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International Documents

References: International | Acquiring International Documents | Databases for International Documents | Development Information from Government Sources | European Union Documents | Human Rights Information from Government Sources | GATT/WTO Documents at Stanford | IGO/NGO Search | International Information on the Environment | Model United Nations Research at Stanford | Sources of Comparative International Statistics | Treaties and Other International Agreements | United Nations Documents | United Nations Specialized Agencies

United Nations Specialized Agencies

Guide to Government Publications Series


There are sixteen International Government Organizations (IGO's) whose activities are coordinated through the machinery of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Each of these "Specialized Agencies" functions on an autonomous basis, with their own charter, budget, governing boards, staff, and publishing operations. These organizations make annual or biennial reports to the Economic and Social Council. The General Assembly can examine their budgets and make recommendations. However, each Specialized Agency exercises final control over its operations.

This page describes how to find publications and documents from the Specialized Agencies within Stanford. Wherever available, information on online and internet access to Specialized Agency information resources is provided, as well as basic bibliographies and any special collections of materials. In general, the major publications from each organization can be found by searching Socrates..


Brimmer, Brenda et al. A Guide to the Use of United Nations Documents (Including Reference to the Specialized Agencies and Special U.N. Bodies). Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana, 1962.
Green-SSRC Z6485.B7
Although published over thirty years ago, remains the best single source for understanding the documentation of the major IGO's as well as research strategies. Lists basic texts, document series, publications and indexes for each of the specialized agencies.

Europa World Year Book. London: Europa, 1978- .
Green Stk; Latest IC, c.2 SSRC latest only JN106.E85
Extensive descriptions of the United Nations main organs and Specialized Agencies. Descriptions include addresses, phone and fax numbers, organizational histories and functions, and major publications.

Harley, J. Eugene. Documentary Textbook on the United Nations Los Angeles: Center for International Understanding, 1947.
Stanford Auxiliary Library 341.643.H285
Extensive bibliography and source texts related to the United Nations, Specialized Agencies, and other international organizations and agreements.

United Nations Handbook Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of External Relations and Trade. 1976-
Green Library Stacks JX1977.A37 U5; Latest in SSRC.
Annual compilation describing UN-related bodies and agencies, Specialized Agencies, regional development banks and other IGO's. Descriptions include functions, structure, current membership and activities.


International Bibliography (1973-1991).
Green-SSRC Z6482.I55
Until it ceased publication in 1991, very useful index to publications of the major IGOs, including monographs and journal articles.

PAIS International New York: Public Affairs Information Service, 1972-
Web and print-based index to English and foreign language books, pamphlets, journal articles, and government publications in the area of public affairs and public policy. Print versions going back to 1915 are available in General Reference (Z7163.P3) and several other library locations. The web version is available at:

Index to International Statistics/ Statistical Universe. 1983-
Green-SSRC Z7552.I53
Index to statistics published by international organizations. Also available for searching electronically as part of Statistical Universe, a web-based product available at

UN Documents Index. 1950-1973.
During 1950-1962, this comprehensive index to United Nations documents also indexed selected documents and publications of the UN specialized agencies.

UNS/SABIR: United Nations System/Selected Agencies Bibliographic Information Records [CD-ROM]. 1st ed., 1992.
Green-SSRC Z7164.E2U55
Compiled by the UN Advisory Committee for the Co-ordination of Information Systems (ACCIS), this CD-ROM contains over 300,000 records for 32 international agencies including nearly all of the specialized agencies.


Since its inception in 1945, the FAO has helped governments improve the production, processing, marketing, and distribution of food and agricultural products. FAO promotes rural development and strategies to eliminate hunger.

The Jonsson Library acquires key FAO journals and books. The UC Davis Library has a comprehensive microfiche collection of FAO documents. FAO documents at Davis can be requested at the Information Center. FAO documents are indexed in FAO-Documentation: Current Bibliography(shelved in SSRC Z5073. F2) as well as the UNS/SABIR cd-rom.

Recent documents and publications of the FAO are available on the FAO website via the FAO Corporate Document Repository Statistics produced by the FAO are available via the FAOSTAT website.


Established in 1957, the IAEA provides advice to member states about all issues related to the development of nuclear power.

The Jonsson Library acquires the Agency's basic administrative documents (including the annual report and budget) as well as the Bulletin and Yearbook. Depending upon the topic, other IAEA technical documents are acquired by the appropriate science branch library. The UC Berkeley Library is a depository for all IAEA documents--IAEA documents not found in Jonsson can be requested from Berkeley at the Information Center Desk. IAEA documents are indexed in its Publications Catalog (shelved in Green-SSRC Z5160. I47) as well as the UNS/SABIR cd-rom.

In addition, the IAEA web page contains the full text of the Agency's latest annual report and publications catalogs for 1980-1998.


Established in 1947, the ICAO develops principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport so as to ensure the safe and orderly growth of international civil aviation throughout the world.

The Jonsson Library is a depository for all documents and publications of the ICAO. They are shelved in the International Collection by ICAO document number. ICAO document numbers are referenced in the ICAO indexes in the Gov Docs Reference-International Indexes section. They can also be found by searching the ICAO Library Catalog at the ICAO web site.

The ICAO web site provides access to current information about the ICAO, including its functions, activities, contacts, as well as the ability to search the ICAO Library Catalog, including references to journal articles, monographs, and government publications related to international air transport issues.


Established in 1977 to promote funding of agricultural development in developing countries.

The Jonsson Library acquires the IFAD Annual Report and other key documents.

Selected IFAD documents, including press releases, conference publications, and vacancy announcements are available on the IFAD web page.


Established in 1919, the ILO promotes improvement of labor conditions and living standards worldwide, and economic and social stability. Governments, employers' and employee's organizations take part in its activities.

The Jonsson Library receives all documents and publications of the ILO. All ILO documents published since 1965 are indexed on the LABORDOC cd-rom (Z7164.L1L328 Gov Docs Ref). LABORDOC is updated on a quarterly basis. All ILO documents (including those published prior to 1965) are indexed in International Labour Documentation (shelved in Green-Stk Z7164. l1I645).

The ILO web page provides access to new publication announcements, press releases, vacancy listings, and conference announcements. .


Promotes cooperation among governments on technical matters affecting shipping. Sets standards for maritime safety, efficient navigation, and the prevention and control of pollution from ships.

The Jonsson Library is a depository for all IMO documents and publications. Its publications are indexed in Publications of the IMO (SSRC Z6464.M2I58A).

The IMO web site provides access to current information about the organization, including press releases and its publications catalog..


The International Monetary Fund is a permanent organization of 181 member countries pledged to cooperate with one another to promote exchange stability and maintain a productive world economic environment. Each year the IMF publishes a wide range of financial and monetary studies, including periodicals, books, and reference works. Its research in monetary and financial topics is recognized by the international community as a vital source of information.

The Jonsson and Green Libraries acquire all documents and publications of the IMF. IMF documents and publications are indexed in the Publications Catalog (shelved in SSRC Z7164 .F5I583) as well as the UNS/SABIR cd-rom.

Recent IMF documents are indexed on the IMF web site.

The IMF web site contains the organization's current publications catalog, a searchable publications database, full text of all Working Papers published since 1997, the latest Annual Report, press releases and vacancy announcements..


Founded in 1865 tin order to maintain and extend cooperation among all members for the improvement and rational use of telecommunications.

The Engineering Library acquires key ITU documents. ITU documents are indexed in the agency's annual List of Publications.

The ITU web page provides access to current information about ITU activities, including press releases and newsletters.


The main objective of UNESCO is to contribute to peace and security in the world by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science, culture and communication in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.

The Jonsson Library was a depository for all documents and publications of the organization during 1949-1993 and maintains an extensive historic collection of UNESCO documents on paper and microfiche, including:

  • General Conference docs, 1949- ("C" doc no) International Documents stacks (paper) and 1949-1993 (fiche) SSRC Fiche 2598 cabinet 39
  • Executive Board documents, 1949- ("EX" doc no) International Documents stacks (paper)
  • Secretariat Main & Working Series Documents 1974-1995 ("S" doc no) SSRC Fiche 2414 cabinet 38
  • Field Mission Reports 1969-1994 ("FR" doc no) SSRC Fiche 2415 cabinet 39
  • Institute and Regional Office Rpts 1974-1994 ("R" doc no) SSRC Fiche 2492 cabinet 39
  • Director General documents, 1949- ("DG" doc no) International Documents stacks (paper)
  • Preparatory Commission [London], 1945-1946 ("PC" doc no) SSRC Fiche cabinet 39
UNESCO documents are indexed in the UNESBIB cd-rom, the UNESCO List of Documents and Publications, as well as the UNS/SABIR cd-rom.

The UNESCO web page provides access to a searchable version of the List of Documents and Publications, as well as full text of all UNESCO documents published since 1996.


Established in 1967, UNIDO's goals are to promote and accelerate the industrialization of developing countries and to co-ordinate the industrial development activities of the UN system.

UNIDO was a UN special body until 1986. Until 1986, its documents and publications were distributed to Stanford freely as a UN depository library. After 1986, Stanford has receives only key administrative documents, journals and books.

UNIDO documents are listed in the UNIDO Documents List (shelved in the Gov Docs Reference-International Indexes section) as well as the UNS/SABIR cd-rom.

UNIDO documents and publications are also seachable via the UNIDO web page.


Established in 1874 to regulate international mail delivery and provide advice to postal systems in developing countries.

The Jonsson Library receives the UPU's key administrative documents and publications. UPU documents are indexed in the UPU Liste des publications du Bureau international (shelved in SSRC Z7164 .P85U5A) as well as the UNS/SABIR cd- rom.


Established in 1945, the World Bank is governed by 152 countries. The World Bank's central goal is to promote the economic and social progress of developing nations. The Bank includes five related organizations: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD); the International Development Association (IDA); the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

The Jonsson and Green Libraries acquire all available World Bank Group documents and publications. World Bank Group documents are indexed in the World Bank Index of Publications (shelved in SSRC Z7165. D44I57B) and Policy Research Bulletin 9Shelved in Green Stk; latest in CPR HC60. I536C) as well as the UNS/SABIR cd-rom in the SSRC.

The World Bank web page provides a searchable catalog of World Bank publications in addition to a wealth of current information about Bank activities. The new Public Information Center site includes full text or abstracts of project-related documents published since 1994 including: Economic & Sector Reports; Environmental Assessments; National Environment Action Plans; and much more.


The objective of WHO is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. Health, is defined in the WHO Constitution, is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Most WHO publications at Stanford are acquired by the Lane Medical Library. Administrative and statistical documents, including the Organization's Official Records are acquired by the Jonsson Library. WHO documents are indexed in its Publications Catalog (shelved in the Gov Docs Reference-International Indexes section) as well as the UNS/SABIR cd-rom. In addition, all WHO publications issued since 1991 are searchable on the Organization's web site.

In additions to publication lists, the WHO web site also includes full text reports of key WHO reports, press releases, vacancy announcements and directory information. It also provides access to the WHO Statistical Information System, WHOSIS.


Ensures international cooperation for the protection of inventions, trademarks, copyrights, and related intellectual property issues.

Most WIPO documents and publications are acquired by the Crown Law Library. Selected key documents and journals from the organization are acquired by the Jonsson and Green Libraries. WIPO documents are indexed in the organization's Catalog of Publications (shelved in the SSRC Z552 .W67) as well as the UNS/SABIR cd-rom .

The WIPO web page contains current information about the Organization's activities, and includes the latest full publications catalog..


Established in 1951, the WMO operates in the fields of meteorology, climatology, operational hydrology and related fields.

The Green Library acquires the WMO Annual Report from 1960 shelved in Green Stk QC851. W67. The Branner Earth Sciences Library acquires other WMO documents and publications.

The WMO web page provides current information about the Organization's activities.


The World Trade Organization (WTO), established on 1 January 1995, is the legal and institutional foundation of the multilateral trading system. It provides the principal contractual obligations determining how governments frame and implement domestic trade legislation and regulations. And it is the platform on which trade relations among countries evolve through collective debate, negotiation and adjudication.

The Jonsson Library is a depository for all World Trade Organization publications (as it was for all GATT publications prior to 1995). In addition, the Jonsson Library provides access to GATT/WTO documents on microfiche that have been derestricted by the Organization following its annual declassification process. These documents are shelved in the SSRC Microfiche collection as Gov Docs Mfiche 2384. GATT and WTO documents are indexed in List and Index of Documents Issued in...(Z7164 T2G46B SSRC). For additional information on Stanford's collection of GATT and WTO documents, see the Guide to GATT/WTO Documents and Publications at Stanford.

WTO web page provides access to current information about the Organization, including overviews of the organizations structure, dispute resolution process, trade policy review mechanism, press releases, vacancy listings, and its current publications catalog. The web site also includes full text of all derestricted WTO documents published since 1995, selected full text legal instruments, and an online facility for ordering publications.


Last modified: May 30, 2006

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