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United Nations Research

A guide to key resources on the work of the United Nations

About Meeting Records

There are two main categories of UN meeting documents:  provisional verbatim records (PV) and Summary Records (SR).  PVs contain 1st person accounts of a meeting while SRs are third person summaries.  As a general rule there will be either a PV or and SR but rarely both.  UN meeting records are also divided into Official Records or Masthead documents.

Official Records are the official summaries of  meetings of the General Assembly (GAOR), the Security Council (SCOR), and Economic and Social Council (ESCOR).  When the Trusteeship Council meet regularly it published Official Records.  Some major conferences also produce Official Records.    In addition to the meeting records, the Official Records for each year include supplements and annexes with texts of resolutions passed, and reports from UN subsidiary agencies.  Penn State has a complete set of UN Official Records in paper. 

Meeting records that are not part of the Official Records Series are often called Masthead documents and are available in microfiche in the University Libraries

Primary "indexes" and databases

Issued at the end of each session as a part of the Official Records series from the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, and Trusteeship Council. The index includes a subject index, index to speeches, and index to resolutions.  

Voting Records

UN Speeches

Researching UN speeches is a good way to understand a country's position on pressing international issues.   Heads of State generally speak at the General Assembly meetings each year and each country's representatives promote their nations official views.