International Law

© United Nations

The United Nations is responsible for the peaceful resolution of international conflicts. The International Court of Justice is its principal judicial organ.

Mission of the United Nations

The United Nations Charter calls on the Organization to

  • promote the judicial settlement of disputes between states
  • encourage the development and codification of international law.

The General Assembly is authorized to establish subsidiary organs for the performance of these functions. The reports of these subsidiary organs are debated in the Sixth Committee, which recommends actions to be taken by the Assembly.

International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice was created in 1946 as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. The Court of Justice settles disputes submitted to it by States and also gives advisory opinions on legal questions.

Work of the UN in International Law

An important part of the political process in the United Nations is to establish or expand international laws, regulations and standards across all areas of activity. This includes giving significant contributions to the expansion of the legal framework for the relationship of states to each other through codification and development of international law.

The United Nations has sponsored hundreds of multilateral agreements, covering a range of subject matters including human rights, disarmament, commodities, refugees, the environment and the law of the sea. These treaties are binding to the countries that ratify them.


More on International Law and United Nations in the research guide of dag Hammarskjöld library, New York.

Databases and Indexes

  1. the Historic Archives with significant documents adopted under the auspices of the United Nations since 1945;
  2. the Lecture Series with lectures by leading international law scholars;
  3. the Research Library linking to treaties, jurisprudence, documents and publications, scholarly writings and research guides.
  • The UN Library online catalogue UNBISnet contains reports, documents and articles related to UN activities with links to full texts for recent years. Subject search can be performed using relevant terms from the UNBIS THESAURUS

Printed Indexes

  • In the subject index of the United Nations Documents Index (online version: UNBISnet), references to all documents by subject area are published.
  • A complete collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva
Copyright © 2014 | Dag Hammarskjöld Library | Latest update: 09/02/2017