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United Nations

Finding UN Speeches

UN member states regularly make speeches in General Assembly meetings, committee meetings, and in the Security Council. UN speeches are a good way to determine the official stand of a country on an issue, as well as to look at international rhetorical style. Speeches from the General Assembly and the Security Council are located in the 3rd Floor, Old Stacks. They are also located in the UN microfiche collection.

Because the General Assembly is a large body and considers many issues, it allocates most questions to one of its main committees:

  • First Committee - disarmament and related international security matters
  • Second Committee - economic and financial matters
  • Third Committee - social, humanitarian and cultural matters
  • Fourth Committee - decolonization matters
  • Fifth Committee - administrative and budgetary matters
  • Sixth Committee - legal matters
  • Special Political Committee

Index to speeches

These indexes allow you to search for speeches. 

Understanding UN Document Numbers for Speeches

You need the document number in order to find the UN document in print or microfiche in Alderman Library.  Here are some examples:

  • A/45/PV.43 - Verbatim record for a meeting of the entire UN General Assembly (A and PV)
  • A/42/C.4/SR.32 - Summary record for a meeting of the Fourth Committee of the UN General Assembly (A and SR)
  • A/44/234 - Report of some sort, not a meeting record (SR or PV missing)
  • S/PV.2234 - Full text of a meeting of the UN Security Council (S and PV)

Where to find speeches in Alderman Library

For most speeches UVA Library will have both a paper and a microfiche version.

Sessions of the UN Location
1st through most recent complete session Official Records of the UN General Assembly, Ivy Stacks
   
38th through current session Many speeches are available online. Use UNBISnet - Speech Index, UN.org

Other types of preliminary records (letters etc.) are filed in the 3rd floor Old Stacks. These mimeographed UN documents are filed by document number, e.g. A/46/876 or S/345. We keep UN mimeographed documents for 2 years until they are replaced by microfiche which are filed In the Maps/Microforms Room.