In 1996, the Committee on Teaching About the United Nations was founded by Sally Swing Shelley, a senior officer in the United Nations Department of Public Information, and Barbara M. Walker, an educator at the Washington International School, to offer support for educators and promote teaching about the United Nations.

Starting in 1997, Anne-Marie Carlson of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International formed a team of volunteer experts to enable educators to develop new and better ways of teaching about the United Nations and its civil society partners. CTAUN provides a resource center, bringing together materials developed throughout the UN System and makes available exemplary materials used by governments and NGOs, teachers and curriculum specialists.