Successful app UNU Jargon Buster deciphers UN language

CHAP, RIMLG, WEEE, UNSSSS, SDGs: even experienced social scientists struggle to sift through the web of UN acronyms. Howard Hudson, a communications coordinator at UNU-MERIT, created an app to decrypt confusing UN jargon. His idea drew the attention of Reuters press agency and the president of the UN General Assembly, who even mentioned it on Twitter.

Hudson knows first-hand how baffling UN texts can be, which are often littered with acronyms. To make things easier for himself, he started working on a glossary. This ultimately led to the development of an app for iOS and Android, created in collaboration with his UNU-MERIT colleague Iulia Falcan and the local company Mediablenders. The app includes 450 acronyms and abbreviations, from AAR to WTO, and is geared towards students, researchers and policymakers.

Reuters published an article on the topic that has been used by dozens of media outlets, including,,,, and Mogens Lykketoft, president of the 2015 General Assembly, even mentioned the app on Twitter.

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