The Historic Archives aims to preserve, in a vivid and informative manner, the audiovisual heritage of the United Nations in the progressive development and codification of international law and thereby promote a better understanding of the essential role of the United Nations in the advancement of the rule of law.

The Historic Archives provides a unique multi-media resource for teaching, studying and researching significant legal instruments, on virtually every subject of international law.

Each entry of the Historic Archives is devoted to a particular legal instrument. It contains an introduction prepared by an eminent international law scholar or practitioner with special expertise on the subject, information on its procedural history and related documents, as well as the text and status of the instrument. Each legal instrument is accompanied by audiovisual materials, as available, including film footage, audio recordings and photos, relating to the negotiation and adoption of the instrument at meetings or diplomatic conferences.

The authors of introductory notes write in their personal capacity and are expressing their own personal views. The introductory notes and accompanying materials do not necessarily represent the views of the United Nations.

How to use the Historic Archives