Many questions about the UN can be researched most effectively by starting with secondary reference materials such as books or articles. Researchers often find it helpful to identify the provisions of the UN Charter relevant to their topic of research. Identifying the relevant article(s) of the UN Charter helps the researcher use specialized reference books such as UN Charter commentaries and certain UN legal publications.
UN Charter commentaries are specialized legal treatises organized by article of the UN Charter; these publications and other reference books, encyclopedias, and articles about the UN:
The Dag Hammarskjöld Library has commentaries on the UN Charter in English, French, and Spanish.
UN reference resources such as the Repertory of the Practice of UN Organs and the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council provide detailed legal analysis of the actions of the organization over time and cite relevant UN Charter provisions, UN documents and publications. The UN Juridical Yearbook includes legal opinions on topics related to the UN Charter and the work of the organization. UN Yearbooks are also useful for historic research.
Reference books and other resources mentioned in this guide may be available at libraries around the world -- check your local or national library, UN depository library, or WorldCat, for assistance with materials mentioned in this guide that are not published by the UN.
Ask DAG FAQ: How do I start research on United Nations topics?
Two UN publications present the activities of the organization as they relate to the Articles of the Charter.
Treaty commentaries are reference books that explain the meaning of the parts of the treaty. There are several commentaries on the UN Charter. In general, the commentaries are organized by article of the Charter and provide a bibliography of selected articles and books, give a brief procedural history of the drafting of the article, and describe how each article has been expressed in the practice of the organization.