing, is available in two separate formats. The United Nations Documents and Publications is available in microprint from the Readex Company for the earlier years (Van Pelt, in building storage, ask at circulation,Microprint 6) and microfiche from 1973 to the present (Van Pelt Library Reference Gov Doc Room: Microfiche 125.) There is no access to individual document records through Franklin. Instead, there are a number of databases that index UN publication.

AccessUN -- is a database produced by Readex. Each AccessUN record indicates if Readex has produced a microtext version of the described document. One finds the microtext document by using the year and the unique United Nations document number.

The United Nations' own database, UNBISnet, can also be used to identify individual documents, and, like AccessUN, it sometimes links to fulltext documents on the Internet.

A new fulltext UN database called UN ODS reproduces most of the documents currently in microtext. By using the UN number identified from AccessUN or UNBISNet the researcher can view full text documents since 1993 and General Assembly, Security Council, ECOSOC, and Trusteeship Council resolutions and decisions from 1946. Depository documents emanate from five of the six principal UN organs: the General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, Security Council, Secretariat, and Trusteeship Council (publications of the International Court of Justice, or World Court, are collected by the Biddle Law Library). The depository publications do not include material published by the "specialized agencies" of the UN, such as WHO, UNESCO, FAO, etc., nor most material published by the UN's "subsidiary bodies." For information about the many "Subsidiary UN Bodies" and "Specialized Agencies," see the sections below.


Organization Chart

The Principal UN Organs

Note that most divisions of the United Nations now have their own websites, which are often excellent sources of information and documentation about the work of the agencies. Web links are provided below.

General Assembly

Includes representatives of all member states. Annual sessions of the plenary meetings are held from September until December at UN headquarters in New York. Special and emergency sessions may also be convened. There are six main committees of the General Assembly:

In addition, there are the standing and procedural committees and other subsidiary organs of the General Assembly.

Security Council

Composed of five permanent (U.S., U.K., Russia, China and France) and ten non- permanent members elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. Primary responsibility is maintenance of international peace and security. Functions continuously and meets whenever called.

Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

Composed of 54 members elected by the General Assembly for three-year terms. Its mandate is to "promote: (a) higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development; (b) solutions of international economic, social, health, and related problems; and international cultural and educational cooperation; and (c) universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion." It conducts two regular sessions and an organizational session each year. It meets in both New York and in Geneva, Switzerland, where many UN and specialized agency offices are located.

Trusteeship Council
Composed of the permanent Security Council members. In November 1994 it suspended operation with the independence of Palau, the last remaining of the original 11 Trust Territories was removed from its administrative authority. The Council will meet in the future only as need arises.

International Court of Justice (ICJ) The Hague.
All members are automatically parties to the Court's statute and non-members may become parties. The court has 15 independent judges of different nationalities, elected for nine-year terms by the Security Council and the General Assembly. The Biddle Law Library receives all the major series issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

"The Secretariat, an international staff working at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and all over the world, carries out the diverse day-to-day work of the Organization. It services the other principal organs of the United Nations and administers the programmes and policies laid down by them. At its head is the Secretary-General, who is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for a five- year, renewable term."

Subsidiary UN Bodies and their Functions

United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) New York.
Assists developing countries in accelerating their economic and social development. Administers and coordinates the majority of technical assistance provided through the UN. Reports to the General Assembly. Established in 1966. The library has the full text UNDP Project Reports Collection [Van Pelt Microtext: Microfiche 1100] funded by the UNDP and executed by international or national government agencies worldwide between 1972 and 1998. The reports are indexed online by AccessUNDP. AccessUNDP describes the 3,685 reports included in the collection and is continued by the UNDP's own Programme Documentation Library web site.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Nairobi.
Works to preserve and enhance the human environment. Includes a governing council, secretariat, fund and coordinating board. Reports to ECOSOC. Established in 1973.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) New York.
Provides assistance in population programs. Reports to the ECOSOC through UNDP. Established in 1967.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) [] Geneva
Protects refugees and promotes durable solutions to their problems. Reports to ECOSOC. Established in 1950.
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) New York.
Provides emergency assistance to children. Provides assistance, particularly in developing countries, in the development of permanent child health and welfare services. Reports to ECOSOC. Established in 1946.
United Nations Institute for Training and Research(UNITAR) New York.
Conducts training programs and initiates research studies focused on UN objectives and programs. Reports to the General Assembly. Established in 1966.
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) Geneva.
Undertakes research into the inter-relationship of economic and social factors in development and methods of social planning. Reports to the Commission on Social Development.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Vienna.
Carries out relief programs and considers measures to be taken when relief is no longer available.
United Nations University (UNU) Tokyo.
Engages in research, postgraduate training and the dissemination of knowledge on pressing global problems of survival, development and welfare. Reports to the General Assembly. Established in 1973.

Specialized Agencies

There are many agencies that are part of the United Nations system, but which are largely autonomous and, in some cases, predate the establishment of the United Nations or even the establishment of the UN's predecessor, the League of Nations. Publications produced by these organizations are acquired separately and can not generally be identified from the major UN indexes. For links to these agencies' web sites use Official Web Locator for the UN System. Below are direct links to some of the better known agencies.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Rome.
Lippincott Library has a blanket purchase order for all FAO printed publications in English and sends some FAO material to other campus libraries as appropriate. An especially valuable feature of the web site is FAOSTAT, multilingual databases containing over 1 million time-series records of international statistics in agricultural production, trade, machinery, forestry, fisheries, land use, food aid, etc.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Vienna.
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)Washington.
Nearly complete collections are received by the Lippincott Library for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
International Labour Organization (ILO) Geneva.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Washington.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)Geneva.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Paris.
The Van Pelt Library has a blanket purchase order for all UNESCO books and pamphlets in English and for the English or French versions of all UNESCO periodicals. We do not receive the UNESCO "Main Series Documents." The web site has a large archive of searchable full text documents available.
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Vienna.
Promotes industrial development in development countries with a view to facilitating the establishiment of a new international economic order. Reports to the General Assembly. Established in 1965.
World Health Organization (WHO) Geneva.
The Biomedical Library and Van Pelt purchase WHO series and publications selectively. The official site includes the full text of some important publications, including the World Health Report series back to 1995.
World Trade Organization (WTO) Geneva.

Regional Commissions
The Economic and Social Commission oversees five regional commissions headquartered throughout the world.
Regional Commissions provide selected sales and masthead documents to all depositories. They are selectively indexed in the major UN indexes.

Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) - Geneva, Switzerland
Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) - Santiago, Chile
Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) - Bangkok, Thailand
Economic Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) - Beirut, Lebanon

UN publications are of two types by form: printed and letterhead. Almost everything issued by the UN, except periodicals, appears originally in letterhead document form. Many items, including important ones, never appear in any other way. "Letterhead" documents, also known as "masthead" or "mimeograph documents" after their original form of publication, constitute the largest category of United Nations publications, particularly of those received as depository documents. They include materials that are the basis for discussion at UN meetings, such as reports, memoranda, studies, working papers, agendas, draft and final resolutions, decisions, meeting records, etc. Many masthead documents are reprinted in other publications, including the Official Records, Yearbook of the United Nations, and the Annual Review of United Nations Affairs. Until 2000 Van Pelt Library received masthead documents automatically. Today, it offers online access to fulltext UN documents via UN ODS (UN Official Documents Search). In addition, the library continues to receive depository documents in microfiche from the Readex Co. and sales publications and periodicals directly from the UN.

Since 1950 all documents, whether in provisional or final form, are classified for distribution purposes as general, limited, or restricted. The "general distribution" category includes all documents given full public circulation. "Limited distribution" documents are generally technical in content, provisional in nature, and for the use of a limited group. They are included, however, in the Readex set of UN documents on microprint until 1981 and on microfiche since. "Restricted distribution" documents are treated as confidential and not released to the public.

In general, the "printed" publications of the UN are intended for public use, and a large number are considered "sales publications": e.g., Everyone's United Nations and the United Nations Yearbook, subscription periodicals, such as the UN Monthly Chronicle, Official Records of the major organs of the UN (which often include as supplements records and reports of lesser organs), the UN Treaty Series, and other reports and studies. They bear sales numbers and prices; they are listed in United Nations Publications Catalogue (Van Pelt Reference JX 1977 C37), Books in Print of the United Nations System 5th ed. 1992 (Van Pelt Reference JX 1977 Z99 B66 1992), and sometimes in Books in Print (Van Pelt Reference Books-in-Print Z1215 .P97 Ind. and Online version ). They may be purchased from the Sales Section of the UN in New York or in bookstores.

UN documents are identified by "series symbols" composed of letters and numbers separated by slashes: e.g., A/AC.73/SR.41 is General Assembly, Ad hoc Committee no. 73, Summary meeting record no. 41. These numbers are used as the basis for the arrangement of the Readex microtext collection, and are the recommended means for finding specific documents in the UN ODS (UN Official Documents Search) . For a detailed explanation of the series symbol system and a full list of series symbols, see Dag Hammarskjvld Library, United Nations Document Series Symbols, 1946/77- . (NY: United Nations) (Van Pelt Reference JX 1977 A1 L477), or see the online United Nations Documentation: Research Guide.
Sales documents have their own numbering system.

The Official Records include final versions of meeting records, resolutions, decisions, and reports on the activities of subsidiary agencies. They are widely indexed and widely available. They are part of the UN ODS (UN Official Documents Search) and the microform edition United Nations Documents and Publications (Van Pelt Reference Govt Documents Microfiche 125; Microprint 6). For some years prior to 1987 the printed Official Records are maintained in the Van Pelt stacks by call number (the Biddle Law Library also has various years).

UN. General Assembly. Official Records. 1946- . (JX 1977 A41) Library has 1st sess. (1946)-40th sess. (1985/1986).

UN. Economic and Social Council. Official Records. 1946- . (HC 59 A193) Library has 1st sess. (1978)-53rd sess., 55th sess.-64th sess. (1986)

UN. Security Council. Official Records. 1946- . (JX 1977 A515) Library has 1st year (1946)-40th year (1985).

UN. Trusteeship Council. Official Records. 1947- . (JX 4021 U385) Library has 1947-1984.

There is also A Guide: United Nations Official Records, 1948-1962.(JX1977 A38 1963)

The resolutions have also been published separately:
UN. Security Council. Resolutions and Statements of the Security Council. [from its Official Records] (Van Pelt Reference JX1977 .A52h) Library has 1994-1995,1998; Resolutions and Decisions of the Security Council (Van Pelt Reference JX1977 .A517a) 1996-1997. UN General Assembly. Resolutions and decisions adopted by the General Assembly (Van Pelt Reference JX1977 .A316) Library has 1979-1981, 1983-1995, 1999.

All resolutions are reproduced in Annual Review of United Nations Affairs (Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana, 1949- ) (JX 1977 .A1 A5; latest two years, 1998-1999, in Reference) They are also available online: General Assembly Resolutions (1981- ); Security Council Resolutions (1946- ).


For the online indexes, see the information in section I above.



United Nations printed indexes:

UNDOC. Current Index: United Nations Documents (Van Pelt Reference JX 1977 A1 A153). There is a list of documents arranged by document symbol, a subject index, name index, title index, and several other features.

UNDEX: United Nations Document Index. This publication was issued in three series, each with its own call number. Series A (subject index: JX1977 .A1 A 1522) and B (country index: JX 1977 A1 A1523) exist in annual cumulations; for series C (list of documents: JX 1977 A1 A 1524), there is a cumulation for 1974-77, and an annual volume for 1978.

United Nations Documents Index (UNDI) (Van Pelt Reference JX1977 .A1 A152). UNDI was published monthly, with annual cumulations. Entries are by subject, title, and a partial author index. Until 1963, the subject index referred to an entry number in the checklist, and the entry gave the UN documents symbol (by which the microform collection is arranged). Between 1963 and 1973, the subject index refers directly to the UN document symbol.

Checklist of United Nations Documents (Van Pelt Reference JX1977 .A1 C433). The checklist was issued in parts, each part covering a separate organ and having its own subject index. Parts for the General Assembly and Security Council were never issued.
There are several other means of access to this material. The Reference Department has the Index to Proceedings for each of the four main organs. These contain checklists of meetings, agenda, subject index to documents and speeches, and indexes to speeches by country and by individual. They are especially useful for tracing the debate on a single issue, or the position of a single country.

Index to Proceedings of the General Assembly. 1950-1994, 1996-1999 (Van Pelt JX1977 .A44)

Index to Proceedings of the Economic and Social Council. 1952-1989,1991-1995. (Van Pelt HC59 .A173)

Index to Proceedings of the Security Council. 1964-1988, 1990-1994, 1996-1999. (Van Pelt JX1977 .A5)

Index to Proceedings of the Trusteeship Council. 1952-1987, 1989-1991,1993-1994 . (Van Pelt JX4021 .U32)

UN. General Assembly. Index to Resolutions of the General Assembly. 1946-1970. 2 vols. in 1. (Van Pelt JX 1977 .A426 Index) UN.

Security Council. Index to Resolutions of the Security Council. 1946-1996. (Van Pelt JX1977.8 .S45 U5)

Nations on Record: United Nations General Assembly Roll-call Votes (1946-1973). Oakville-Dundas, Canada: Canada Peace Research Institute, 1975. x, 519, 19p.(Van Pelt Reference JX 1977 .N38) Includes all roll-call votes whether carried or not, but only roll-call votes (i.e., not all the Resolutions that were adopted). Arranged chronologically by session and order of vote. Gives ad hoc title and summary. "Voting charts" show vote of each country on each issue. Subject index. For later voting charts see Index to Proceedings of the General Assembly (Van Pelt Reference JX1977 .A44), or online through UNBISnet .

Index to Resolutions and Other Decisions of the UN Conference on Trade and Development and of the Trade and Development Board, 1964-1972. NY: UN, 1973. 57p. (Van Pelt Reference JX 1977.8 .T73 U5)

United Nations Official Records, 1948-1962: A Reference Catalogue. NY: UN, 1963. 107p. (Van Pelt JX1977 .A38 1963) Chronological list with titles, meeting numbers, symbols, etc.

Books in Print of the United Nations System 1st. ed. NY, UN, 1992. 721p. (Van Pelt Reference JX 1977 Z99 B66 1992)
United Nations Publications Catalogue. 1990- . Biennial. (Van Pelt JX1977 .C37; latest in Reference)

UN. Dag Hammarskjvld Library. United Nations Sales Publications, 1972-1977: Cumulative List with Indexes. NY: UN, 1978. 149p. (Van Pelt Reference JX 1977 A39/1972-77) List by sales number; subject, author, title, and series symbol indexes.

International Bibliography. NY: Unipub, 1973-1991 . (Van Pelt JX1995 .I457) Originally called International Bibliography, Information, Documentation (IBID). Selected annotated bibliography of publications of the UN system and other international organizations. Publications of major public interest.

Human Rights Bibliography: United Nations Documents and Publications, 1980-1990. N.Y: United Nations, 1993. 5 vols. 2048 p. (Van Pelt Reference K 3236 H863 1993) Arranged by category, with author and subject indexes.

Human Rights on CD-ROM. Centre for Human Rights. New York: UN, 1993- . .(Van Pelt Reference Moelis K 3236 H864) "Publication contains bibliographic references to United Nations documents and publications including information taken from the UN materials database (Docfile) of UNBIS, the United Nations Bibliographic Information System.

United Nations Reference Guide in the Field of Human Rights. N.Y: UN, 1993. 124p. (Van Pelt Reference JX 4263 .P3 UN3553 1993) Bibliography of 579 UN publications relating to human rights, in a topical arrangement, with UN document numbers. Subject Index.

A good summary of the history, organization, and work of the United Nations and related agencies through 1965 is provided by Everyone's United Nations: A Complete Handbook of the Activities and Evolution of the UN, 10th ed. (NY: UN, 1986) (Van Pelt Reference JX 1977 A37 E9; earlier editions in the main stacks).

A general updated introduction to the role of UN agencies is Basic Facts about the United Nations (New York: Department of Public Information, UN, 1980- ) (Van Pelt Reference JX 1977 A37 B3 1998; earlier editions in the main stacks).

Bengt Broms, The United Nations (Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1990) (Van Pelt Reference JX 1977 B76 1990), is a 912-page description of the UN with a substantial bibliography.

An excellent ready reference guide that describes functions, structure, current membership and activities of UN agencies is United Nations Handbook (Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of External Relations and Trade, 1976- ) (Van Pelt Library JX 1977 N435; latest, 1997, at Reference Desk).

A good introduction to the UN documentation system and basic bibliographic tools is Peter I. Hajnal, Directory of United Nations Documentary and Archival Sources (Hanover, N.H.: Academic Council on the United Nations System / Millwood, NY: Kraus International / New York: United Nations, 1991) (Van Pelt Reference JX1977.8 D6 H34 1991). For understanding UN documentation it is essential to see the Dag Hammarskjvld Library's own online United Nations Documentation Research Guide.

Joseph Preston Baratta, United Nations System (New Brunswick: Transaction, c1995) (Van Pelt Library JX 1977 B284 1995), is an annotated bibliography of 1360 books and articles on the UN system, arranged by organ and function.

Other useful publications include:

Edmund Jan Osmanczyk, Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Relations, 2nd ed. (New York: Taylor and Francis, 1990) (Van Pelt JX1977 O8213 1990);
Guide to Information at the United Nations (New York: UN, 1995) (Van Pelt Reference Desk and VP JX1977 .A39 1995);
Who's Who in the United Nations, 2d ed., 1992 (Van Pelt Reference JX 1977 W467 1992);
Anjali V. Patil, The UN Veto in World Afairs, 1946-1990 : A Complete Record and Case Histories of the Security Council's Veto (Sarasota, Fla.: UNIFO; London, England: Mansell, 1992) (Van Pelt Reference JX 1977 P374 1992).

To keep up on United Nations activities there are a number of daily, annual, and more irregular, but frequent, publications, as well as online resources. One print annual is A Global Agenda: Issues before the ... General Assembly of the United Nations : An Annual Publication of the United Nations Association of the United States of America. (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, c1991- ) (JX 1977 A1 U5244a; latest two years in Reference).

The UN Chronicle, 1964- (Van Pelt JX 1977 A1 U564; latest issues in Currrent Periodicals), once a monthly, is now published four times a year. Selected articles are available online. The Chronicle is also offered in full text through EBSCO MegaFILE .

The Secretary-General now publishes Annual report on the work of the organization (New York: United Nations, 1997- ) (Van Pelt JX1977 .A3462a).

The most complete guide to the activities of the UN, including detailed organization and membership down to the committee level, is the Yearbook of the United Nations (New York: Office of Public Information, UN, 1947- ) (Van Pelt Reference JX 1977 A37 Y4; latest is 1997). These large yearbooks contain many document references and a subject index.

More current information is provided by Annual Review of United Nations Affairs (Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana,1949- ) (JX 1977 A1 A5; latest two years, 1998-1999, in Reference). Its supplement, Chronology and Fact Book of the United Nations (Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana, 1941- ) (Van Pelt JX1977.A1 C48; latest in Reference), though it ceased publication in 1992, provided a chronological survey of UN-related events, a copy of the UN Charter, rules of procedure for each organ, and tables on membership, presidents, peace-keeping operations, international Decades and Years, and documents.

For keeping up with daily activities, consult the UN's own Conferences and Events web page, which links to the UN Journal, Calendar of Conferences and Meetings, Webcasts from the United Nations, UN Briefing Papers, and more.


The United Nations is a prodigious source for international statistical data. Much of it is now accessible through the web sites of the divisions and agencies of the UN. Use Official Web Locator for the UN System or the more targeted web page of United Nations Statistics Programmes. The United Nations Statistics Division has a direct link to all its online databases. The library has a subscription to the United Nations Common Database, or UNSTATS , an excellent source for time series data. Still, a significant amount still appears only in printed sales publications. One way to view Penn's holdings of printed statistical publications is with the following keyword search in Franklin: publ "united nations" AND skey periodicals AND skey statistics. Among the better known statistical series are:

Statistical yearbook = Annuaire statistique. 1948- . (Van Pelt and Lippincott HA12.5 .U63; latest at Van Pelt Reference desk; latest 10 volumes in Lippincott Reference) Library has 1948-1997. CD-ROM ed. 1993- . (Van Pelt Reference Moelis CD Area HA12.5 .U632; latest only retained) 42nd covers 1980/1996.
Demographic yearbook. Annuaire dimographique. 1948)- . (Biomedical, Lippincott, and Van Pelt HA17 .D45; latest year in Biomedical Reference; latest 10 years in Lippincott Reference; latest year at Van Pelt Reference desk). Library has 1948-1998.
International yearbook of industrial statistics. (Lippincott HC10 .I673; latest 5 years in Lippincott Reference) Library has 1996-2000.
The Least Developed Countries : a Statistical Profile. 1990- . (Van Pelt HC59.7 .L342; latest issue in reference). Library has 1990,1995.
FAO Yearbook. Trade = FAO Annuaire. Commerce = FAO Anuario. Comercio.
Rome : Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1988- .(Lippincott Reference HD9000.4 F58) Library has 1987-1998.
UNCTAD Commodity Yearbook. 1987- . (Lippincott HD9000.2 .Y43; latest year in Reference) Library has 1986-1992,1994-1995.
National Accounts Statistics: Main Aggregates and Detailed Tables. 1985- . (Van Pelt HC79.I5 U532 and Lippincott Reference HC79.I5 U53a; latest issue at Van Pelt Reference desk) Library has 1982-1995
World Population Prospects 1985- . (Lippincott and Van Pelt HA155 .W685; latest in Lippincott Reference) Library has 1984, 1988, 1990, 1994, 1996.