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Your guide to UN and UN documents and reports


International Maritime Organization, IMO held its first meeting in 1959. The IMO is one of the smallest of all UN agencies. The IMO is headquartered in London.


The IMO was established by a convention which entered into force in 1958. It provides a forum for international cooperation on rules and practices for safety at sea. The IMO

  • facilitates cooperation among governments on technical matters affecting international shipping
  • develops international treaties on maritime safety to achieve the highest level of maritime and environmental protection standards on a worldwide basis.


The Assembly is the highest decision-making organ, consisting of all member states of the IMO. It holds its sessions every two years. The Assembly adopts the programme of work, the budget and recommendations. It also elects the Secretary-General as well as the Council members of the IMO.

The Council, composed of thirty-two members elected for two years, is the principal organ between the Assembly sessions. The work is conducted through five committees supported by subcommittees.

More on IMO

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library. UN official documents and open access publications, UN maps, UN voting data and speeches.
  • UN iLibrary. UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS. 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 is 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


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