UNCRP Archives – Annotated

These archives contain documents prepared under the various phases of the UNCRP, from its inception in 1989 to the present, with downloadable document where available. Following is an annotated listing of these documents, prepared in reverse chronological order:

2015-16 – The UN @ 70

Three Witness Seminars were organised to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN@70):

WS1 Development Cooperation, held at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) of the University of Sussex, Brighton from 13 to 14 May 2015, for which the following documents were prepared:

WS2 Humanitarian support and complex emergencies, held at the new Weston Library of the Bodleian Library, Oxford on 16 October 2015, for which the following reports were prepared:

WS3 Global governance, peace and security, held in London in January 2016, in commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the first session of the UN Security Council at Church House, Westminster in January 1946, for which the following report was prepared:

These Seminars brought together former UN staff as well as senior British officials to share their recollections and experiences in the thematic areas as a contribution both to the UNCRP collection in the Bodleian Library as well as to learning lessons of experience which might be of use for future UN work.   Recommendations from WS1 and WS2 were forwarded to the UK government.

These three Witness Seminars gave rise to the preparation of an Institute of Development Studies (IDS) Evidence Report (No 205) which was co-edited by Sir Richard Jolly and Michael Askwith, and brought together articles by participants on themes drawn from the seminars.

This report was launched as an on-line publication, with limited hard copies, at an event in the House of Lords on 20 October 2016 co-hosted by the IDS.

2010 – The UN @ 65

UNCRP/WS/2010/01 The UN in Crisis Situations – Some personal perspectives

A Witness Seminar was held on 22 October 2010 at the Rothschild Archive Trust, 1 King William Street, City of London, EC4N 7 under the auspices of King’s College, London, the Bodleian Library and the UNCRP on the theme of The UN in Crisis Situations – Some personal perspectives at which presentations were made, by Dame Margaret Anstee (CD recording without transcript submitted) and Alan Doss, former Under-Secretary General

2005 – The UN @ 60

2005 saw the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations and widespread discussion of the report of the Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. These two aspects of the UN’s past history and future development were explored in a day-long programme devised and co-hosted by the Bodleian Library and the Department of Politics, Centre for International studies in Convocation House in the Old Bodleian, under two sessions:

1) The UN at 60: Future Directions and Past Recollections took place on Friday, 20 May. The morning session provided a forum for members of BAFUNCS, universities and local branches of the UK UN Association, the academic community, and others, to outline what they held to be the key moments in either their UN careers. Participants were invited to focus on the recent past, the years between the end of the first phase of the UNCRP in 1993 and the start of the first Iraq War in 2002. The event was recorded and a copy of the subsequent transcription was added to the library’s holdings of UN-related material. A diverse range of topics were recalled including climate change, the erosion of state sovereignty, peace-keeping, human development, technical assistance, and the volunteer programme; places remembered included Nigeria, Rio de Janeiro, Guatemala, Turkey, and Kashmir. (A copy of the full, edited transcripts is available in the Special Collections Reading Room: MS. Eng. 7221).

2) A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility” roundtable on the report of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, held in the Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford, which several participants attended in the afternoon.

UNCRP/WS/2005/01 UN@60 WS Summary of Proceedings: Witness Seminar, Convocation House, Bodleian Library, 7 May 2005

1989 – 1992 UNCRP’s Early Years

Funded originally under a grant from the Ford Foundation of New York and the Rhodes Trust of Oxford, the UNCRP’s early activities was carried out between 1989 – 1992 under the direction of former UN staff member, Mr Richard Symonds. St. Antony’s College kindly agreed to provide an office and administrative services for the UNCRP.  This phase comprised the completion of 329 questionnaires, together with relevant documents, reports, memoirs and photographs

These contributions were then analysed and reported on in two separate documents:


CLICK HERE  for the Bodleian Library’s own archive of this material


Special Collections

The UNCRP also contains a series of special collections of papers relating to particular individuals. Some of them have been catalogued in the Catalogue of the papers of the United Nations Career Records Project (1995) by Mr Martin Jennings. The main collections received to date are as follows:

Sidney Dell (1918-90), Ref. Catalogue of the papers of Sidney Dell (1918-90), 1943-90, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, M. Jennings,1995; Online catalogue 2009. (The cataloguing of Dell’s papers was funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation. Conversion to EAD supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation);

George Ivan Smith (1915-95) Ref. Catalogue of the papers of George Ivan Smith, 1888-1995, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Lucy McCann, 2003.

Further collections of papers of former UN officials have been contributed, or promised, but have not yet been catalogued. These relate to:

Sir Marrack Goulding (1936 – 2010), formerly of the UK Diplomatic Service, including HM Ambassador in Angola, and Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs;

Lord Michael Williams (1949 – 2017) former UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (2006 – 2007) and for Lebanon (2008 – 2011)

Dame Margaret Anstee (1926 – 2016), former UN Under-Secretary General;

Martin Barber (1945 – ..), former Chief of UNOCHA’s Policy Development and Advocacy Branch and Director of Mine Action Service, DPKO;

Fred Eckhart (1943 – ..), former Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan

Sir Richard Jolly (1934 – ..), former Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF (Papers promised)

Edward Mortimer (1943 – …), former Director of Communications, UN Secretary-General’s Office (to be confirmed)

Sir Peter Marshall, former Deputy, Economic and Social Affairs, to Britain’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations in Geneva, 1979-83. Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General, 1983-88 (to be confirmed)

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