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International Government Organizations and Foreign Government Information

Guide Contents


General Information

The United Nations is an Intergovernmental Organization (IGO) made up of many affiliated programs, councils, funds, and organizations such as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), and the International Trade Centre (ITC).  There are approximately 190 member states. Use the tabs above to find organizational links, documents at the library, databases/indexes, and other resources.

"The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights."   --From United Nations at a Glance

Organizational Information

Guides to the United Nations

UN Databases, Digital Libraries, and More

Official Documents of the United Nations  ODS covers all types of official UN documentation beginning in 1993. Older UN documents are added on a daily basis. Also provides access to the resolutions of the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council from 1946 onwards

UNBISNet (UN Bibliographic Information System)  Catalogue of United Nations (UN) documents and publications. Coverage is from 1979 onward, however, older documents are being added on a regular basis. Also provides instant access to a growing number of full text resources in the six official languages of the UN including resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Security Council from 1946 onward. Also provides access to voting records and an index to speeches.

UNData   Global search across many statistical resources of UN organizations; search by topic or keyword.


Index to United Nations Documents and Publications. 1946-present. Media Materials and Reserves (Holland Library, ground floor). JX 1977 .A18 I53x    Follow directions under AccessUN database above for locating a document. Documents from 1946-1981 may be on microcard.

UN Documents at WSU Libraries

UN Documents since 1990

Search the WSU catalog, Search It, to find United Nations publications and documents that have been added to the WSU Libraries' collection. The catalog record will include a link to publications which are electronic.  Documents published before 1990 may not have holdings in WSU catalogs even though we have a copy; ask a reference librarian for help in identifying and accessing these items.

In addition, be sure to search UN databases   "Effective 1 January 2010, distribution within the United Nations Secretariat of printed copies of UN documents and the Journal of the UN has been discontinued. All documents are available in electronic versions on the UN web site and on the Official Documents System (ODS)."  --from the UN Documents web site

AccessUN 1966-2016 (WSU only)   The index provides bibliographic citations to selected current and retrospective documents and other publications, including those from the six main bodies of the United Nations: General Assembly (full text of resolutions from 1981 - onward); Security Council (full-text of resolutions from 1974 – onward); Economic and Social Council (full-text of resolutions from 1982 - onward); Trusteeship Council; Secretariat; International Court of Justice. The index supports access to the microfiche and paper formats of WSU Libraries' UN holdings.

To locate a document:

1. Record the information in the upper left corner of a record: UN Document Number, date, and Readex Year (if "Not Filmed," try to locate in the library catalog or do an ILL request)

2. Go to the UN Readex Microfiche Collection in the Microforms Room (Holland Library 1 st floor); call number JX 1977 .A2, cabinet 18.

3. Use microforms reader/printer/scanner equipment to view, copy, or scan documents

Key Reports Across UN Organizations

Books About the United Nations

Yearbook of the United Nations   Holland and Terrell JZ4947 .Y43   1946-2006

Oxford Handbook on the United Nations Terrell Reference JZ4970.O93 2007

Annual Review of United Nations Affairs Holland and Terrell JX1977.A1 A5

Basic Facts about the United Nations Holland and Terrell JZ4970.B37

Chronology and Fact Book of the United Nations, 1941-1985 Terrell Reference JX1977 .C482

Great Debates at the United Nations: an Encyclopedia of Fifty Key Issues, 1945-2000 Terrell Reference KZ4968 .G67 2001

United Nations University

"United Nations University is a Tokyo-based institution that acts as an international community of scholars, think tanks, and bridges between the UN and the international academic community."

"The United Nations University (UNU) comprises UNU Centre in Tokyo and a worldwide network of Research and Training Centres and Programmes assisted by numerous associated and cooperating institutions.

These core units work in collaboration with each other as well as with a broader network of several designated UNU Associated Institutions and hundreds of cooperating institutions and individual scholars and researchers worldwide." 

--from the UNU System United Nations University Institute of Advanced Study  (UNU-IAS)

Model United Nations

National Model United Nations (NMUN)

The National Collegiate Conference Association (NCCA), a recognized non-governmental organization of the UN Dept. of Public Information, sponsors  NMUN. The programs, "provide a diverse group of informed students and faculty a forum for addressing global concerns in a "real world" context. Conferences address important issues including regional conflicts, peacekeeping, human rights, women and children, economic and social development, and the environment. In its simplest sense, we work to provide student participants with a better understanding of the inner working of the UN as they build skills in diplomacy and compromise."

Stanford University resources page for Model United Nations

This guide identifies a seven-step strategy and key sources that assist Model UN participants in their research. 

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