Family issues

Since the beginning of the 1980s, the General Assembly, the ECOSOC and the Commission for Social Development (CSD) have been reviewing and working on UN plans and programs pertaining to the situation of the family.

UN work in the field of family issues

International Year of the Family (IYF)

The General Assembly proclaimed 1994 as the International Year of the Family (IYF). The theme was Family: resources and responsibilities in a changing world.

The aim of IYF was

  • to bring the subject of the family into international dialogue.
  • to underline the importance of the family to the social network in every country.


Within the United Nations system, the Division for Inclusive Social Development (DISD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), builds an awareness of the global situation of families and promotes family-oriented policies and programmes.

Trust Fund on Family Activities

The United Nations Trust Fund on Family Activities supports development programmes in the field of the family.

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: 2024-02-15