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Researching the United Nations

U.N. Agencies and Subsidiary Bodies

Some of the most visible UN operations are not conducted directly by the Principal Organs, but rather by subsidiary bodies. These take the shape of boards, commissions, committees, councils and panels, working groups and others.

Examples: United Nations Development Program (UNDP) or the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Other U.N. Documents

These U.N. Subsidiary Bodies produce their own documentation:

  •       Reports
  •       Draft or pending treaties and agreements
  •       Standards or criteria
  •       Resolutions
  •       Regulations
  •       Verbatim Records
  •       Letters  
Where do I find them?

Besides the “usual suspects” (i.e. ODS, UN Digital Library), you can often find specialized agency documents on that agency’s website.

In addition, a specialized agency that serves as a depositary for any treaty or convention will generally maintain detailed information at its website regarding each such treaty or convention.

Example: United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs