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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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. It also promotes international cooperation in education, science and culture.
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.
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.
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 propagate further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter.
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. The Director General is Li Yong.
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.
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.
The IBRD makes loans to developing countries for development programmes with the stated goal of reducing poverty. It is part of the World Bank Group (WBG).
The IFC is the largest multilateral source of loan and equity financing for private sector projects in the developing world. It is part of the World Bank Group (WBG).
The IDA's mandate is close to that of IBRD, with the focus on the poorest countries. It is part of the World Bank Group (WBG).
The World Health Organization (WHO) acts as a coordinating authority on international public health and 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 7 April 1948 when 26 members of the United Nations ratified its Constitution. 7 April 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. Functions of WHO 1.It helps countries to improve their health system by building up infrastructure especially manpower, institutions and services for the individual community 2.It aims at fighting diseases and preventing them from spreading
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.
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.
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.
The only UN specialized agency to go out of existence is the International Refugee Organization, which existed from 1946 to 1952. In 1952, it was replaced by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland), which is a subsidiary organ of the United Nations General Assembly.
There are other intergovernmental organizations that have concluded cooperation agreements with the United Nations. In terms of cooperation structures, some agreements come very close to the relationship agreements concluded under articles 57 and 63 of the UN Charter with the specialized agencies, but due to Charter requirements that the agencies deal with "economic, social, cultural, educational, health, and related fields", organizations with such agreements are not formally specialized agencies of the United Nations. These organizations are termed Related Organizations by the UN.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission preparatory commission is tasked with preparing the activities of the nuclear non-proliferation organization.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an intergovernmental organization for scientific and technical cooperation in the field of nuclear technology. It is headquartered in Vienna, Austria. It seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inhibit its use for military purposes. The IAEA was set up as an autonomous organization on 29 July 1957. Prior to this, in 1953, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower envisioned the creation of this international body to control and develop the use of atomic energy, in his " Atoms for Peace " speech before the UN General Assembly. The organization and its former Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize announced on 7 October 2005. As of March 2015, the IAEA's membership is 164 countries.
Due to historical reasons and the political nature of its work, the IAEA is not a specialized agency. Instead, its relationship to the United Nations is governed by a special agreement as well as by its statute that commits the IAEA to report annually to the General Assembly and, when appropriate, to the Security Council.
Since September 2016, IOM has been a related organization to the United Nations with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is an intergovernmental organization that provides services and advice concerning migration to governments and migrants, including internally displaced persons, refugees, and migrant workers.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is an intergovernmental organization, located in The Hague, Netherlands. The organization promotes and verifies the adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention which prohibits of the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction. The verification consists both of evaluation of declarations by members states and on-site inspections.
|No.||Logo||Official name||Abbreviation||Location (Country)||Location (City)||Established||Precursor established||Member states||Other participants||Map and reference|
|–||United Nations||UN||New York City||1945||1920|
|1||Food and Agriculture Organization||FAO||Rome||1945||—|
|2||International Civil Aviation Organization||ICAO||Montreal||1947||—||—|
|3||International Fund for Agricultural Development||IFAD||Rome||1977||—|
|4||International Labour Organization||ILO||Geneva||1919||—||—|
|5||International Maritime Organization||IMO||London||1959||—|
|6||International Monetary Fund||IMF||Washington, D.C.||1945||—||—|
|7||International Telecommunication Union||ITU||Geneva||1865||—|
|8||United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization||UNESCO||Paris||1946||1922|
|9||United Nations Industrial Development Organization||UNIDO||Vienna||1985||1966|
|10||Universal Postal Union||UPU||Bern||1874||—|
|11||World Bank Group||WBG||Washington, D.C.||1945||—||—|
|12||World Health Organization||WHO||Geneva||1948||1907|
|13||World Intellectual Property Organization||WIPO||Geneva||1967||—|
|14||World Meteorological Organization||WMO||Geneva||1950||1873|
|15||World Tourism Organization||UNWTO||Madrid||1974||1925|
|16||Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission||CTBTO Prep Com||Vienna||1996||—||—|
|17||International Atomic Energy Agency||IAEA||Vienna||1957||—||—|
|18||Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons||OPCW||Hague||1997||—||—|
|19||World Trade Organization||WTO||Geneva||1995||1948|
|20||International Organization for Migration||IOM||Geneva||1951||—||172 member states||8 observer states (over 80 global and regional IGOs and NGOs are also observers)|
Liechtenstein's foreign economic policy has been dominated by its customs union with Switzerland. This union also led to its independent membership in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in 1991. Unlike Switzerland however, Liechtenstein is part of the European Economic Area.
The United Nations Economic and Social Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, responsible for coordinating the economic and social fields of the organization, specifically in regards to the 15 specialised agencies, the eight functional commissions and the five regional commissions under its jurisdiction.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), is a specialized agency of the United Nations that assists nations in growing and developing industry to reduce poverty. It is headquartered at the U.N. Office in Vienna, Austria and is a member of the United Nations Development Group.
The World Intellectual Property Organization is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN). WIPO was created in 1967 "to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world".
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations specialized agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. It is the leading international organization in the field of tourism, which promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide. It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and a practical source of tourism knowledge. It encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism to maximize the contribution of tourism to socio-economic development, while minimizing its possible negative impacts, and is committed to promoting tourism as an instrument in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), geared towards eliminating poverty and fostering sustainable development and peace worldwide.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964 as a permanent intergovernmental body.
The World Bank Group (WBG) is a family of five international organizations that make leveraged loans to developing countries. It is the largest and most well-known development bank in the world and is an observer at the United Nations Development Group. The bank is headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It provided around $61 billion in loans and assistance to "developing" and transition countries in the 2014 fiscal year. The bank's stated mission is to achieve the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and building shared prosperity. Total lending as of 2015 for the last 10 years through Development Policy Financing was approximately $117 billion. Its five organizations are the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The first two are sometimes collectively referred to as the World Bank.
The United Nations System consists of the United Nations, and the six principal organs of the United Nations: the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Trusteeship Council, International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the UN Secretariat, specialized agencies, and affiliated organizations. The executive heads of some of the United Nations System organizations and the World Trade Organization, which is not formally part of the United Nations System, have seats on the United Nations System Chief Executives' Board for Coordination (CEB). This body, chaired by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, meets twice a year to co-ordinate the work of the organizations of the United Nations System.
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a dedicated training arm of the United Nations system. UNITAR provides training and capacity development activities to assist mainly developing countries with special attention to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other groups and communities who are most vulnerable, including those in conflict situations.
The United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) is the second-largest of the four major office sites of the United Nations. It is located in the Palais des Nations building constructed for the League of Nations between 1929 and 1938 at Geneva in Switzerland, and expanded in the early 1950s and late 1960s.
A United Nations laissez-passer is a diplomatic travel document issued by the United Nations under the provisions of Article VII of the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations in its offices in New York and Geneva, as well as by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Proposals for the creation of a United Nations Environmental Organization (UNEO) have come as some question the efficacy of the current United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) at dealing with the scope of global environmental issues. Created to act as an anchor institution in the system of Global Environmental Governance (GEG), it has failed to meet those demands. The UNEP has been hindered by its title as a Programme as opposed to a Specialized agency like the WTO or WHO, in addition to a lack of voluntary funding, and a location removed from the centers of political power, in Nairobi, Kenya. These factors have led to widespread calls for UNEP reform, and following the publication of Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC in February 2007, a "Paris Call for Action" read out by French President Chirac and supported by 46 countries, called for the UNEP to be replaced by a new and more powerful United Nations Environment Organization, to be modelled on the World Health Organization. The 52 countries included the European Union nations, but notably did not include the United States and BRIC, the top five emitters of greenhouse gases.
The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) is an Office of the United Nations Secretariat established in January 1998 as the Department for Disarmament Affairs, part of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan to reform the UN as presented in his report to the General Assembly in July 1997.
The Agency for International Trade Information and Cooperation (AITIC) was a Geneva-based intergovernmental organisation whose mandate was to assist the less-advantaged countries (LACs) to have a more active trade diplomacy by assisting them in better understanding the technicalities of trade rules and World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements. AITIC was founded to contribute to the improvement of their position in the multilateral trading system, to promote good economic governance and trade-led growth which will lead the LACs to benefit from globalisation process.
An international organisation is an organisation established by a treaty or other instrument governed by international law and possessing its own international legal personality, such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization and NATO. International organizations are composed of primarily Member states, but may also include other entities, such as other international organizations. Additionally, entities may hold observer status.
The South Centre is an intergovernmental organisation of developing nations, established by an intergovernmental Agreement (Treaty), which came into force on 31 July 1995, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It functions as an independent policy think tank, whilst also holding Observer Status at the United Nations and other development agencies.
The following is a list of international organizations in which the United States of America officially participates.
The Spiez Laboratory is the Swiss institute for the protection of the population against nuclear, biological and chemical threats and dangers. It is part of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports (DDPS) and is located in Spiez. The Spiez Laboratory is one of the five labs in the world permanently certified by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
The United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) is a platform for the different United Nations (UN) evaluation offices to discuss evaluation issues and to share evaluation knowledge. It suggests norms and standards for all evaluation offices in the UN and delivers thematic reports concerning monitoring and evaluation. It has 45 members and 3 observers listed below.
The number of specialized agencies thus rose to fifteen.
There are currently 15 specialized agencies: ...
There are 17 Specialized Agencies: ...
... IBRD, IFC and IDA are Specialized Agencies of the UN ...
The Organization is not a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), but it will have a special relationship with it, to be organized on the basis of an agreement between the two organizations. It could not be a specialized agency within the meaning of Articles 57 and 63 of the UN Charter, as these provisions presuppose that the functions of the agency fall within the powers of the UN Economic and Social Council, which is clearly not the case with the OPCW. Its status will rather be comparable to that of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
IAEA, for example, is not a UN specialized agency. It submits annual reports to the UN General Assembly and to the Security Council, when necessary. If any questions arise that fall within the purview of the Security Council, the IAEA notifies the SC accordingly. The IAEA's special relationship with the UN and UN SC is also specified in an agreement between the IAEA and the UN in 1957. Under this agreement the IAEA cooperates with the Security Council by furnishing it, at its request, with such information and assistance as may be required in the exercise of its responsibility for maintenance or restoration of international peace and security. This agreement has since served as a model for UN agreements with nonproliferation organizations such as the OPCW and the CTBTOCite journal requires