Populations issues

The population issues are linked to demographic, economic and social development and have always been a matter of concern to the United Nations. As a result, there are numerous UN bodies, funds and programmes involved in population activities.

United Nations Population Division

The United Nations Population Division within the UN Secretariat serves as an administrative centre. It provides support and service, and facilitates
access to information. It also enhances coordination and cooperation among UN and international, regional and national organizations active in the field of population.

United Nations Population Commission

The United Nations Population Commission was set up in 1946 as the world's first international body to deal with population problems. It was renamed in 1994 as the Commission on Population and Development. It is a functional commission to ECOSOC, advising the Council and performing studies. The Commission also monitors and reviews the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Coference on Population and Development.

United Nations Population Agency

Starting in 1966, the UN has been providing technical assistance to countries wishing to implement a new population policy. The United Nations Population Agency (UNFPA) was created to enable the UN to better respond to the needs in the area of population activities.

More on UN and Population issues

World Population Conferences

The United Nations has organized three World Population Conferences:

  1. World Population Conference, 19-30 August 1974, Bucharest;
  2. International Conference on Population, 6-14 August 1984, Mexico City;
  3. The United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), 5-13 September 1994, Cairo. 

The official documents from the conferences carry the following symbols:

A/CONF.80

United Nations Population Conference (Bucharest : 1974)

E/CONF.76

International Conference on Population (Mexico City : 1984)

A/CONF.171

International conference on Population and Development (Cairo : 1994)

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library offers UN documents and open access publications, UN voting data and speeches, UN maps, Content in 6+ languages. Replaces the traditional online catalogue UNBISnet.
  • UN iLibrary UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS full-text UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • UNBIS Thesaurus a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions
  • United Nations Documents Index (United Nations Digital Library) References to all documents by subject area are published. A collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva.
Last modified: 2021-12-03