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United Nations research tools

Access to official publications

The following United Nations system libraries carry documents and publications covering the issues of desertification, drought, land degradation and related subjects. The collections include commercial publications and non-United Nations sources.

United Nations bibliographic information system

Catalogue of United Nations documents and publications indexed by the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library and the Library of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG). Also included are commercial publications and other non-United Nations sources held in the collection of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library.

United Nations System libraries

Since the inception of the United Nations, United Nations libraries have provided information services to the UN secretariat, the permanent missions and the general public

United Nations library in Geneva catalogues

The Library’s unique collections date back to the League of Nations, including some rare materials from the pre-League period. The UNOG Library is placed directly under the purview of the UNOG Director-General and its mandate is to perform three core functions:

 As the United Nations European Library, the Library:

  • Supports the documentary and informational needs of library use
  • Manages the UNOG Library’s heritage of valuable collections
  • Processes and extracts information from its collections for inclusion in databases and publications

FAO Library & archives 

Explore the FAO Library Catalog to find FAO technical documents since 1945, library monograph holdings since 1976 and a serial holdings database. To limit your search to e-journals and some e-books, use the E-journals search box.

ECOLEX gateway to environmental law

ECOLEX is an information service on environmental law, operated jointly by FAO, IUCN and UNEP. Its purpose is to build capacity worldwide by providing the most comprehensive possible global source of information on environmental law.

OECD iLibrary

OECD iLibrary is the online library of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) featuring its books, papers and statistics and is the gateway to OECD’s analysis and data.

WorldBank library

The World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) libraries work together to provide information services and resources to World Bank Group and IMF staff. Limited services are provided to visitors and external researchers.

UNESCO documents

The UNESDOC database contains the full text and bibliographic records of documents and publications published by UNESCO since 1945 as well as bibliographic records of library acquisitions. 

UNESCO Library

Libraries are essential components of any strategy aimed at improving information access, both for the public at large and for specialised groups.

UNESCO Archives

Archives are essential components of any strategy aimed at improving information access, both for the public at large and for specialized groups. Since its creation, UNESCO has contributed to the reinforcement of these types of services.

UNESCO Open Access

You are encouraged to download, copy, translate any publication below and use it free of charge, as long as the original author is given credit for the original creation. No prior permission is required to do so.

UNESCO-UNEVOC Online Library

The UNESCO-UNEVOC Online Library functions as a resource center for TVET experts, giving access to a wide range of TVET publications and online resources most of which are freely accessible online or for download.

ISDR Library Geneva

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Library Collection reflects the activities of major stakeholders involved in disaster risk reduction for natural, environmental and technological hazards. It collects books, reports, educational materials, periodicals, proceedings of major conferences and workshops, and electronic resources to support the programmes and activities of UNISDR and its regional offices, governments, NGOs, and the international academic, technical and scientific community.

UNEP library Nairobi/UNEP knowledge repository

The Library’s purpose is to develop and maintain a collection of scientific and technical information on the global state of the environment, human settlements and United Nations-related issues which will assist the staff of the United Nations and outside users in analyzing trends, assessing problems and promoting activities leading to environmentally sound development. In addition, it acts as a depository library for the United Nations and some of its specialized agencies

UNU Library Tokyo

The Library of the United Nations University (UNU) is committed to providing reliable and high quality library and information services to assist and enhance the activities of the university. It is located in the headquarters building in Tokyo and manages collections & information resources development, library networking and consortia. The Library organizes instructional sessions in the use of its resources, and maintains the archives in support of research and postgraduate educational programmes throughout the UNU System.


The GRID-Arendal Maps & Graphics Library is an on-going project to collect and catalogue all graphic products that have been prepared for publications and web-sites from the last 15 years in a wide range of themes related to environment and sustainable development.

UNFCCC Publications/Library

UNFCCC Official documents search

Official documents are issued under a masthead bearing the United Nations and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) logos and with a UNFCCC document symbol. Official pre-session documents are available before the meeting, usually in all six official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish).

CBD library

The publication and dissemination of documentation are one of the important functions of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This page is a compilation of CBD as well as external resources related to biodiversity.

United Nations Library Bonn - Model presentation and planning for the United Nations Libraries in Bonn (UNESCO-UNEVOC; UNCCD; UNEP; UNV; UNU)

UN Documents Search


UNTERM is a multilingual terminology database maintained jointly by the main duty stations and regional commissions of the United Nations system.

UNTERM Quick start guide

This database is a linguistic tool created primarily to facilitate the work of United Nations staff members and other people around the world who participate or are interested in the Organization's activities. The inclusion of an item in this database should not be construed as an endorsement by the United Nations of any particular position, entity or programme.

United Nations documentation

The United Nations Documentation Research Guide presents an overview of selected UN documents, publications, databases and websites.

United Nations official documents system (ODS)

The Official Document System (ODS) is an online database of United Nations documents that was first launched in 1993 and updated in 2016. ODS has full-text, born-digital United Nations documents published from 1993 onward, including documents of the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and their subsidiaries, as well as administrative issuances and other documents.

United Nations documents center

ODS is the United Nations' Official Document System. You can search for UN documents by keywords, then narrow your search. 

United Nations treaty collection

The United Nations Treaty Collection contains information regarding the activities of the Treaty Section of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs.

CIESIN / ENTRI Conference of Party Decision Search Tool

The ENTRI Conference of Parties (COP) decision search tool allows the user to search decisions produced by the Parties of the following multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs):

  • Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel)
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
  • Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)
  • Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)
  • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD)
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC)
  • Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Kyoto, 1997)
  • Vienna Convention to Protect the Ozone Layer (Vienna)
  • Montreal Protocol of the Vienna Convention (Montreal)

UN Library network

Network Overview

The United Nations Information Centres (UNICs), Services (UNIS) and Offices (UNOs), located in 63 countries worldwide, link the United Nations with people around the world, disseminating global United Nations messages to local audiences. The Centres serve as a reliable source of up-to-date information about the United Nations delivering information in their respective countries to a wide range of people, including journalists, government officials, civil society representatives, students, educators and researchers.

Depository Libraries

The libraries contained in this list have been designated as official UN depositories by the United Nations Publications Board. Depositories may hold a partial deposit (comprising official records and printed publications) or a full deposit (comprising official records, printed publications and masthead documents).

United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library NY

The Dag Hammarskjöld Library provides research and information to support the work of United Nations Member States. As an integral part of the United Nations Organization, the Library also aids in the dissemination of United Nations information to a wider public audience through online services, and a global depository library network.

UN data - A World of Information

The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) launched a new internet-based data service for the global user community. It brings United Nations statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single entry point. Users can now search and download a variety of statistical resources of the United Nations system.

Statistical databases

Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC)

A Data Center in NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) — Hosted by Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University.

Land Use and Land Cover change

An introduction to land use and land cover changes; key topics include deforestation, desertification, biodiversity loss, land cover and the water cycle, land cover and the carbon cycle, and urbanization.

NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

The Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) is a key core capability in NASA’s Earth Science Data Systems Program. It provides end-to-end capabilities for managing NASA’s Earth science data from various sources – satellites, aircraft, field measurements, and various other programs.

TERRASTAT/FAO- Drylands in the world- statistics

The Land and Water Division aims at enhancing the agricultural productivity and advancing the sustainable use of land and water resources through their improved tenure, management, development and conservation. It addresses the challenges member countries face in ensuring productive and efficient use of land and water resources in order to meet present and future demands for agricultural products, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the land and water quantity and quality.

United Nations Statistics Division

The Statistics Division is committed to the advancement of the global statistical system. We compile and disseminate global statistical information, develop standards and norms for statistical activities, and support countries’ efforts to strengthen their national statistical systems. We facilitate the coordination of international statistical activities and support the functioning of the United Nations Statistical Commission as the apex entity of the global statistical system.


Statistics is an inherent part of UNCTAD. Being the United Nations’ focal point for the integrated treatment of trade and development and the interrelated issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development, UNCTAD compiles, validates and processes a wide range of data collected from national and international sources.


Find, compare and share the latest OECD data: charts, maps, tables and related publications.

DESA statistics on–line

The Statistics Division is committed to the advancement of the global statistical system. We compile and disseminate global statistical information, develop standards and norms for statistical activities, and support countries’ efforts to strengthen their national statistical systems. We facilitate the coordination of international statistical activities and support the functioning of the United Nations Statistical Commission as the apex entity of the global statistical system.

Prevention Web Maps is a participatory web platform for the disaster risk reduction community. Our primary purpose is to facilitate an understanding of the subject of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and the work of professionals in this area by providing current news and views on the topic, and tools for exchange and collaboration.

Prevention Web- Drought - data and statistics

Quick hazard or region/country links to disaster profiles from International Disaster Database (EM-DAT) data and risk profiles from the UNISDR Global Assessment Report.

Prevention Web - Global Risk Data Platform

The Global Risk Data Platform allows the visualization of data on natural hazards, exposure (both human and economical) and risk. Users may perform zooms, pan to a particular area, add different layers of general data including cities, national parks, etc.



There is now an amazing number of economics institutions on the Internet. This is an attempt by Christian Zimmermann (Economic Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis) to index them. Currently 13,631 institutions in 231 countries and territories are listed.

International Directory of African Studies Scholars

Columbia University Libraries' research collections on Africa south of the Sahara contain over 132,000 book titles & over 1,700 current serials in history, political science, law, sociology, anthropology, economics, geography, geoscience, literature, ethnomusicology, and the visual arts. The Libraries also hold over 600 African Studies videos.

UNEVOC Directory

The UNEVOC Network is an exclusive global platform for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) with the aim to further mainstream South-South and North-South-South cooperation. The Network is instrumental in the production and dissemination of research, case studies, databases, publications, and enables the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre to perform its function as a clearinghouse.

World Digital Library

The World Digital Library (WDL) is a project of the U.S. Library of Congress, carried out with the support of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), and in cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations from around the world.

World Wide Web Virtual Library

The WWW Virtual Library (VL) is the oldest catalogue of the Web, started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of HTML and of the Web itself, in 1991 at European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva.

Continue your library search here: 

KVK - Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog

Meta search interface for more than 500 million books and serials in library and book trade catalogs worldwide 

OCLC WorldCat

The World's libraries connected. 

Open Grey

Consortium of numerous academic institutions in Europe, is a database of 700,000 grey literature references in Europe plus links to many full-text documents – technical or research reports, doctoral dissertations, conference papers and official publications. 


Directory of over 2600 academic open access repositories. 

Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE)

BASE is a search engine primarily for academic open access web resources. A resource of over 2600 academic open access repositories. 

WorldWideScience Org

This is a global science gateway comprised of national and international scientific databases and portals. 

Regensburg University Journals Database

Friedrich Ebert Foundation Journals Catalogue