Virtual Library

This WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources is an Internet directory of over 2000 annotated links to high-quality English-language sources of information and analysis in many international and global studies topics. Sites are carefully selected for their long-term value, favoring those with cost-free, authoritative information and analysis online.


Searches within the UN System
Some Key UN Websites
Analytical Sources about the UN

Searches within the United Nations System

About the United Nations-- Explanatory U.N. page to access the principal organs, committees, commissions, agencies, institutes, and other entities and issues of the United Nations. The A to Z Site Index is a helpful directory, with a search facility.

Directory of United Nations System Organizations-- Official website locator that "
categorizes and links to UN system and related organizations."

Researching the United Nations: Finding the Organization's Internal Resource Trails-- Guide by Linda Tashbook, of the Library of the Law School of the University of Pittsburgh.

United Nations Bibliographic Information System-- "Catalogue of United Nations documents and publications indexed by the U.N.'s Dag Hammarskjöld Library and the Library of the U.N. Office at Geneva... [plus] commercial publications and other non-U.N. sources held in the collection of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library." Also "provides instant access to a growing number of full text resources in the six official languages of the U.N." Use the BISNET Index to Speeches search engine to find official addresses given at the U.N. and the Voting Records search engine to find member votes on all General Assembly and Security Council resolutions adopted since 1946.

United Nations Digital Library-- Provides easy access to the vast quantity of U.N. "documents, votes, speeches, public domain publications and more," with search tips and guide.

United Nations iLibrary-- "The first comprehensive global search, discovery, and viewing source for digital content created by the United Nations. It provides... a single digital destination for seamlessly accessing publications, databases, journals, data, working papers, and series published by the United Nations Secretariat, and its funds and programs."

United Nations Official Documents-- Includes quick links and search facility for online access to "all types of official United Nations documentation, beginning in 1993," plus "resolutions of the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council from 1946 onwards," with online training guides and expanding coverage.
"Designed for researchers and information professionals with an interest in United Nations documentation... an overview of the various types of documents and publications issued by the Organization (e.g, reports, resolutions, meeting records, sales publications, press releases) and... guidance on how to work with them."

United Nations: Online Data Repositories and Resources-- Very useful review article about global, country, and topical resources and search tools available within the U.N. system, with recommendations and hyperlinks, from the January 2017 issue of College and Research Libraries News, of the American Library Association.

United Nations Research Guides-- From the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, "presents an overview of selected UN documents, publications, databases and websites," by subject and UN organs and databases. Note especially the UN Documentation Research Guide. Regular researchers will find the Dag Hammarskjöld Library News blog to be helpful.

United Nations Security Council resolutions since 1946 are located in an archive section. "Data access system to U.N. databases... a single entry point from which users can now search and download a variety of statistical resources of the UN System." Very helpful, searches scores of millions of UN records. From the United Nations Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

U.N. Pulse-- Blog that "alerts you to selected just-released U.N. online information, major reports, publications and documents. Created and maintained by a team of reference librarians at the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York, U.N. Pulse is updated as new information is published and received."

Yearbook of the United Nations (Archive)-- "The Yearbook is the principal reference work of the United Nations and provides a detailed overview of the Organization's activities. Each Yearbook is fully indexed and includes all major General Assembly, Security Council and Economic and Social Council resolutions. The complete collection [since 1946-47] is available here."

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Some Key United Nations Websites

•  United Nations Home Page-- From the U.N. Department of Public Information, organized by topics and general information.

•  Dag Hammarskjöld Library-- From the United Nations Department of Public Information, with material available online. Of particular note are the United Nations Research Guides, for an overview of and access to the various types of U.N. documents, publications, and other resources. Also consult UN-I-QUE: United Nations Info Quest for quick access to document symbols/sales numbers for U.N. materials since 1946. Note UN Member States on the Record, which "provides direct access to official documents reflecting the views of United Nations Member States."

•  Food and Agriculture Organization-- Includes a World Food Situation section. The Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture has reports and databases for information on the world food and agriculture situation. At FAO's searchable Document Repository you can access and view full-text documents from FAO and related IGOs. FAOSTAT "provides free access to food and agriculture data for over 245 countries and territories and covers all FAO regional groupings from 1961 to the most recent year available."

•  Global Issues-- Summaries of principal global issues, with links to relevant U.N. bodies, U.N. publications and materials, and other authoritative online sources.

•  Human Development Report Office of the United Nations Development Programme-- This annual Report is a comprehensive guide to global human development, with analyses of major issues, updated Human Development Indicators to compare the relative levels of human development in over 175 countries, and an agenda to help transform development priorities. Portions are available online, Occasional Papers, and links to national HDRs.

•  Library of the United Nations Office at Geneva-- Site allows access to information on Library holdings (searchable online catalog), recent acquisitions, archives, bibliographies, publications, e-resources, U.N. system resources, special events, and more.

•  U.N. Women-- The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women's site describes the entity's work, and that of others, to promote women's empowerment and gender equality. Posts news and online publications on women's issues around the world, including the biennial Progress of the World's Women and the World Survey on the Role of Women in Development.

•  U.N. Women Watch-- Women Watch is a gateway to UN information and data on women worldwide and a forum on global women's issues, to provide up to date information on the UN's work on behalf of the women of the world, track the global agenda for improving the status of women, and constitute an electronic space for exchange of information and ideas on women's issues.

•  United Nations Children's Fund-- Statistics and publications online about the situation and rights of children worldwide, including the annual report State of the World's Children.

•  United Nations Chronicle-- Articles and special features from this official publication on "information, ideas and debate about the U.N. system," with archive.

•  United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)-- "The United Nations agency for human settlements... mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all." Posts many UN-HABITAT publications, news, statistics, and partnerships, both globally and by country.

•  United Nations News Centre--  From the U.N. Department of Public Information, "A world of news from the world organization," with searchable global and U.N. news sources, press briefings, and analysis, with archives. A webcast site shows U.N. news, events, and documentary videos. The United Nations YouTube Channel posts many videos and live streams. A U.N. Radio site is also available.

•  United Nations Statistics Division-- Provides a wide range of statistics, with some free databases online, and some by subscription only, plus links to other sources of national and international statistics. Note the free annual World Statistics Pocketbook in PDF.

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Analytical Sources about the United Nations

•  Academic Council on the United Nations System-- "Organization and network promoting innovative and advanced scholarship anf greater academic-practictioner dialogue about the United Nations, international organization(s), and global governance." Posts scholarly publications, videos, and podcasts "to stimulate, support, and disseminate research and analysis on the United Nations, multilateralism, and international organization."

•  Global Governance Watch-- "Joint project of the American Enterprise Institute and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies... to raise awareness of the growing global governance movement and to address issues of transparency and accountability at the United Nations, in NGOs, and related international organizations. In particular, the project monitors issues of national sovereignty and the ways in which the agendas of international organizations influence domestic politics."

•  Global Policy Forum-- Independent NGO "to monitor policy making at the United Nations, promote accountability of global decisions, educate and mobilize for global citizen participation, and advocate on vital issues of international peace and justice," with much information and analysis online.

•  Google's United Nations news search page-- Excellent and focused search engine to retrieve news about the United Nations. Offers an e-mail news alert service.

•  PassBlue-- "Independent, women-led digital publication offering in-depth journalism on the US-UN relationship and its effects on women’s issues, human rights, peacekeeping and other urgent global matters, as reported from our base in the UN press corps." From the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

•  Security Council Report-- Independent, non-profit organization based at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza in New York City, that posts monthly forecasts, updates, and reports about activities and statistics of the U.N. Security Council, and also about major issues and world regional situations. Also see What's in Blue, a "series of insights produced by Security Council Report on evolving Security Council actions."

•  U.N. Dispatch-- Offers "commentary and coverage on the U.N. and U.N.-related issues," for "thoughtful perspective," "factual information," and fact-checking about claims concerning the U.N. Sponsored by the United Nations Foundation.

•  U.N. Wire-- Free daily independent news briefing by e-mail covering the United Nations, global affairs, and key international issues from the United Nations Foundation and SmartBrief.

•  United Nations Association of the United States of America--  Dedicated to promoting U.S. participation in the United Nations system and to strengthening the U.N. system. Online forums, materials on education and public research, substantive policy analysis, policy advocacy, U.S.-U.N. relations, and links.

•  United States Mission to the United Nations-- Official website of the US delegation with information about the mission, press releases, fact sheets, official speeches, US policy positions on major issues, and so forth. Also note the annual reports of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Organization Affairs on U.S. participation in the U.N. and the voting practices of each of the members of the U.N.

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This section of the WWW Virtual Library system was created, and is edited and maintained, by Dr. Wayne A.Selcher, Professor of International Studies Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022-2288  U.S.A., as a volunteer and non-profit public service. This website copyright 1997-present by Wayne A. Selcher. E-mail: