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United Nations System

United Nations
International organization of 191 sovereign States, representing virtually every country in the world. The UN Charter sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes: to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The United Nations has six main organs; the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the Secretariat, and the International Court of Justice.

Indexes United Nations documents and publications from 1946 to current; includes full-text resolutions from the General Assembly, Security Council, and the Economic and Social Council, and other selected full-text documents. Available to campus users through a Morris Library subscription.

UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library
Includes helpful research guides.

General Assembly

Security Council

Economic and Social Council

Trusteeship Council


International Court of Justice (ICJ)
Principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Includes the Statute of the Court and other Basic Documents; Reports to the General Assembly, and documents and information related to selected cases before the court since 1947. For contentious cases, the documents include Application, Written Pleadings, Oral Pleadings, Orders, and Judgment(s).

Specialized Agencies
Autonomous organizations joined to the UN through special agreements.

  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
    UN specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights.
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)
    Organization of 184 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty.
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
    Promotes international co-operation among its Member States and Associate Members in the fields of education, science, culture, and communication.
  • World Bank Group
    Development Bank which provides loans, policy advice, technical assistance and knowledge sharing services to low and middle income countries to reduce poverty.
  • World Health Organization
    WHO's objective, as set out in its Constitution, is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. Health is defined in WHO's Constitution as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
    International organization dedicated to promoting the use and protection of works of the human spirit. These works -- intellectual property -- are expanding the bounds of science and technology and enriching the world of the arts. Through its work, WIPO plays an important role in enhancing the quality and enjoyment of life, as well as creating real wealth for nations.

International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea
Includes proceedings, judgments, and basic documents.

International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is an independent international organisation. In accordance with article 2 of the Rome Statute, its relationship with the United Nations system is governed by an agreement that has been approved by the Assembly of States Parties and will be concluded by the President of the Court on its behalf.

Related Organization

  • International Atomic Energy Association
    Works with Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.
  • World Trade Organization
    International organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations; the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world's trading nations and ratified in their parliaments, are the founding charter of the organization and the basis for everything the WTO does.

Electronic Information System for International Law (EISIL)
Database of authenticated primary materials, authoritative websites, and helpful research guides to a broad range of international law topics on the Internet. Users can connect directly to the web resource that interests them by clicking on its title, but will also find valuable added information through a "More Information" link, including legal citations, entry into force and signature dates, amendments and brief descriptions. Go to "About EISIL" for more information on the project.
Publisher: American Society for International Law.

See also Intergovernmental Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, and other Foreign and International Law Resources.


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