How can I research people at the UN?
Last Updated: Sep 16, 2019     Views: 440

The Library has only limited information about people who have worked at the UN as representatives of a Member State or in the Secretariat. In general, the type of information we have relates to their position (title) and formal official actions, such as statements. 

Biographical press releases are usually issued for new Permanent Representatives of Member States and high-level appointments of the Secretary-General, such as Under-Secretary-General, Special Representative, High Commissioner, etc.

  • Press release symbol BIO/-

The Photo Library captions most pictures with the names of people, date and place. 

The following sources are useful for research on delegates to UN conferences, sessions or meetings:

  • List of delegations
  • Permanent Missions to the United Nations (Blue Book)
  • UN Yearbook
    • Appendix "Structure of the United Nations" indicates who held the position of President, Chair, and other official roles, in the principal organs and many subsidiaries
    • Some early years also include list of delegations
    • If the name is unique, try a full text search
  • United Nations Digital Library: Search on Speeches
    • Provides information about statements made by representatives of UN Member States and UN officials in meetings of the General Assembly, Security Council and Economic and Social Council. Coverage begins in the early 1980s. For older statements, use the Index to Proceedings in print.

The following sources are useful for research on former staff members:

  • UN Telephone Directories
  • Staff List (restricted document)
  • UN Archives

Due to the type of information in the telephone directories and the staff list, these cannot be provided electronically but must be consulted in the Library.

Secondary sources such as news stories, the Statesman's Yearbook, and Who's Who may also have relevant information.


Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.


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