PowerPoint - United Nations

United Nations Information
General Assembly committees
Background information on UN
Secondary sources
• Max Planck, law review articles, etc.
United Nations Yearbooks
• HeinOnline: “United Nations Law
Collection” library
Encyclopedia of the United Nations
• Reference KZ4968 .O84 2003
Charter of the United Nations
Available online:
• http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/
Simma’s Charter of the United Nations:
A Commentary
• KZ4991 .C48
Charter of the United Nations:
Commentary and Documents
• KZ4991 .G66 1969
Exercise #1
Find the authentic, full text version of
the UN Charter and provide its proper
• Hint: Because it authorized the creation of
the UN, it couldn’t be registered at the
UN…so, which country do you think might
keep the official copy?
Symbols of the Main Bodies
A/- : General Assembly
 S/- : Security Council
 E/- : Economic & Social Council
 T/- : Trusteeship Council
 ST/- : Secretariat
UN Documents
Types of UN Documents
Resolutions and Drafts
 Agendas
 Reports and Letters
 Meeting Records
Locating documents on the UN site
How to locate UN documents generally
Step 1
• If you are not sure what exactly you are
looking for, start by looking for a press
release or news article that gives you
context for what you should be searching
– i.e., if you are researching the rights of women
in armed conflict, you might have taken notice
of this excerpt from a recent Economist article:
“In 2008 the UN Security Council officially
acknowledged that rape has been used as a
tool of war.”
How to locate UN documents generally
Step 2
• Figure out what you know before you start
– In our example, we know the following search
• Date: 2008
• Body: Security Council (S)
• Topic: rape
– What we don’t know:
• What type of document it is (resolution, etc.)
• What it’s official title is
How to locate UN documents generally
Step 3
• Search the UN’s ODS using the keywords
you have, then limit the results using the
facets on the right-hand side of the results
Search by exact
phrase only if you
are SURE you know
Use facets on the side bar to limit
results to only those you want—
remember, we know that it was a
issued in 2008
By using facets, we reduced the results
from 53 to a more manageable 8
Now use your
judgment to select
the most relevant
Read document to locate other relevant,
related document citations
How to locate UN docs by citation
If you already have a citation (e.g.
S/2008/364), use the “Search by symbol”
feature of the UN Documentation system:
You must select the
language you want the
document retrieved in
before you get the result
Example #2
Locate this UN document:
• What date was it issued?
Locating General Assembly resolutions
From the main “Documents” page, scroll
down under “General Assembly” and
select “Resolutions”
Locating General Assembly resolutions
Then select the GA session the
document was issued in
Voting records
are also linked
Since resolutions are
listed in
chronological order,
use CTRL+F to find
your keyword on the
Example #3
“..the two deals follow a UN resolution in
2008 on creating a legal regime for
• Locate this resolution and provide it’s
official citation
Locating voting records and speeches
If you want to locate a voting record or
speech by a certain individual, use
Again, you must select
the language you want
the document retrieved in
before you get the result
Example #4
Who gave more speeches at the UN
during their presidency—Clinton or
Example #5
What two countries voted against
 Click on “United Nations Treaty Series”
 Do not be fooled by the presence of a
search box…this database is awful
 Try doing an Advanced Search and
limiting to as many set fields as possible
Locate the agreement between
Hungary and Iraq on cooperation in
radio, television, cinema, theater, and
news, of October 11, 1961
Example #6
Locate the Air transport Agreement
between Luxemburg and Iceland,
October 23, 1952
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