UN Yearbook goes online, bringing the Organization’s work closer to the public

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at launch of UN Yearbook website

9 October 2008 – The Yearbook of the United Nations, the basic reference book on the work of the Organization, went online today, placing 60 years of UN activities at the disposal of the public.

The new website – unyearbook.un.org – provides free public access to the 59 volumes and over 60,000 pages of the Yearbook collection, detailing the work and achievements of the UN system over the first six decades of its existence, from 1946 through 2005.

“This is a tremendous step forward,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the launch of the website today at UN Headquarters. “UN Yearbooks document all major events, with information and analysis on virtually every UN resolution and decision.”

“I have a full set of the Yearbooks in my office, and I’ll always treasure it,” he added. “But I will definitely be using this new online version. With just a few clicks, anyone can search through this comprehensive historical record.”

The new site incorporates a user-friendly search function, allowing users to locate any Yearbook reference using key words, phrases or document symbols, by year or range of years. Search results can be displayed in plain text or as a printable PDF file.

“The online edition will not only prove a boon to academics and experts, “said at the launch Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, “but will also help show the people of the world, who are served by the UN system, that the Organization does make a real difference, and can continue to do so with their support.”

“For instance,” he said, “as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December, its significance to the principles and purposes of the UN is documented in each volume of the Yearbook since the Declaration. Now anyone will be able not only to read the Declaration but also to find a detailed history of how it came into being and to learn how it continues to be relevant today – all with a few keystrokes and all in one place.”

The Yearbook of the United Nations is the most comprehensive and authoritative reference work on the UN. Each volume provides analysis, is fully indexed, and includes the texts of, and votes on, all major General Assembly, Security Council and Economic and Social Council resolutions and decisions.

Yearbook chapters are currently divided into five parts, covering: political and security questions; human rights; economic and social questions; legal questions; and institutional, administrative and budgetary questions. The online version reproduces all Yearbook volumes up to and including the 1,682-page 2005 edition.

The launch kicked off the first-ever UN Book Days event, organized by the UN Department of Public Information on 9 and 10 October at UN Headquarters to showcase information products and services of the UN system and intergovernmental organizations.


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