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UN Voting

Voting Data in the UN Digital Library

The Voting Data in the UN Digital Library provides access to voting information for adopted resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council, 1946-present. There are no voting records for votes on draft resolutions not adopted. See FAQ: How can I find voting information for draft resolutions that were not adopted?

The database uses the following notations to present the voting information:

  • Y = Yes
  • N = No
  • A = Abstention
  • Blank = Non-participating

For the General Assembly, the information provided comes from the General Assembly voting system. If a Member State informs the Secretariat of an error in the vote, the data is not changed: the meeting record notes the intended vote.

For the Security Council, the information provided comes from the Security Council meeting records. The database includes additional notations, not displayed, but present in the record and part of any export of the metadata:

  • P indicates the state is a Permanent member of the Security Council
  • R indicates the state is a Rotating member of the Security Council

The OHCHR Library maintains another database for voting in the Human Rights Council. The metadata fields are similar to those in the UN Digital Library.

Additional Ways to Research Voting in the UN Digital Library

In addition to the specialized collection of Voting Data in the UN Digital Library, voting information also is recorded in the description of certain documents. Because some of the metadata fields where this information is recorded are not displayed in the records, it can be difficult to find this information.

Here are some of the ways vote information may be found:

  • Type of material (MARC field 089) code B07 is assigned to documents that contain voting, including meeting records and reports of subsidiary bodies. Search in UN Digital Library for 089:B07
  • A vote note (MARC field 996) is added to records for adopted resolutions. The note provides a summary of the vote and the meeting number at which the vote was held. Search in UN Digital Library for 996:%
  • Type of material (MARC field 089) code B06 indicating a veto is assigned to Security Council meeting records and draft resolutions, as appropriate. Search in UN Digital Library for 089:B06
  • For Security Council drafts not adopted but not vetoed, a note (MARC field 515) is added to the record of the draft resolution. This field is displayed. Search in UN Digital Library for "The draft resolution was not adopted having failed to obtain the required number of votes"

To view non-displayed MARC fields in a record, click on Formats and then select MARC or MARCXML. This displays all the descriptive metadata of the record in MARC field order. To view the MARC fields for all results, click on Options and then select Format MARC or MARCXML. This displays all descriptive metadata for all records. It is also possible to export the metadata for up to 200 records. See FAQ: What data is available for export from the UN Digital Library?