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List of United Nations Organizations

List of Specialized Agencies of the United Nations

Specialized agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the co-ordinating machinery of the United Nations Economic and Social Council at the intergovernmental level, and through the Chief Executives Board for co-ordination (CEB) at the inter-secretariat level. Specialized agencies may or may not have been originally created by the United Nations, but they are incorporated into the United Nations System by the United Nations Economic and Social Council acting under Articles 57 and 63 of the United Nations Charter. At present the UN has in total 15 specialized agencies that carry out various functions on behalf of the UN. The specialized agencies are listed below.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO’s mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. FAO is the largest of the UN agencies. It was established in 1945 and its headquarters is in Rome, Italy.

FAO Logo.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was founded in 1947. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth. Its headquarters are located in the Quartier international de Montréal of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The ICAO Council adopts standards and recommended practices concerning air navigation, prevention of unlawful interference, and facilitation of border-crossing procedures for international civil aviation. In addition, ICAO defines the protocols for air accident investigation followed by transport safety authorities in countries signatory to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, commonly known as the Chicago Convention.

ICAO flag.

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) was established as an international financial institution in 1977, as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference and a response to the situation in the Sahel. It is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Its headquarters are in Rome, Italy.

International Labour Organization (ILO)

The International Labour Organization (ILO) deals with labour issues. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1919, it was formed through the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles and was initially an agency of the League of Nations. It became a member of the UN system after the demise of the League and the formation of the UN at the end of World War II. Its Constitution, as amended to date, includes the Declaration of Philadelphia on the aims and purposes of the Organization. Its secretariat is known as the International Labour Office.

ILO flag.

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), formerly known as the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), was established in 1948 through the United Nations to coordinate international maritime safety and related practices. However the IMO did not enter into full force until 1958.

Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, the IMO promotes cooperation among government and the shipping industry to improve maritime safety and to prevent marine pollution. IMO is governed by an Assembly of members and is financially administered by a Council of members elected from the Assembly. The work of IMO is conducted through five committees and these are supported by technical sub-committees. Member organizations of the UN organizational family may observe the proceedings of the IMO. Observer status may be granted to qualified non-governmental organizations.

The IMO is supported by a permanent secretariat of employees who are representative of its members. The secretariat is composed of a Secretary-General who is periodically elected by the Assembly, and various divisions including, inter alia, marine safety, environmental protection, and a conference section. And also promotes international cooperation in education, science and culture.

IMO flag.

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) is part of the United Nations system and has a formal relationship agreement with the UN, but retains its independence. The IMF provides monetary cooperation and financial stability and acts as a forum for advice, negotiation and assistance on financial issues. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States of America.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) was established to standardize and regulate international radio and telecommunications. It was founded as the International Telegraph Union in Paris on 17 May 1865. Its main tasks include standardization, allocation of the radio spectrum, and organizing interconnection arrangements between different countries to allow international phone calls — in which regard it performs for telecommunications a similar function to what the UPU performs for postal services. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, next to the main United Nations campus.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1946 with its headquarters in Paris, France. Its stated purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter.

UNESCO flag.

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations, which promotes inclusive and sustainable industrial development(ISID), headquartered in Vienna, Austria. The Organization addresses some of the most pressing issues of our time, and works to accelerate economic growth in order to bring prosperity to all while at the same time safeguarding the environment. UNIDO’s mandate is fully aligned with the global development agenda, which underlines the central role of industrialization and its importance as a key enabler for all 17 Global Goals, and especially for SDG9. 

Universal Postal Union (UPU)

The Universal Postal Union (UPU), headquartered in Berne, Switzerland, coordinates postal policies between member nations, and hence the worldwide postal system. Each member country agrees to the same set of terms for conducting international postal duties.

UPU flag.

World Bank Group (WBG)

The World Bank Group is part of the United Nations system and has a formal relationship agreement with the UN, but retains its independence. The WBG comprises a group of five legally separate but affiliated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Development Association (IDA), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). It is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Its mission is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting results and to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors. The WBG headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., United States of America.

World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO) acts as a coordinating authority on international public health which deals with health and sanitation and diseases and sends medical teams to help combat epidemics. Established on 7 April 1948, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health Organization, which had been an agency of the League of Nations. It was established in April 7, 1948 when 26 members of the United Nations ratified its Constitution. April 7 is celebrated as the World Health Day every year. The WHO is governed by 194 Member States through the World Health Assembly. Its headquarters are at Geneva in Switzerland.

WHO flag.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations created in 1967 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Its purpose is to encourage creative activity and to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world. The organization administers several treaties concerning the protection of intellectual property rights.

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was founded in 1873. Established in 1950, WMO became the specialized agency of the United Nations for modern meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

WMO flag.

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO or WTO)

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO or WTO) was established in 1974 in Madrid, Spain, to replace the International Union of Official Tourist Publicity Organizations (IUOTPO). UNWTO has 160 member states and 350 affiliated members representing private organizations, educational institutions and others. It is headquartered in Madrid, Spain. The World Tourism Organization serves as a forum for tourism policies and acts as a practical source for tourism know-how.

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  • Olabode Muyiwa Joseph

    very soon I will work with United Nation organization by God's grace.

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