The International Law Handbook was prepared by the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs under the United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 70/116 of 14 December 2015.

Ambassador Emmanuel K. Dadzie of Ghana proposed the establishment of this programme when he served as Vice-Chairman of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly at its 18th session in 1963. Following efforts led by Afghanistan, Belgium, Ghana and Ireland, the General Assembly decided, by resolution 2099 (XX) of 20 December 1965, to establish the Programme of Assistance to contribute towards a better knowledge of international law as a means of strengthening international peace and security and promoting friendly relations and cooperation among States.

The International Law Handbook is a collection of instruments used by the Codification Division as study materials for its training courses under the Programme of Assistance. This publication was prepared to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Programme in 2015 and to promote the teaching and dissemination of international law around the world. It is available on the United Nations Programme of Assistance website as well as the Audiovisual Library of International Law free of charge. It may be reproduced for academic purposes to further the teaching and dissemination of international law anywhere in the world.