Skip to Main Content
UN document symbols are crucial finding aids, and can also provide valuable information regarding the substance and context of a document. The UN provides an overview of document symbols on its library page, and has also published a lengthy list of document symbols used through 1996. Below are examples of document symbols for certain UN resolutions. If you are searching for a particular document and already know its document symbol, you can often, for digitized documents, find the document on the web by searching for it by symbol in a search engine, or by entering the following URL in your browser, followed by the document symbol: https://undocs.org/.
See, below, examples of symbol format for two types of UN documents: resolutions of the Security Council and of the General Assembly.
Document Symbol Structure: S/RES/<sequential number of resolution> (year of adoption)
Eg. S/RES/1440 (2002)
Depending on the date of the resolution there are different formats.
Document Symbol Structure: A/RES/<sequential number of resolution> (number of the General Assembly session in capitalized roman numerals)
Eg. A/RES/491 (V)
Document Symbol Structure: A/RES/<number of the General Assembly session in arabic numerals>/<serial number of the resolution for that session>
Special sessions and emergency sessions have different symbols.