symbol records are created to provide access to UN documentation by
authority-controlled series symbols.
The series symbol is the root of the UN document symbol and represents
the UN body to which a series of documents belongs;
it may also represent a specific session or meeting of a UN body for
which documents are issued, or a series of publications. In UNBIS, the
series symbol is the main entry heading, since it represents the
corporate body primarily responsible for the document.
different types of series symbol authority records are created:
non-sessional series symbol records, and series symbol records
established for specific sessions or meetings. A non-sessional series
symbol record must
be created when a sessional series symbol record is created for a
session or meeting in a new document series. The non-sessional series
symbol record includes certain tags that are not assigned to sessional
series symbol records (490, 680, 690, 925, 930, 950 and 970) while sessional series symbol records have subfields that are not assigned
to non-sessional records: subfield 190 $c containing the session number or year; subfield 975 $b containing the session number, place and dates in English;
and subfield 976 $b containing the session number, place and dates in French.
Symbols of United Nations documents are composed of capital letters combined with numerals,
usually Arabic. When Roman numerals are used they usually indicate the ordinal number of the
session or of the subsidiary organ. The oblique stroke (/) is used to separate the components of the symbol.
No spaces should be recorded within a document symbol except: (a)
between elements in compound phrases in document series symbols (e.g.
TD/B/C.1/IRON ORE/, TD/CODE TOT/); (b) cases where spaces occur between
words (e.g. income sect.1, Part One). A space between a word and a
number should be omitted: A/62/17(PartI), S/PV.6201(Resumption1).
Click on the following links to go to specific information:
The basic series elements of the five principal United Nations organs are:
|A/ ||General Assembly|
|E/ || Economic and Social Council|
|S/ || Security Council|
|T/ || Trusteeship Council|
|ST/ || Secretariat|
Special basic series symbols have been established for certain bodies, e.g.:
||United Nations Administrative Tribunal|
||International Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination|
||United Nations Development Programme|
||United Nations Industrial Development Organization|
|| United Nations Conference on Trade and Development|
|| United Nations Environment Programme|
|| United Nations Institute for Training and Research|
|| World Food Council|
The documents of the subsidiary organs normally carry a symbol consisting of the basic series symbol of the parent body plus one or more of the following elements:
|| Ad hoc committee or similar body|
|| Standing, permanent or sessional committee|
|| Governing Council|
|| Preparatory committee|
|| Working Group|
|| Working Party|
Basic series of subsidiary organs are usually numbered in the order of their establishment
The documents of some subsidiary organs bear a symbol consisting of the basic series symbol
of the parent body followed by the acronym of the subsidiary organ, e.g.:
|| Special Political Committee of the General Assembly|
|| Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia|
|| United Nations Children's Fund|
These elements appear as part of the document symbol preceding the document number,
following the document series symbol, and provide information about the type of document.
They are not part of the document series symbol.
i) Elements denoting the nature of the document:
|-/INF.|| Information series|
|-/NGO/ ||Documents containing communications from non-governmental organizations|
|-/PV. ||Verbatim reports of meetings (procès-verbaux)|
|-/RES/ ||Mimeographed texts of adopted resolutions|
|-/RT/ ||Record of testimony|
|-/SR. ||Summary records of meetings|
|-/WP. ||Working paper|
ii) Elements denoting modification of the text:
|-/Summary ||Summarized version|
|-/- * ||Reissuance of a document for technical reasons|
iii) Elements denoting distribution category:
by the Department of Public Information (DPI), Dag Hammarskjöld
Library. Comments as well as suggestions for further
additions/enhancements may be directed to the Dag Hammarskjöld Library.
© United Nations 2004-2009. All rights reserved.
Last updated: 16 October 2009