Government Information: International and Foreign

Q&A: Finding the sources of United Nations documents

Question:
I went to the UN Documents web site and from their Resolutions listing pulled up a resolution from 1966, called International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, etc., which is listed as Resolution 2200 for 1966. However, the pdf copy starts on "Page 49" and goes to "Page 60", but the display doesn't say what volume of documents this resolution is in. I need to cite it for my bibliography and so need the full bibliographic information.

Answer: 

The best approach for all United Nations documents and citations is to check them on the Dag Hammarskjöld Library web site, also known as UNBISNET. You can search documents by title, or browse them by title or "document symbol", which is the standard UN document number, in this case: A/RES/2200. Browsing the title: International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, etc. and knowing that the date was around 1966, we find this full citation. Note that it's part of the volume called: Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly during its 21st session. 20 September-20 December 1966. - A/6316. - 1967. - p. 49-60. - (GAOR 21st sess., Suppl. no. 16), and the abbreviation GAOR stands for General Assembly Official Records, and it's part of the Supplements volumes, and is no. 16. Note the the UNBISNET citation gives you pdf links to several language versions of the document, including that English version you found at UN.org.


Q&A: IMO documents

Question: I'm a law student, and the law librarians told me that Green library has at least some International Maritime Organization (IMO) documents in print (the ones on the IMO Web site are password protected). I'm looking for three documents:

  1. IMO Doc A.1002(25): Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Waters Off the Coast of Somalia (Nov. 29, 2007)
  2. IMO Doc. IMO/SGP 1/4: Singapore Statement on Enhancement of Safety, Security, and Environmental Protection in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (September 6, 2007)
  3. IMO Doc. MSC/Circ. 623/Rev. 2 (October 6, 2001)

I tried to look in the Socrates database, but no luck. Any ideas?

Answer: 

Stanford Library is an IMO depository (as well as depositories for United Nations, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO)) but we generally only get IMO conventions, guidelines and for-sale documents -- not resolutions (#1), statements (#2) or other official papers/meeting documentation. A search in Socrates will only have limited success (do a combined search for organization = International Maritime Organization) as only the for-sale publications have been cataloged. For example, in the case of the UN, titles of resolutions won't show up in Socrates because they haven't been cataloged. But if you search for title = "official records united nations general assembly" (or "official records ORG name"), you'll find out if the library has those records.

I'm working on getting access to the IMO's documents database which includes official papers etc. It will soon be listed on the databases page in the subject "Government Information: International and Foreign."

In the meantime, I was able to find 2 out of the 3 documents you need online (#3 I was able to find revision 3, which overrode revision 2). I found them by searching IMO's site for the document numbers. When I have access to the IMODOC database set up, I'll be able to get #3.

As a general point of reference, many Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) are following in the footsteps of the United Nations and putting their official papers in part or fully online. Others will send copies of documents on an as-needed basis. In the case of the IMO, according to their site, you can get a copy by contacting Jross@imo.org.

  1. IMO Doc A.1002(25) (PDF)
  2. IMO Doc. IMO/SGP 1/4 (PDF)
  3. MSC/Circ. 623/Rev. 2 Maritime Safety Commission

Q&A: Historical Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Statistics

Question:

I am looking for historical data about levels of foreign direct investment, particularly investments made by the various colonial powers in their colonies.

Answer: 

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is collected in many places and by many government agencies, primarily the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the World Bank, and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). For the historical data, you'll want to use Direction of Trade Statistics Historical (1948-1980) available on CDROM in Data Services in the Velma Denning Room on the first floor of Green.

Here are some other routes to explore:

For U.S. sources, try the following:

Most of the above can be found in EconLit or Google Scholar using phrases like "FDI" and "direction of trade".

One final note: If you go back into colonial history much before 1945, the concept of Foreign Direct Investment doesn't really apply as a form of statistical analysis. However, there is a large body of scholarly work on the economics of colonies. A general Subject keyword search of Socrates for "economic" and "colonies" yields many books about the economic history of imperialism and colonialism, plus monographs on specific colonies of the various European powers.


Q&A: Finding Documents about Elgin's Marbles

Question:

I need help finding two British government documents. The first is the Local and Personal Acts 56 George III c. 99 of 1816. The second is the British Museum Act of 1963. They both concern ownership of the Elgin Marbles.

Answer: 

Stanford offers many ways to access British government documents and Parliamentary papers. For materials on microfiche, check out the Chadwyck-Healey collection (1801-1900)--there's a guide to it in the Social Sciences Resource Center (call# Z2019 .C62 1991). You can also look in the Law Library for the Statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. (You can also access the act via Google Books: Local and Personal Acts 56 George III c. 99 of 1816.)

There is also online access for many British documents in the 19th and 20th centuries, including the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers database. The following documents might be particularly helpful for your research question: Select Committee on Purchase of Earl of Elgin's Collection of Sculptured Marbles. Report, Minutes of Evidence, Appendix; British Museum Act of 1963


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