Sources: Accessing UN Documents



After every round of North Korean nuclear and missile tests and satellite launches, the UN Security Council gains center stage through statements and resolutions; we covered the UNSC resolution yesterday. Finding everything-UN on North Korea is not straightforward, however, and sadly the UN’s own website is difficult to navigate. Here are a few sources that I use.

The 1718 Committee created following the 2006 test maintains a webpage under the UNSC that has a treasure-trove of links to virtually all of the documents related to UNSC sanctions. These include everything from the sanctions resolutions themselves, the panel of expert reports down to technical assistance notes on implementation. Believe it or not, countries are supposed to actually report on what they do; the implementation reports are linked here as well.

The UN News Center—a house organ—has a useful page with links by UN bodies (Secretary-General, UNGA, UNSC). Note tabs also provide links to the International Atomic Energy Agency and humanitarian and human rights bodies. A useful feature is a timeline of key UN developments. If you really want to know what is going on day-by-day at any given moment, the UN Journal provides links to everything done on a daily basis.

On human rights, the Office of the High Commissioner has a very well-organized web page that provides links to everything from North Korea’s ratification to the Commission of Inquiry process; the Commission of Inquiry home page is here. On humanitarian issues, the Relief Web page on North Korea remains my go-to.

For those interested in receiving updates on all UN North Korea-related activities directly into their inbox, you can send an email message to Samuel Martell at [email protected] and he will put you on his mailing list.

Security Council Report (the “about” link) offers analysis that is outside the shop. The organization is sponsored by a number of foundations (The Carnegie Corporation, Humanity United, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation) and a group of largely OECD governments. The home page provides a “monthly forecast” and a “what’s in blue” section on the UNSC as well as a number of more analytic publications. By chance, the current crop of reports are all highly relevant to North Korea, including reports on the role of the Security Council in human rights issues, a paper on natural resource sanctions and another on the veto. Most relevant however is a DPRK country page with timely news, links to documents, and chronology.

The National Committee on North Korea Sanctions page has the advantage of combining all of the UNSC resolutions and sanctions measures—including links to the panel of experts reports—with measures taken at the national level, including not only the US but statements by Japan and others as well.

Thanks to Roberta Cohen, Samuel Martell and Christian Broeker.

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