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UN General Assembly Documentation

Resolutions of the General Assembly

Resolutions of the General Assembly are first published as individual documents:

  • Symbol pattern: A/RES/-

From 1946-1975, the first 3,541 resolutions were consecutively numbered, with the session indicated in roman numerals, for example:

A/RES/217 (III) Universal Declaration on Human Rights  217th resolution, adopted in 3rd session
A/RES/3201 (S-VI) Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order  3201st resolution, adopted in 6th special session
A/RES/2252 (ES-V) Humanitarian assistance 2253rd resolution, adopted in 5th emergency special session

Beginning in 1976, 31st session, the symbol includes the session information and order of adoption of the resolution, for example:

A/RES/44/25 Convention on the Rights of the Child  25th resolution of the 44th session 
A/RES/S-13/2  United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development 1986-1990  2nd resolution of 13th special session
A/RES/ES-8/2 Question of Namibia 2nd resolution of 8th emergency special session 

Decisions of the General Assembly

Decisions of the General Assembly are published in the sessional cumulation of resolutions and decisions. They are not issued as individual documents and have no document series symbol assigned to them.

From 1945-1975, decisions were unnumbered. 

At the 31st session (1976), a numbering system similar to that for resolutions was established:

  • pattern: General Assembly decision session/sequential number
  • examples: 
    • decision 50/411 
    • decision ES-7/11

For decisions adopted at regular sessions:

  • the first set of numbers is reserved for decisions related to elections and appointments,
  • the second set for decisions related to matters other than elections and appointments.

Sessional Cumulations of Resolutions and Decisions

For each session of the General Assembly, resolutions and decisions are compiled and issued as a supplement to the General Assembly Official Records (GAOR).

  • For special and emergency special sessions, as well as originally for regular sessions, this cumulation has been the final supplement.

For regular sessions, starting with the 42nd session, the document has been assigned number 49, and is Supplement 49 to the GAOR.

Currently, there are usually 3 volumes:

  • Vol. I: Resolutions adopted September - December
  • Vol. II: Decisions adopted September - December
  • Vol. III: Resolutions and decisions adopted January - the close of the session in September
  • symbol pattern: A/session/49
  • example: A/70/49 (Vol.I), A/70/49 (Vol.II), A/70/49 (Vol.III)

Since the 59th session, the sessional cumulations have included information about the vote in the plenary on the draft resolution.

General Assembly

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Compilations of resolutions and decisions