What does the United Nations “say” about global agenda? An exploration of trends using natural language processing for machine learning

How has the focus of the UN General Assembly changed over time and how well is the global agenda expressed in these documents? This paper presents a proof-of-concept classifier to examine the evolution of the global agenda expressed and observed in words of the UN General Assembly resolutions. Using natural language processing to identify four categories of resolutions — Sustainable Development, Justice and Law, Human Rights, and Peace and Security — the analysis of 3,765 UN GA resolutions from 2007 to 2019 reveals the changing areas of focus of the Member States and, as a result, of the UN Secretariat. Sustainable Development is slowly gaining importance in the language in UN resolutions.

File date: 
Friday, October 23, 2020

Namsuk Kim and Marcelo LaFleur

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