United Nations Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Scope and Content

This collection consists mainly of the papers of the central organisation of the UNA and relate to the day to day running and administration of the Association. It includes material relating to the establishment and administration of the World Federation of United Nations Associations; minutes and agendas of annual general meetings, organisational committees and campaign committees, including the Working with Africa committee; material relating to the Association's finances and general administration; minutes and correspondence relating to the UNA Trust; correspondence concerning the Media Peace Prize; reports and papers relating to the Falklands War, the Iran/Iraq War, the Middle East, disarmament, peace activities, human rights and the environment; minutes, correspondence and other material relating to International Years; correspondence relating to the United Nations Day and the 40th anniversary of the UN; material relating to the organisation and appraisal of Walk for the World; minutes and newsletters of the International Broadcasting Trust; material relating to the regional groups, the Youth and Student Movement, and the International Student Movement of the United Nations; and UNA publications.

Administrative / Biographical History

The United Nations Association came into being in 1948 with the help of money from the League of Nations Union, which continued as a parallel organisation. After the demise of the League of Nations Union, the UNA took over many of its functions and staff. The UNA describes itself as a "critical fan club of the United Nations" and has always reflected the concerns of the United Nations. Initially, it focussed on the issues of world peace and the danger of war through hunger, and whilst these have remained central issues, the agenda has expanded to include human rights, third world development and the environment as issues of major importance. The range of activities that the UNA undertake has also changed. Initially, it concentrated mainly on lobbying government and meeting civil servants and ministers. However it gradually expanded into campaigning in its own right and educating the public about issues of concern.

Education has become an increasingly significant part of the work of the UNA. It strives to educate the public about the role and activities of the United Nations and how the UNA is involved in these. It also publishes leaflets on various key issues.

The UNA itself is divided into various branches, which are largely independent of the centre, with co-ordinating regional officers who are in touch with both the centre and the branches, committees relating to single issues such as human rights, and a general council which meets once a year to debate issues raised by the branches. Information from the central organisation is sent out to the branches via the Branch Letter and campaign packs are sent out for the annual nationwide UNA campaign. The UNA Trust is the funding arm of the UNA. This body gives grants to projects that conform to the ideals of the UNA and the UN. It is a registered charity. UNA Youth is an organisation that is part of the UNA but has its own constitution and its own structure, which mirrors that of UNA. The UNA is also a members of other organisations that conform to its ideals, such as the National Peace Council.


This collection is arranged in 26 sections:
1. World Federation of United Nations Associations, 1946-1989.
2. Annual General Meetings, 1946-1990.
3. Administrative Committees, 1945-1992.
4. Campaign Committees, 1945-1992.
5. Finance, 1959-1989.
6. Administration, 1947-1989.
7. United Nations Association, 1976-1988.
8. Media Peace Prize, 1983-1985.
9. Falklands War, 1982-1986.
10. Iran/Iraq War, 1987-1988.
11. Middle East, 1973-1989.
12. Disarmament, 1977-1992.
13. Peace, 1958-1989.
14. Human Rights, 1973-1989.
15. International Years, 1978-1987.
16. United Nations Day, 1977-1980.
17. United Nations 40th Anniversary, 1985-1986.
18. Walk For The World, 1986-1988.
19. Working With Africa Appeal, 1986-1989.
20. International Broadcasting Trust, 1984-1988.
21. Environment, 1988-1994.
22. United Nations Association Regions, 1946-1990.
23. United Nations Association Youth, 1947-1992.
24. International Student Movement of the United Nations, 1973-1984.
25. United Nations Associations Publications, 1945-1986.
26. Miscellaneous, 1957-1989.

Access Information


Other Finding Aids

Printed handlist and online catalogue available.

Archivist's Note

Output from CAIRS using template 14 and checked by hand on May 29, 2002

Conditions Governing Use