20 January 1997


To: Members of the staff

From: The Assistant Secretary-General for Public Information





1. The present instruction establishes the policy guidelines for the use of maps in documents, publications and other papers, either in hard copy or in electronic format, which are issued by the United Nations Secretariat. This instruction does not apply to maps annexed to communications prepared by Member States and circulated at their request.

2. Many maps published in United Nations issuances are prepared by the Cartographic Section of the Department of Public Information. Others are done by outside firms, or prepared in the field, or taken from non-United Nations sources. A map or maps may form the principal part of a United Nations document or be ancillary to other materials.

3. In view of the sensitive nature of cartographic documents, prior to the issuance of any map at any duty station, including dissemination via public electronic networks such as Internet, clearance must be sought from the Cartographic Section of the Department of Public Information in order to ensure that maps meet publication standards and that they are not in contravention of existing United Nations policies. As necessary, the Cartographic Section will confer with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and the Office of Legal Affairs. Maps that have been reviewed previously by the Cartographic Section and are to be reproduced in unaltered form need not be resubmitted to that Section prior to issuance unless political or policy changes in the interim suggest such a review is needed. It is the responsibility of the author departments to ensure that this is the case.

4. When maps are taken from non-United Nations sources the author departments shall be responsible for obtaining appropriate permission for reproduction. Each map should be accompanied by an attribution or a United Nations copyright notice.

5. Whenever possible, the Cartographic Section should be consulted well in advance of map preparation. Ample time must be allotted for review procedures and for the possible execution of revisions.

6. One of the disclaimer forms set forth in the annex to the present instruction should be used in connection with every map issued under the responsibility of the United Nations. Certain circumstances may require a special statement, which will be provided by the Cartographic Section in consultation with the Office of Legal Affairs.



Short forms

The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

Les frontières et les noms indiqués et les désignations employées sur cette carte n'impliquent pas reconnaissance ou acceptation officielle par l'Organisation des Nations Unies.

Los límites y los nombres y las designaciones que figuran en este mapa no implican su apoyo o aceptación oficial por las Naciones Unidas.

Long forms

The designations employed and the presentation of material on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Les appellations employées dans cette carte et la présentation des données qui y figurent n'impliquent de la part du Secrétariat de l'Organisation des Nations Unies aucune prise de position quant au statut juridique des pays, territoires, villes ou zones, ou de leurs autorités, ni quant au tracé de leurs frontières ou limites.

Las denominaciones empleadas en este mapa y la forma en que aparecen presentados los datos que contiene no implican, de parte de la Secretaría de las Naciones Unidas, juicio alguno sobre la condición jurídica de países, territorios, ciudades o zonas, o de sus autoridades, ni respecto de la delimitación de sus fronteras o límites.