Databases of the United Nations

Most of the databases of the UN System are freely accessible for everyone except for “Optical Disk System (ODS)“, “UN Treaty Collection“, “United Nations Statistics Division Common Database (UNSTATS)“ und “Monthly Bulletin of Statistics (MBS) On-line“. For these databases UNRIC Brussels has password protected access.

Bibliographische Information zu UNO-Dokumenten Bibliographic Information
UNO-Pressemitteilungen UN Press Releases
Statistische Daten und Länderinformation Statistics and Country Information
Völkerrecht International Law (UN Treaties)
Menschenrechte Human Rights
Flüchtlingsfragen und Humanitäre Notlagen Refugees and Humanitarian Affairs
Bevölkerungsfragen Population Issues
Palästinafrage Question of Palestine
Umwelt Environment
Nichtregierungsorganisationen NGOs
UNO-Terminologie UN Terminology


Bibliographic Information on UN documentation

ODS - Official Documents System of the United Nations

ODS, the premier full-text web resource for official United Nations documentation, is available to the general public as of 31 December 2004.  The ODS covers all types of official United Nations documentation originating from duty stations worldwide. Comprehensive coverage starts in 1993. The ODS also provides access to the resolutions of the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council from 1946 onwards.

UNBISnet (United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library)

  • Bibliographic Search
    Catalogue of United Nations(UN) documents and publications indexed by the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library and the Library of the UN Office at Geneva. Also included are commercial publications and other non-UN sources held in the collection of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library. The coverage of UNBISnet is from 1979 onward, however, older documents are being added to the catalogue on a regular basis as a result of retrospective conversion. UNBISnet also provides instant access to a growing number of full text resources in the six official languages of the UN (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish), including resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Security Council from 1946 onward.
  • Voting Records
    The voting records for all resolutions which were adopted - either without a vote or by roll-call or recorded vote - by the General Assembly beginning with its 38th session (1983-) and the Security Council beginning with its 1st year (1946-). Links to the full text of resolutions are provided.
  • Index to Speeches
    Citations to speeches made in the General Assembly beginning with its 38th session (1983-), the Security Council beginning with its 38th year (1983-), the Economic and Social Council beginning in 1983 and the Trusteeship Council beginning with its 15th special session (1982). Links to the full text of speeches are provided.

UN-I-QUE : United Nations Info Quest (Dag Hammarskjöld Library)

UN-I-QUE (UN Info Quest), a ready-reference file created by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library to respond to frequently asked questions, is designed to provide quick access to document symbols/sales numbers for UN materials (1946 onwards). It does not give full bibliographic details nor does it replace existing bibliographic databases (UNBISnet, UNBIS Plus on CD-ROM) produced by the Library. UN-I-QUE focuses upon documents and publications of a recurrent nature: annual/sessional reports of committees/commissions; annual publications; reports periodically/irregularly issued; reports of major conferences; statements in the General Debate; etc. Information within each record is presented in reverse chronological order to facilitate identification of the most recent data.

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Press Releases of the United Nations

UN Press Releases

Press releases, which are not considered official documents, serve information purposes only. They constitute, however, a valuable tool for research on current topics since they are produced well in advance of official documents.
Press releases are available in full text since 13 October 1995.

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Statistics and Country Information

United Nations Statistics Division Common Database

The Statistics Division compiles statistics from many international sources and produces global updates, including the Statistical Yearbook, World Statistics Pocketbook and yearbooks in specialized fields of statistics. It also provides to countries, specifications of the best methods of compiling information so that data from different sources can be readily compared.

Unrestricted free access is provided to selected global datasets, such as the Millennium Indicators Database, which presents 48 social and economic indicators and related series by country and year since 1985, and the Social Indicators set. Subscribers to the United Nations Common Database, Monthly Bulletin of Statistics, Population and Vital Statistics Report and Trade data by commodities and partners have access to a vast selection of the latest data in economic and social statistics and international trade.

United Nations CyberSchoolBus: InfoNation

InfoNation is an easy-to-use, two-step database that allows you to view and compare the most up-to-date statistical data for the Member States of the United Nations. In this first menu, you can select up to seven countries.Then, you can proceed to the data menu where you will be able to select statistics and other data fields.

Country at a Glance

Pick a UN Member States and view their statistics - one at a time.

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International Law

United Nations Treaty Collection (access only with subscription)

Under Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations, “Every treaty and every international agreement entered into by any Member of the United Nations after the present Charter comes into force shall as soon as possible be registered with the Secretariat and published by it“.
This collection includes five categories of treaty-related data:

  • Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General
  • The United Nations Treaty Series
  • Texts of Recently Deposited Multilateral Treaties
  • Photographs of Treaty Signature Ceremonies
  • Titles of the Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General in the UN official languages

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Human Rights

United Nations Human Rights Documents

Five databases contain most of the documents available on UNHCHR website: the Charter-based bodies database, the treaty bodies database, the press releases database and the statements database (under the News Room), and the human rights education database. Documents contained in these databases can be accessed directly from the databases' homepages (top of this page) or from the relevant menus of the site.

Although the criteria for classification varies from database to database, some basic criteria are common to the first four: country, body, symbol, subject, and year (except for the treaty-bodies database for the last two).

  • Charter-based bodies database
    The Charter-based bodies database contains all human rights documents (reports, resolutions, decisions, summary records, etc.) issued since 1994 by the main bodies with major human rights responsibilities established by the Charter of the United Nations. These are the General Assembly, the Commission on Human Rights, and the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. Some important reports and resolutions from the Economic and Social Council and the Security Council are also included in this database.
    The database is available in three languages: English, French and Spanish.
  • Treaty-bodies database
    The treaty bodies database contains all documents issued since 1992 by the six committees established to monitor the implementation of the principal international human rights treaties (also referred as “treaty monitoring bodies“ or “treaty bodies“). These are the Human Rights Committee; the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Committee against Torture; the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; and the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
    The database contains the full-text documents in English, French and Spanish.

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Refugees and Humanitarian Affairs

UNHCR Country of Origin and Legal information (formerly known as“REFWORLD“)
(United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)

These databases, containing Country of Origin Information (COI) and Legal Information, have been compiled by UNHCR and consist of carefully selected reports and documents. The information in them is focused on the needs of UNHCR staff (protection officers, field officers, legal officers), non-governmental organizations, government asylum officers involved in the status determination process, judges, lawyers and academics.

ReliefWeb (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)

ReliefWeb is the world’s premier electronic clearinghouse for those needing timely information on humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters – designed specifically to help the humanitarian community improve its response to emergencies.
Contains daily information updates on more than 40 humanitarian emergencies.
Searchable database of over 100,000 documents dating back to 1981, updated every half-hour from locations in New York and Geneva, and soon in Asia.

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Population Issues

POPIN: United Nations Population Information Network

The Population Information Network (POPIN) was founded on 9 May 1979, by resolution 1979/33 of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. POPIN strives to make international, regional and national population information, particularly information available from United Nations sources, easily available to the international community. The development of POPIN was partially supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Development Gateway: Portal on Population and Reproductive Health

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Development Gateway Foundation have launched the POP/RH Portal, an Internet initiative focusing on population and reproductive health. The Portal will provide a community-built database of shared population information, including data, research, projects, ideas and dialogue. It will also seek to promote innovative knowledge-sharing arrangements among expert organizations in the field.
The POP/RH Portal is being built in collaboration with 12 partner institutions from the population community, linking it to resources on their Web sites and to those of other population and development organizations. It covers the key topics and actions identified in both the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) convened in Cairo in 1994 and the 1999 United Nations General Assembly special session which reviewed implementation of the ICPD.

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Question of Palestine

UNISPAL - UN Information System on the Question of Palestine

The United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) was established and is being developed by the Division for Palestinian Rights in response to successive General Assembly mandates. The main collection contains the texts of current and historical United Nations material concerning the question of Palestine and other issues related to the Middle East situation and the search for peace. UNISPAL contains largely the English texts of United Nations documents with a growing number of links to the texts of the other official UN languages.

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UNEP.Net: Environment Network

UNEP.Net delivers authoritative environmental information from a broad range of information and data providers committed to making their information freely available to the whole spectrum of users of environmental information.

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Non-Governmental Organizations

Directory of NGOs associated with DPI

This directory will give you access to information related to Non-Governmental Organizations associated with the Department of Public Information. You can search for information by the name of the organization, the region where the organization's headquarters is located, or the organization's main area of interest.

Search Engine & NGO Database
(NGOs in consultative Status with the ECOSOC)

The searchable Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Database contains information about the organizations that have Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations ECOSOC).

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UN Terminology

United Nations Multilingual Terminology Database

NTERM is a multilingual terminology database which provides United Nations nomenclature and special terms in all six official UN languages - English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic. The database is
mainly intended for use by the language and editorial staff of the United Nations to ensure consistent translation of common terms and phrases used within the Organization. UNTERM is maintained by the terminology team of the Terminology and Reference Section, Documentation Division, DGACM. Technical support is provided by IMTU/OUSG/DGACM and ITSD/CSS/DM.

DETERM: United Nations Terminology in German with English, French and Spanish equivalents
Database of the German Translation Section)

DETERM is an extract of the terminology database originally developed for internal purposes by the German Translation Section (GTS) of the United Nations Secretariat, New York. In January 2000 DETERM comprised approximately 6370 records. The database is continuously updated and expanded. In addition to the names of bodies and organizations of the U.N. system, DETERM contains names of other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, conferences and treaties, documents of a programmatic nature, commemorations, selected national nomenclature (e.g. parties/factions, liberation movements, etc.) as well as resolution terminology. Acronyms, informal names and a number of obsolete terms (names of defunct bodies, etc.) have also been included. Moreover, numerous U.N.-specific technical terms may be derived indirectly from the nomenclature.
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