Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration and is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. IOM works with its partners in the international community to assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration, advance understanding of migration issues, encourage social and economic development through migration and uphold the well-being and human rights of migrants.
Alphabetic Listing of UN System Organizations and Entities
The United Nations system is made up of the organizations established by the Charter of the United Nations, that is, the United Nations proper, the specialized agencies provided for in Article 57 of the Charter and a number of programmes established by the General Assembly under its authority derived from Article 22 of the Charter. To this must be added the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which is not a specialized agency in the strict legal sense.
The aim of the Food and Agriculture Organization, as defined in its Constitution, is to: raise levels of nutrition and standards of living; secure improvements in food production and distribution; better the conditions of rural people and; contribute toward an expanding world economy and ensure freedom from hunger.
The purpose of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is to promote and accelerate the contribution atomic energy makes to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world. At the same time, the Agency is charged with ensuring that the assistance it provides is not used to further states' military objectives, and that nuclear material is not diverted to non-peaceful activities.
The Convention on International Civil Aviation, which provided for the establishment of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), was signed in Chicago in 1944. The Organization came into existence on 4 April 1947 after 26 states had ratified the Convention. Under article 44 of the Convention, the ICAO is charged with developing the principles and techniques of international air navigation, and fostering the planning and development of international air transport to ensure the safe and orderly growth of international civil aviation throughout the world.
The Commission’s mandate covers all facets of staff employment conditions, but the type of action it is empowered to take in a specific area is regulated under its statute.
On some matters (e.g. establishment of daily subsistence allowance; schedules of post adjustment, i.e. cost-of-living element; hardship entitlements), the Commission itself may take decisions.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and UN specialised agency dedicated to eradicating poverty in rural areas of developing countries. The Fund was established in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) was founded in 1919, its Constitution forming part of the Treaty of Versailles. The ILO became the first specialised agency of the UN in 1946.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the UN specialised agency responsible for the safety of life at sea, maritime security and the protection of the marine environment through prevention of sea pollution caused by ships. It facilitates cooperation among governments to achieve the highest practicable standards of maritime safety and security, and efficiency in navigation.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organisation of 187 countries that works to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) was founded in 1865 in Paris as the International Telegraph Union. The 1932 Madrid Plenipotentiary Conference decided the current name, which came into force on 1 January 1934. The ITU is an inter-governmental organization that brings together governments and industry to coordinate the establishment and operation of global telecommunication networks and services.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) works with partners to help businesses trade and provides sustainable and inclusive trade development solutions to exporters, trade support institutions and policymakers.
The Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) is the only independent external oversight body of the United Nations system mandated to conduct evaluations, inspections and investigations system-wide. The Statute of the Joint Inspection Unit (UNGA resolution 31/192 of 22 December 1976) determines the functions, powers and responsibilities of the Unit as well as its mode of operations, including the procedures for handling, processing and considering reports/notes by legislative/governing bodies of participating organizations.
The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) brings together the efforts and resources of 10 UN system organizations to help prevent new HIV infections, care for people living with HIV and mitigate the impact of the epidemic. UNAIDS helps mount and support an expanded response to the AIDS virus, one that engages the efforts of many sectors and partners from government and civil society.
GA res. 48/141 (1993) established the post of High Commissioner for Human Rights to promote and protect the effective enjoyment by all people of all civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights, including the right to development. It further held that the High Commissioner should function as the UN official with principal responsibility for global human rights efforts. The High Commissioner acts under the direction and authority of the Secretary-General. GA res. 48/141 (1993) lists the activities that comprise the High Commissioner's mandate.
The work of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is humanitarian and non-political. Its principal functions are to provide international protection to refugees and other persons of concern, including stateless people, and to seek durable solutions for them. Protection includes preventing refoulement (the involuntary return of a refugee or a person of concern to a country where he or she may have a well-founded fear of persecution) and ensuring that host countries follow international norms in the treatment of refugees.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was created under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC), negotiated in the Conference on Disarmament and that entered into force on 29 April 1997. Its role is to ensure implementation of the Convention's provisions, including those for international compliance, and to provide a forum for consultation and cooperation. It is an independent inter-governmental organisation, not a UN specialised agency.
The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO Preparatory Commission), established by the States Signatories to the Treaty on 19 November 1996, is mandated to carry out the necessary preparations for the entry into force and effective implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). This includes the establishment of a global verification regime to monitor compliance with the Treaty.
UN Women was established in July 2010 by the General Assembly (res. 64/289) to improve the coordination and coherence of gender equality and empowerment of women, and promote more effective gender mainstreaming across the UN system. It consolidated the work of four UN gender entities: the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women, the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women.
The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.
The UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established by the General Assembly (GA res. 57 (I) (1946) to provide emergency assistance to children in war-ravaged countries following World War II. By GA res. 417 (V) (1950), the UN General Assembly charged it with addressing the needs of children in developing countries. GA res. 802 (VIII) (1953) extended UNICEF'S mandate indefinitely, with an emphasis on programmes giving long-term benefits to children everywhere, particularly those in developing countries, and changed the organization's name to the United Nations Children's Fund but retained the UNICEF acronym.
UNCTAD promotes the integration of developing countries into the world economy. Its work aims to help shape policy debates and thinking on development, with a particular focus on ensuring that domestic policies and international action are mutually supportive in bringing about sustainable development.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations lead agency for the UN development system. Its objective is to build inclusive, sustainable and resilient societies. It has a presence in 176 countries and territories, and provides expert advice, training and financial support. Special attention is paid to the needs of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and countries emerging from conflict.
The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) serves as the regional arm of the UN in economic, social and related fields. Its work includes norm-setting, dissemination of information, analytical and operational functions, as well as providing an important forum for articulating regional perspectives on global issues and for building consensus within the Asia-Pacific region (GA res. 321197 (1977) and ECOSOC res. 1998/46 (1998).
The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) helps to shape and implement global policy frameworks, notably the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), hand in hand with its 18 member States.
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) was established in 1958 by ECOSOC res. 671A (XXV) (1958), and is one of five regional commissions under the administrative direction of UN Headquarters. As the regional arm of the UN in Africa, it is mandated to support the economic and social development of its 53 Member States, foster regional integration and promote international cooperation for Africa's development.
The Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was created in 1947 by ECOSOC res. 36 (IV) (1947). Its major aim is to promote pan-European economic integration. To do so, UNECE brings together 56 countries from Europe, Central Asia and North America to work together on economic and sectoral issues.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) was founded in 1948 by ECOSOC res. 106 (VI) to coordinate policies for the promotion of sustainable Latin American economic development and to foster regional and international trade. Later, its work was extended to the Caribbean countries and its programme of action expanded to promote sustainable social development.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was established in 1945 to promote the aims set out in article 1, para. 3 of the UN Charter. Its purpose, as stated in article 1 of its Constitution, is to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science and culture.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) was established by GA res. 2997 (XXVII) (1972) following the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. It aims to provide leadership and encourage partnerships in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and people to improve their quality of life, without compromising that of future generations.
In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable.
GA res. 32/162 (1977) established the Governing Council of the UN Human Settlements Programme and its Secretariat, the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) (previously known as the UN Centre for Human Settlements). UN-HABITAT, which has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, is charged with coordinating human settlement activities within the UN system and facilitating the global exchange of information on shelter and sustainable urban development.
The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the UN specialized agency mandated to promote industrial development and international industrial cooperation. The Organization's mission statement is: Partner for prosperity: UNIDO aspires to reduce poverty through sustainable industrial development. we want every country to have the opportunity to grow a flourishing productive sector, to increase their participation in international trade and to safeguard their environment.
The UN Institute for Disarmament Research( UNIDIR) is an autonomous body of the UN, established by the General Assembly to carry out independent research on disarmament and related international security issues.
The UN Institute for training and Research (UNITAR) was established "for the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of the United Nations in achieving the major objectives of the Organization'' through extensive training and research (UNITAR Statute). Operating as an autonomous body within UN system, the Institute provides short-term executive training to Members States' national and local government officials, and representatives of civil society and the private sector.
The International Computing Centre (ICC) was established in 1971 by a Memorandum of Agreement among the United Nations (UN), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), pursuant to resolution 2741 (XXV) of the United Nations General Assembly. It was created as an inter-organization facility to provide electronic data processing services for themselves and other Users.
UNISDR was created in December 1999 in response to a need for mainstreaming disaster risk reduction within the UN's. development and other work areas. It serves as the UN system focal point for coordination of disaster reduction, and ensures synergies among UN system and regional organisations in disaster reduction activities, and socio-economic and humanitarian activity fields (GA res, 56/195 (2001)).
The UN Inter-regional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) is one of five UN research and training institutes. It was created to help inter-governmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations in formulating and implementing improved policies in crime prevention and criminal justice. It does this through applied research, training, technical cooperation, field activities and the collection, exchange and dissemination of information.
The UN Office for Project Services' (UNOPS') mission is to expand the capacity of the UN system and its partners to implement peace building, humanitarian and development operations that matter for people in need. Working in some of the world's most challenging environments, UNOPS' core services include project management, procurement, human resources management, fund management and UN common services.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is the secretariat of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three supplementary protocols on: Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children; Smuggling of Migrants; and illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms. It is also the secretariat of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption. UNODC promotes the ratification and implementation of all of these conventions and protocols through capacity building, training and technical assistance.
The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is a United Nations development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was established by the General Assembly (GA res. 302 (IV)) on 8 December 1949, following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, to carry out direct relief and works programmes for Palestine refugees. The Agency began operations on 1 May 1950.
The UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) is an autonomous body of the UN that was established in 1963 by a decision of the Secretary-General (ST/SGB/126) with a mandate to conduct policy-relevant research on pressing issues of social development.
Established in 2002 (A/RES/55/278), the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC)
delivers high-quality learning programmes and tailored solutions for UN staff and partners, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UN reform, as well as the sustaining peace resolutions.
The UN University (UNU) was established by GA res. 2951 (XXVII)(1972) as an autonomous organ of the General Assembly. The mission of the UN University is to contribute, through collaborative research and education, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States.
In carrying out this mission, the UN University works with leading universities and research institutes in UN Member States, functioning as a bridge between the international academic community and the United Nations system.
The Universal Postal Union (UPU) was established by the Berne Treaty of 1874 and became a specialised agency of the UN in 1948. Article 1 of the Vienna Constitution 1964 states that the aim of the Union is to secure the organisation and improvements of postal services, promote the development of international collaboration and undertake, as far as possible, technical assistance in postal matters requested by members countries. To this end, the countries that have adopted the Constitution comprise a single postal territory.
Since inception in 1944, the World Bank has expanded from a single institution to a closely associated group of five development institutions.
The World Food Programme (WFP) was established in 1961 by the General Assembly and UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference as the UN System's food aid organisation. The WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.
Representatives of 61 states adopted the World Health Organization (WHO) Constitution in 1946. The Organization formally came into existence on 7 April 1948 and became a UN specialized agency on 10 July 1948. Article 1 of the Constitution defines the WHO's objective as "the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health". The detailed functions are set out in article 2 of the Constitution.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system that rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development while safeguarding the public interest.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is the successor to the International Meteorological Organization, which was established in 1873. It formally came into existence in 1950 and became a UN specialised agency in 1951.
UNWTO is the UN's specialised agency in the field of tourism. It provides leadership and support to the tourism sector in the advancement of sustainable policies, practices and actions. Through the promotion and development of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism, UNWTO endeavours to maximise tourism's contribution to socio-economic growth, job creation, development, environmental conservation, cultural enrichment and international understanding, while minimizing negative social or environmental impacts. It pays particular attention to the interests of developing countries.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business.