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UN Photo
UN Photo
Thursday 5 March 2020

Topics: Digital Collections

From its very inception, the issues of women’s rights and the advancement of the status of women in all realms of society were brought to the table at the United Nations. At the San Francisco Conference in 1945, outspoken women delegates achieved that several articles on gender equality were included in the UN Charter.

Eleanor Roosevelt, one of 17 women delegates and advisers at the first session of the General Assembly in London, in "An Open Letter to the Women of the World" called upon all women to grasp every opportunity to play a more active role in international affairs. Shortly thereafter, ECOSOC established the Commission on the Status of Women.

Discussions about the advancement of women culminated in the proclamation of 1975 as the International Women’s Year.

In 1975, the First World Conference of the International Women's Year was held in Mexico City.  The Conference marked the beginning of a new era of greater participation of women and girls in all aspects of social progress, development, and the search for peace, and urged Member States to recognize women’s rights and to develop policies to fully integrate women into all areas of life.

The Dag Hammarskjöld Library has now digitized the complete documentation of the Conference, which can be accessed online in the UN Digital Library.

More information

AskDAG:  Major UN conferences on women

Research Guide:  Commission on the Status of Women

Research Guide:  Women and Global Diplomacy: From Peace Movements to the United Nations

Blue Book:  The United Nations and the Advancement of Women, 1945-1996

UN Conference on New Sources of Energy
UN Conference on New Sources of Energy
Monday 9 December 2019

Topics: Digital Collections

Did you know that, long before the adoption of the 2030 Agenda which set ensuring access to affordable, sustainable and modern energy for all as one of its 17 sustainable development goals (SDG 7), the United Nations had already started exploring new sources of energy for sustainable development?

The United Nations Conference on New Sources of Energy, held from 21 to 31 August 1961 in Rome, Italy, discussed the applications of geothermal, wind and solar energy, as well as the means by which sustainable energy could be brought into wider use, particularly for the benefit of less developed countries.

According to the Conference report, geothermal energy drove electricity generating plants with a capacity of nearly 400,000 kilowatts, about three-fourths of it in Italy and the remaining capacity in New Zealand, the United States, Mexico and elsewhere. Geothermal energy also heated homes in Iceland, hatched chickens in Kenya and produced salt and chemical by-products. The conference recommended further exploration of geothermal resources to increase its use.

Wind power development ranged from small windmills for water pumping and electricity generation to large turbines for supplying power in remote communities and connection to major power networks. Many technical advances were presented at the Conference, such as using fiber glass-reinforced plastics and designing wind power installations according to aerodynamic principles.

Discussions around solar energy took a major part at the Conference. Topics ranged from new materials for solar energy generation to water heating, solar drying, solar cooking and solar refrigeration. It was concluded that further research was needed to substantially reduce the cost of storage of heat and power from solar and wind energy.

The Dag Hammarskjöld Library has now digitized the complete documentation of the Conference, including 250 technical papers, which can be accessed online in the UN Digital Library. The report of the Conference is contained in document E/3577/Rev.1.

Find out more on this topic in our related research guides on climate change and development.

For additional resources or research assistance, please visit our website or contact us.