How IAMLADP began
The origins of IAMLADP (generally pronounced "yam-lap") can be traced back to 1967, when the United Nations General Assembly showed some concern about potential overlapping or coordination lacunae in publications programmes being pursued by the UN family of organizations. As a result, the Assembly requested the Secretary General, in his capacity as Chairman of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), to undertake a review of such programmes with a view to their harmonization.
Following some discussions and preparatory meetings, in 1969 the Administrative Committee on Coordination invited all organizations within the system to a meeting on publications and documentation (held at UN Headquarters in New York), which was the first one of its kind. It had been preceded by a meeting on language and related arrangements, also convened under the auspices of the Administrative Committee on Coordination and with many of the same participants. But these were ad hoc events and the next meeting would not take place until 1974 (held also at the UN Headquarters), when it was convoked for the first time with the name: the Inter-Agency Meeting on Language Arrangements, Documentation and Publications or IAMLADP.
Up to 1980 IAMLADP was no more than one of the many subject-specific meetings occasionally organized by the Administrative Committee on Coordination. However, as from that year it became a formal coordinating mechanism -not reporting any longer to that Committee and included in the Inventory of Arrangements for Programme Coordination in the UN System- and has met annually ever since without discontinuation.
There was, however, no precise formal description of the structure and functioning of IAMLADP. At the 1994 meeting (held in London, at the IMO Headquarters) it was felt that it would be appropriate to have a written mandate, and a drafting group produced a mandate, which was adopted by IAMLADP at the same meeting and then amended at the 2001 meeting (held in Geneva, at the ITU headquarters) when membership, which was originally limited to organizations of the United Nations system, was opened to other intergovernmental organizations. The changes affected mainly the definition of “member" and some logistical arrangements in the area of meetings and documentation (mandate as amended in 2001).
At the 24th annual meeting, held at the United Nations Office at Nairobi in 2005, it was decided to change the name of the forum from Inter-Agency Meeting on Language Arrangements, Documentation and Publications to International Annual Meeting on Language Arrangements, Documentation and Publications, to reflect the increased participation of organizations that did not form part of the United Nations system. The acronym by which the forum is mostly referred to thus remained unchanged.
Based on "A brief introduction to IAMLADP" by Fermin Alcoba.