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.
CEB Member Organizations
The membership of the CEB includes the United Nations; 15 specialized agencies established by intergovernmental agreement; 3 Related Organizations; and 12 funds and programmes created by the United Nations General Assembly. IOM is the newest member to join the CEB.
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 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 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 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.
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.
Since inception in 1944, the World Bank has expanded from a single institution to a closely associated group of five development institutions.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.