Template:UN document

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This Citation Template Structure is to be used for referring to UN documents from a Wikipedia article. Detailed instructions are available on w:WP:CITE#HOW. But for a very brief introduction by way of an example, see the Water for Life Decade page and click on "edit" to see the source text.


<ref>{{UN document |docid=A-RES-58-217 |body=A |session=58 |type=R |resolution_number=217 |title=International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”, 2005-2015 |page=2 |accessdate=13 November 2007 |date=23 December 2003}}</ref>

This is a generic representation of the document containing its official symbol, and several parameters, such as body, session number, type, resolution number, title, and a page number. The <ref> and </ref> tags cause it to appear as a footnote.

In the References section, this appears as:

United Nations General Assembly Session 58 Resolution 217. International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”, 2005-2015 A/RES/58/217 page 2. Retrieved 13 November 2007.

Note that the page number is not part of the link; it is not possible to link directly to a specific page or section of a document hosted at the United Nations.

For an explanation of the format of the docid (known as the document symbol), see United Nations Document Codes.


Some of these values are mutually redundant, but alternatives are necessary.

Parameter name Description / usage
docid Document code (e.g. A/58/PV.12). This format must match what is on the UN website.
body Source of the document at the U.N.

Shortcuts: A=General Assembly; S=Security Council; T=Secretariat; E=Economic and Social Council; H=Human Rights Campaign.
Entries are not limited to these options; other values are preceded by "United Nations" and are wikilinked to their Wikipedia article.

type Shortcuts: A=Agenda item; D=Document; M=Meeting; R=Resolution; S=Summary Report; V=Verbatim Report.
Entries are not limited to these options.
session session number (e.g. 58).
resolution_number when type=Resolution.
document_number when type=Agenda item or other value.
title title of section or document being referenced.
page page number.
pages page numbers—use for a range of pages, not for total number of pages.
date date of publication (the one on the document).
year include only if date is unavailable.
meeting meeting number (e.g. 12) (when type=Verbatim Report or Meeting).
meetingtime time of meeting (sometimes several happen on one day).
speakername name of the speaker who gave the speech.
speakernation nation of the speaker who gave the speech.
language language of the speaker; all documents on the website are in English.
accessdate date you viewed the document.

A page of codes is at http://www.library.yorku.ca/ccm/ScottReference/govpubs/guides/unindex.htm

For reasons best known to itself, the UN site does not support links on their website that go directly to these documents. For now everything is factored through http://www.undemocracy.com

It's possible to decode it into english without reference to all the fields, but it will require http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/StringFunctions to be installed.

You can get to the documents through http://documents.un.org/simple.asp or through http://www.undemocracy.org

Best practice[edit]

If you are viewing a document on the undemocracy.com site and you want to reference it in a wikipedia article, it is recommended that you find the line at the top of a holding page which says:

wiki [(some greyed text here)]

and cut and paste from the text box. This will give provide a citation to the document in a correct form for use by this template.

If you are reading transcripts of a speech, then you can click on the

[link to here]

box to the side of the text and be presented with a similar text box as above from which to cut and paste the fully formed template citation.

Every official United Nations document has a unique ID. An outline of the coding system is at United Nations Document Codes.