Major Themes in UN History


This section provides one potential framework to conceptualize the history of the United Nations through thirteen themes (to correspond to a thirteen-week university course). Rather than structure UN history around the development of various agencies, these themes show the interconnections of UN institutions, ideas, and persons. They also highlight the vast range of the UN's activities and will prove a useful starting point for model UN initiatives such as Global Classrooms Model UN.

This section contains timelines of major events in the history of each theme along with featured primary sources for teachers to use in the classroom. The annotated bibliographies showcase a wide range of online material and academic writing on each theme. They serve as a starting point both for teachers designing courses and for researchers working on the various themes. Finally, there are lectures on several themes by leading scholars and important UN personalities, including Gro Harlem Brundtland, Amartya Sen, and Sunil Amrith.

Please note that the bibliographies are continually updated, while the timelines were created in 2012.