UCB Libraries

Researching for UN Debate Assignment:
Resources for GEOG 1982: World Regional Geography

Step 1: Learn About Your Country

Find your Country Page in the alphabetical drop-down box on the top of this page.

Basic Country Information

Information on Your Country (under Country Profiles)

  • For overviews and historical profiles of the country, check out the resources from the CIA World Factbook.
  • If looking for profiles in response to specific issues, you can look at profiles from international organizations. For example, if you are interested in environmental issues look at the profiles from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Information on Diplomatic Relations
  • Under Diplomatic Relations the U.S. Department of State link goes to a page with links to information on human rights, terrorism, human trafficking, narcotics, and religious freedom.
  • Under Government Information look for a link to ministry or department of foreign affairs/relations, which is comparable to the U.S. Department of State. This is the agency who coordinates ambassadors and other foreign relations. You will find links to official statements, speeches, treaties, and/or other reactions to international concerns on these pages.
  • For additional information on international relations check out, under Diplomatic Relations, the Permanent Mission page for the countries to the United Nations. Depending on the depth of the page you can find links to speeches, policy statements, and much more on these pages.
Step 2: Learn about the Issue

Global Issues on the UN Agenda

These pages contain links to UN agencies involved in your issues, documents and speeches. This step will walk you through the resources provided.

Home Page
This page links to the agencies who work in this area. The first agency listed is the main body for the topic, but the lower agencies focus on particular issues related to this area.

This page links to resources such as treaties, resolutions of the UN and statistics.
  • Resolutions of the UN The United Nations passes resolutions, which do not have the force of law like treaties, but votes for and against these resolutions provide clues to your countries opinions on issues. Step 3 will demonstrate how to find voting patterns for your country.
  • Treaties are international agreements signed onto by countries, which act as law for that country. For some topics, you may not find resolutions passed by the UN, but a signatory to a treaty is like a yes vote to a resolution.
This page links to speeches from the Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General and any major leaders in this area. It does not, unfortunately, link to speeches from your country (See step 5 for help in this area).
Newspaper Sources
  • Factiva CU This subscription database (you need to use on campus or login using a VPN) provides access to numerous international news sources. To find sources from your country, choose the region box from the lower half of the screen and find your country and add it to your search. Then include your search terms after the inserted code in the upper box. Be sure to switch the drop-down box at the bottom of the page to read "Search for Full-text terms in full article."
  • Lexis Nexis Academic CU This subscription database (you need to use on campus or login using a VPN) provides access to numerous international news sources. To search for resources from a a particular country, choose "Find more Sources." In the window that opens, choose your country in the "Countries" drop down box. Under that will be a collection of folders, choose news. Place a check mark in the sources you are interested in and hit "Continue." You can now put your search terms in the box and search only those sources.
Step 3: Learn your countries voting record before the UN

A countries voting record before the UN provides insight into their feelings on a particular issue. The voting records from 1983 to the present are available in UNBISnet. Here are step-by-step instructions for finding this information:
  • Go to UNBISnet.
  • In the keyword box type your topic, such as Kosovo.
  • The resolutions on this topic will appear, click on the title. (Note: if you click on the link you can see the full-text of the resolution.)
  • A few things to consider: Not everything has a vote and some issues will not have resolutions passed. For these issues, if it is an issues of law (such as intellectual property), treaties (see Step 2: Global Issues on the UN agenda) are a better source of information.
Step 4: Resolutions to the UN from your country

If your country sponsors a resolution before the United Nations, this provides another key indicator of feeling on the topic. To find resolutions use the UN ODS database. Here are step-by-step instructions:
  • Go to UN ODS
  • Choose welcome (unless you want a different language)
  • Choose advanced search
  • Type your country name and "draft resolution" in the words of the title box. For example, Kenya and "draft resolution"
  • Switch the drop-down box "Type of full-text search" to "Use boolean operators."
  • Click search.
  • Click on the document number (it should start with an A/ or S/)
  • Choose the language you want and you can read the resolution and also see who else was a sponsor.
Step 5: Speeches from your country at the UN

Your country will often make speeches on the floor of the General Assembly, which you can find in UNBISnet. Here are step-by-step instruction on using this resource:
  • Go to UNBISnet
  • Put your country name in the "Country/Organization" box
  • Put your topic in the "topic" box.
  • Click on go.
  • Click on the desired language to read the speech.
  • Things to consider: Again, sometimes you will not find a speech on your topic, remember to try alternative words.
Citing your Work
  • RefWorks
    RefWorks is a database that lets you save your citations and then format them in the style of your choice. Check out this quick guide for help using this resource.
  • Citing Sources
    This guide goes over the various formats you can use to cite material as well as providing links to quick citation sheets.
Need more help?

We are always happy to answer questions or set up appointments to have a more in-depth discussion of your research.

Jennie Gerke Leanne Walther GovPubs Desk
jennifer.gerke@colorado.edu leanne.walther@colorado.edu govpubs@colorado.edu
303-735-6804 303-735-3750 303-492-8834