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.
One of the principal objectives of the UN is to solve economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems through international cooperation. Several specialized agencies have been set up to achieve these goals, agencies which may or may not have been 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[note 1] specialized agencies that carry out various functions on behalf of the UN. The specialized agencies are listed below.
Main article: Food and Agriculture Organization
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.
Main article: International Civil Aviation Organization
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.
Main article: International Fund for Agricultural Development
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 Office.
Main article: International Maritime Organization
The International Maritime Organization (IMO), formerly known as the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), was established in 1948 by 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 between government and the shipping industry to improve maritime safety and 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.
Main article: International Monetary Fund
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.
Main article: International Telecommunication Union
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 Universal Postal Union (UPU) performs for postal services. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, next to the main United Nations campus.
Main article: UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945 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 to propagate further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter.
Main article: United Nations Industrial Development Organization
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 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 Gerd Müller.
Main article: Universal Postal Union
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.
Main article: World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is a 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.]</ref> 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 with 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.
Main article: International Organization for Migration
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.
Main article: Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
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 the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction. The verification consists of both evaluations of declarations by member states and on-site inspections.
Main article: World Trade Organization
The WTO was established instead of the failed proposal for a specialized agency dealing with trade issues, the International Trade Organization. WTO headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.
|No.||Logo||Official name||Abbreviation||Location (Country)||Location (City)||Established||Precursor established||Member states||Other participants||Map and reference|
|–||United Nations||UN||United States||New York City||1945||1920||
|1||Food and Agriculture Organization||FAO||Italy||Rome||1945||—||FAO|
|2||International Civil Aviation Organization||ICAO||Canada||Montreal||1947||—||—||ICAO|
|3||International Fund for Agricultural Development||IFAD||Italy||Rome||1977||—||
|4||International Labour Organization||ILO||Switzerland||Geneva||1919||—||
|5||International Maritime Organization||IMO||United Kingdom||London||1959||—||IMO|
|6||International Monetary Fund||IMF||United States||Washington, D.C.||1945||—||—||IMF|
|7||International Telecommunication Union||ITU||Switzerland||Geneva||1865||—||
|8||United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization||UNESCO||France||Paris||1946||1922||UNESCO|
|9||United Nations Industrial Development Organization||UNIDO||Austria||Vienna||1985||1966||UNIDO|
|10||Universal Postal Union||UPU||Switzerland||Bern||1874||—||UPU|
|11||World Bank Group||WBG||United States||Washington, D.C.||1945||—||—||WBG|
|12||World Health Organization||WHO||Switzerland||Geneva||1948||1907||WHO|
|13||World Intellectual Property Organization||WIPO||Switzerland||Geneva||1967||—||
|14||World Meteorological Organization||WMO||Switzerland||Geneva||1950||1873||WMO|
|15||World Tourism Organization||UNWTO||Spain||Madrid||1974||1925||
|16||Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission||CTBTO Prep Com||Austria||Vienna||1996||—||—||CTBTO|
|17||International Atomic Energy Agency||IAEA||Austria||Vienna||1957||—||
|18||Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons||OPCW||Netherlands||The Hague||1997||—||—||OPCW|
|19||World Trade Organization||WTO||Switzerland||Geneva||1995||1948||
||WTO Archived 5 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine|
|20||International Organization for Migration||IOM||Switzerland||Geneva||1951||—||172 member states||8 observer states (over 80 global and regional IGOs and NGOs are also observers)||IOM|
The number of specialized agencies thus rose to fifteen.
There are 17 Specialized Agencies: ...
... IBRD, IFC and IDA are Specialized Agencies of the UN ...