New York | DM
After working intensively to process, digitize and review the papers of former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Archives and Records Management Section (ARMS) of the Department of Management has made the vast majority of them searchable and available for public consultation via our website.
ARMS is proud to enable researchers and others around the world to have access to this rich collection.
Unlike the official documents of the United Nations, which are available through the Dag Hammarskjöld Library and other Secretariat libraries, the Organization’s archives are comprised of its internal working papers.
Typically, United Nations archives are released after 20 years, but in this case, former Secretary-General Ban’s office worked with ARMS to ensure that his archives were issued as soon, and as widely, as possible.
Notably, the records now open for review include many marked Confidential or Strictly Confidential. The decision to declassify these documents was taken on a case-by-case basis by individuals with the relevant expertise, and always in light of guidance from ST/SGB/2007/6 on Information sensitivity, classification, and handling.
The net result of this project is that approximately 80 per cent of Mr. Ban’s archives are now available online. The remaining 20 per cent will, for the time being, remain closed for public consultation for reasons detailed in ST/SGB/2007/6.
In the context of accessing the archives of international organizations, opening this amount of material from such a major organization’s head, is a significant achievement and an important demonstration of the United Nations’ commitment to transparency and accountability.