Government Publications: United Nations

A brief guide to locating federal and state government publication for Australia, and selected other countries.

Official Websites

The United Nations delivers vast amounts of information via the internet in at least 6 languages.

United Nations
The official web site of the United Nations headquarters in New York. Look here for daily UN news, UN documents and publications, UN overview information, UN conference information, photos and other UN information resources including webcasts of significant meetings 

Web Site Locator for the UN System of Organizations
Portal to web sites of the UN, its funds and programmes and specialized agencies. Also includes links to key projects and initiatives and to various joint programmes of the UN System.

Information Centre for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific
Lists Depository Libraries Australia, provides information about student internships and contact detail for UN committees, offices and organizations in the region.

The United Nations System
United Nations organisational chart.

Documents and Publications


ODS online
Library full-text database of parliamentary documents and official records of the United Nations available in the official languages of the UN (English, Spanish and French). Includes General Assembly, Security Council, and other Council resolutions from 1946, all UN parliamentary documents from 1992 and various UN daily journals and lists of documents.

UNBISnet: UN bibliographic information system
Web catalogue of UN documentation and publications indexed by the Dag Hammarskjld Library and the Library of the UN Office at Geneva. Coverage is primarily from 1979 onward.

Link on this page to  UNCAPS-Union catalogue of UN system Libraries.  Provides a single point of access to library catalogs, indexes and abstract databases, library holdings, links to full-text resources, and archives.

United Nations Databases

Official Documents and Bibliographic Databases including Treaties and statistics

United Nations Publcations

New titles lists, publications for sale


Historical (Major Collection)

Comprehensive collection of mimeographed and printed documents of the major organs and subsidiary organisations of the UN. It does not cover publications of the specialised agencies of the UN.

Use indexes listed below to access the documents in these collections.

This collection is organised by subject and covers, with some variations 1919-1946. A descriptive guide and key to the microfilm collection is with the collection.


Historical (Index)

UNDEX. United Nations documents index, (1950-1974)
Series A: subject index
Series B: country index
Series C: list of documents issued

Note that this indexes significant publications of the UN main body and subsidiary organizations but not the publications of the Specialized Agencies within the UN systems, eg WHO, World Bank, UNESCO.



United Nations Statistical Databases

United Nations Statistics Division


Library holdings for Historical statistics

Using the keywords: united nations yearbook in a library catalogue search returns approximately sixty major UN statistical publications.

Major statistical serials:

Handbooks and Guides

United Nations Documentation: Research Guide
One of the best guides to United Nations documents is available online from the UN's Dag Hammarskjold Library. It is designed for researchers and information professionals new to United Nations documentation and provides an overview of the various types of documents and publications issued by the organization (eg reports, resolutions, meeting records, sales publications, press releases, etc) with guidance on how to work with them.

UN Human rights research guide

 Yearbook of the United Nations, (1946,7- ), UN, NY.


Earlier guides for historical studies 

Citing and referencing United Nations Documents

Use the Library Guide to Citing and Referencing for different styles where possible

If there is no example available use the style manual for the stye you are using. If this does not provide adequate guidance use the AGLC (Australian Guide to Legal Citation)

The United Nations provides  information on citing and referencing following the Bluebook Style, a US style for citing  legal materials which  includes United Nations documents.  APA and Chicago refer users to the Bluebook style.  We as AGLC as  an alternative to the Bluebook style.

International Agreements, Treaties and Conventions
To reference these you need to find the Volume number, Treaty Series abbreviation,treaty number and date entered into force (EIF). See United Nations Treaty Collection for details.

There is an example of citing a Treaty using the AGLC style on the Citing & Referencing tab of the Law Library Guide.

Some examples of citing International Agreements and Treaties in APA style

United Nations Symbol

United Nations Symbol

Official Records

Library holdings:

  • Official Records of the General Assembly, (1965- ), UN, NY.
    Verbatim record of Plenary Sessions
    Annexes (reports presented to General Assembly bound and organised by Agenda item)
    Supplements (reports of subsidiary bodies to the Assembly)
    Annual Index to Resolutions and Decisions.
  • Official Records of Economic and Social Council, (l963-1997), UN, NY.
    Verbatim record of Plenary Meetings
    Supplements - Annual reports of subsidiary bodies and summary reports of Meetings of these bodies.
    Annual Indexes to Resolutions and Decisions.
  • Official Records, Security Council, (1965-1993), UN, NY.
    Official records of Meetings
    Reports of Subsidiary bodies
    Annual Index to Resolutions and Decisions.
  • Official Records, Trusteeship Council, (1966-1992), UN, NY.
    Brief summary of Meetings, Agenda etc.
    Resolutions and Decisions.

Many reports of the subsidiary bodies to the General Assembly are catalogued as separate titles.


Treaties and International Agreements

United Nations Treaty Collection
Contains the texts of over 50,000 bilateral and multilateral treaties and subsequent treaty actions from the UN and League of Nations documents and other related material.


Library holdings:


General Assembly Resolutions
1946- . Some documents in pdf format.

Security Council Resolutions
1946- . Some documents in pdf format.

Economic and Social Council:


Library holdings (Indexes):

Current News/Media Releases

The internet provides the best access to current information on UN conferences, resolutions from the major organs, and some documents and speeches from the General Assembly

UN News Centre
Alert service to selected just-released UN online information, major reports, publications and documents. Created and maintained by librarians at the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library, NY.

UN news (coverage of daily events including press releases)

Library holdings:

  • UN chronicle
    1975- . This quarterly journal provides the most current information available in printed format about the activities of the UN. It includes statements by the Secretary General, a calendar of forthcoming conferences and events and recent publications of the UN and its specialised agencies.
  • Annual review of United Nations affairs.