The United Nations is the largest and most consequential inter-governmental organization. It was established by the UN Charter in 1945 and replaced the earlier League of Nations. It currently has 193 member states. In addition to its primary mandate of maintaining international peace and security, the UN also promotes economic and social development, protects human rights, provides humanitarian aid and disaster relief, and facilitates the development of international law.
Key Resources for Researching the United Nations
- Directory of UN Entities & Affiliated Organizations
Select the type of entity to browse by category. Or use this list to browse alphabetically.
- Directory of UN Online Resources
Resources are listed alphabetically. Use the menu on the left to filter by organization and by topic.
- Access UN
This subscription database includes records containing bibliographic information (title, author, document symbol, etc.) for more than 500,000 UN documents and publications. Coverage is from 1946-present. More than 35,000 of the items indexed are available in full text.
- UN Official Documents System (ODS)
This database includes the full texts of most publicly available UN documents from 1993-present, plus resolutions issued by the General Assembly and the Security Council from 1946-present. Best option for retrieving a known document by its document symbol. Alternatively, search the titles or the full texts of documents by keyword.
- UN Digital Library
This online catalog includes records containing bibliographic information (title, author, document symbol, etc.) about publicly available UN documents from 1979-present, plus selected speeches and public domain publications. In most cases, links to the full texts of documents are provided.
- UN Data
This central access point enables you to search for and download statistics and data sets compiled or aggregated by various UN entities. Use the Advanced Search to limit searches by country, by source or by year. Alternatively, visit this page to browse by data set, by topic, or by source. For additional information, consult the FAQs page.
Research Assistance & Help with Related Topics
If you need assistance with UN research, visit the Research Help page of the Georgetown University Law Library's website. Or contact the Law Library's International and Foreign Law Department by phone (202-662-4195) or by email (email@example.com). Georgetown Law Center students may schedule a one-on-one research consultation with a librarian.
For questions about treaties and international agreements drafted under the auspices of the UN and its affiliated entities, consult the Law Library's guide to Treaty Research. For questions about the universal system of human rights administered by the UN, consult the Law Library's Human Rights Law research guide.