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Tags are non-hierarchical keywords or terms assigned to documents and clauses. This kind of metadata helps describe the information available on and it allows it to be found again by browsing. The tagging list has been open so far and the choice to assign particular tags to each clause and document has been done by the researchers who completed the process of extracting and classifying the clauses. All the tags currently available on are part of the UN lingo (i.e. words and expressions from UN documents in their initial form).

The history of the clause aims to illustrate the evolution of clauses from within follow-up documents (documents which have been adopted several years in a row). The clause history underlines all the modifications brought to a particular clause throughout the years at a linguistic level.

The addressee of a given clause is the person, organisation or group of states the clause is directed to:

  • All Member States
  • Group of States
  • International Community
  • UN Secretary General
  • UN Organ
  • Private Sector
  • Civil Society
  • "Major groups"
  • Regional Organizations
  • Multilateral Organizations
  • Organizations
  • National Organizations
  • Other

Because agreements that are legally binding by form sometimes contain quite indeterminate language, and in turn, provisions from agreements that are by form non-legally binding may be supported by a large number of states to such a degree that they might amount to legally binding norms. Such cases are usually difficult to identify, and often disputed. Classification via abstract criteria cannot take into account such disputed cases. Consequently, ResolutionFinder assigns information types in order to classify documents independently from their legal value. We distinguish between the following information types:

Commitments made by states

Commitments made by states are understood as clauses from UN agreements containing measures that need to be carried out by states. The addressee of such a clause thus needs to be the states themselves. From a legal point of view, it could be contested that such clauses reflect a legally relevant agreement, since they technically reflect the view of the respective issuing organ. However, the fact that the issuing organ is in fact composed of state representatives needs to be taken into consideration: Regardless of any legal qualification, clauses adopted by states and addressed at states can be considered as a commitment on a political level. Commitments made by states are divided into national level and international level, depending on whether the measure needs to be implemented domestically or regionally/globally.

Further recommendations for implementation

While a large amount of clauses contain measures to be undertaken by states, they are not necessarily commitments in the sense that they merely recommend action to states. Such clauses are considered as constituting further recommendations for implementation.

requests to UN institution

Clauses addressed to an organ within the UN System, i.e. such clauses that specifically address the part of the UN System (be it an organ of an international organization, or specific parts of the various Secretariats of international organizations), have been defined as requests to UN institution.

Request and recommendations to actors other than states

Clauses addressed to actors other than states are split into requests and recommendations to actors other than states. Due to the great diversity of language used when determining the addressee, no further differentiation as to the term actors other than states is used.
Document Type Legal Value
Treaty/Convention/Covenant Legally binding
Protocol to Convention Legally binding
Declaration Non-legally binding
Plan of action Non-legally binding
GA Resolution Non-legally binding
SC Resolution does not assign a legal value to SC Resolutions
Decision Non-legally binding
Recommendation Non-legally binding
Conclusion Non-legally binding
Presidential Statement Non-legally binding

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