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United Nations System


United Nations System

The United Nations Office at Geneva (Switzerland) is the second biggest UN centre, after the United Nations Headquarters (New York).
Structure of the United Nations

The United Nations System consists of the

  • Official directory of the UN System
  • List of main UN System bodies
  • UN System Organizational Chart
  • Global Issues on the UN Agenda
  • UN System – CEB (Chief Executives Board)
  • UN – Senior Management Group
  • United Nations – Official site

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d e
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^
  9. ^ General Assembly: Subsidiary organs.
  10. ^
  11. ^ United Nations System of Organizations: "Entries listed in bold are members of the United Nations System's Chief Executives Board".
  12. ^ a b c The United Nations System chart, Published by the United Nations Department of Public Information, December 2007
  13. ^ a b The United Nations System chart, Published by the United Nations Department of Public Information, October 2011
  14. ^ List of Agreements between Specialized Agencies and the United Nations
  15. ^ UN Structure and Organization
  16. ^ Organizational Chart of the UN System and the CEB
  17. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 55 Resolution A/RES/55/283 }. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
  18. ^
  19. ^ [1] Archived 15 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^
  21. ^ Staffing principles of IOM
  22. ^ OSCE General conditions of employment
  23. ^ Article 40 of the General Standards to govern the operations of the General Secretariat


See also

  • [21]
  • [22]
  • [23]

Some international organizations that are not part of the United Nations System (and therefore not members of the common system) but who voluntarily follow the policies of the common system in whole or in part include:

[20] of salaries, allowances, and benefits administered by the United Nations common system The United Nations, its subsidiary bodies, thirteen of the specialized agencies (ILO, FAO, UNESCO, WHO, ICAO, UPU, ITU, WMO, IMO, WIPO, IFAD, UNDIO, and UNWTO), and one related body (IAEA) are part of the

United Nations common system

There is also a Senior Management Group, composed of some of the senior officials in the Secretariat and the funds and programmes at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General rank, which serves as the cabinet of the Secretary-General.[19]

The United Nations Chief Executives' Board for Coordination (CEB) brings together on a regular basis the executive heads of the organizations of the United Nations System, under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General of the UN. The CEB aims to further co-ordination and co-operation on a whole range of substantive and management issues facing UN System organizations. In addition to its regular reviews of contemporary political issues and major concerns facing the UN System, the CEB approves policy statements on behalf of the UN System as a whole. Three committees report to the CEB, namely the High-level Committee on Programme (HCLP), the High-level Committee on Management (HCLM) and the UN Development Group (UNDG). Each of those bodies has, in turn, developed a subsidiary machinery of regular and ad hoc bodies on the substantive and managerial aspects of inter-agency co-ordination. The committee structure is supported by a CEB secretariat located in New York and Geneva.[18]

Chief Executives Board and Senior Management Group

The [13] The WTO has a seat on the CEB.[4]

World Trade Organization (WTO)

The OPCW is not an agency of the United Nations, but cooperates both on policy and practical issues. On 7 September 2000 the OPCW and the United Nations signed a co-operation agreement outlining how they were to co-ordinate their activities.[17] Under this agreement, the OPCW reports to the UN General Assembly.[12]

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

The relationship between the IAEA and the UN was established by a resolution of the UN General Assembly. Unlike the specialized agencies which report to ECOSOC, the IAEA reports directly to the General Assembly as well as the Security Council and ECOSOC.[4] Like the other specialized agency's heads, their executives are part of the United Nations System Chief Executives' Board for Coordination (CEB).[4]

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

The CTBTO PrepCom reports directly to the UN General Assembly.[12]

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission (CTBTO PrepCom)

Some organizations have a relationship with the UN defined by an arrangement different from the agreements between the specialized agencies and the UN, which are establish under Articles 57 and 63 of the [13][14][15][16]

Related organizations

The specialized agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the co-ordinating machinery of the Economic and Social Council. Each was integrated into the UN System by way of an agreement with the UN under UN Charter article 57.[4]

Specialized agencies

Other entities

Secretariats of Conventions

The various research and training institutes were established by the General Assembly to perform independent research and training. One former institute, the UN Women, in January 2011.

Research and training institutes

Programmes and funds of the United Nations
No. Acronyms Agency Headquarters Head Established Comment
1 UNDP United Nations Development Programme New York, USA Helen Clark 1965
2 UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund New York, USA Anthony Lake 1946
3 UNCDF United Nations Capital Development Fund New York, USA Marc Bichler 1966 Affiliated with the UNDP
4 WFP World Food Programme Rome, Italy Ertharin Cousin 1963
5 UNEP United Nations Environment Programme Nairobi, Kenya Achim Steiner 1972
6 UNIFEM United Nations Development Fund for Women New York, USA Inés Alberdi 1976 Merged with UN Women in 2011
7 UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Geneva, Switzerland António Guterres 1951
8 UNAIDS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS Geneva, Switzerland Michel Sidibé 1994 Joint programme
9 UNFPA United Nations Population Fund New York, USA Babatunde Osotimehin 1969
10 UN-HABITAT United Nations Human Settlements Programme Nairobi, Kenya Joan Clos 1978
11 UNV United Nations Volunteers Bonn, Germany Richard Dictus 1978 Administered by UNDP
12 UNRWA United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Gaza, Palestine and Amman, Jordan Pierre Krähenbühl 1949
13 UN WOMEN United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women New York, USA Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka 2010 Created by the merger of the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

Each of the funds and programmes is headed by an Executive Director at the UN Women, in January 2011.

Throughout its history the United Nations General Assembly has established a number of programmes and funds to address particular humanitarian and development concerns. These bodies usually report to the General Assembly through an executive board. Only one UN programme has ever closed in the history of the organization, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), which ceased to exist in 1959 and was subsequently replaced by the UNHCR.

Funds and programmes

The separately-administered funds and programmes, research and training institutes, and other subsidiary bodies are autonomous subsidiary organs of the United Nations.[6]

Funds and programmes, research and training institutes, and other bodies

The United Nations Trusteeship Council, one of the principal organs of the United Nations, was established to help ensure that trust territories were administered in the best interests of their inhabitants and of international peace and security. The trust territories—most of them are former mandates of the League of Nations or territories taken from nations defeated at the end of World War II—have all now attained self-government or independence, either as separate nations or by joining neighbouring independent countries. The last was Palau, formerly part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which became a member state of the United Nations in December 1994.

Trusteeship Council

The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. Its main functions are to settle legal disputes submitted to it by states and to provide advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international organs, agencies, and the UN General Assembly.

International Court of Justice

The Charter provides that the staff shall not seek or receive instructions from any authority other than the UN. Each UN member country is enjoined to respect the international character of the Secretariat and not seek to influence its staff. The Secretary-General alone is responsible for staff selection.

The United Nations Secretariat is headed by the United Nations Secretary-General, assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies for their meetings. It also carries out tasks as directed by the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, the UN Economic and Social Council, and other U.N. bodies. The United Nations Charter provides that the staff to be chosen by application of the "highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity," with due regard for the importance of recruiting on a wide geographical basis.


The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) constitutes one of the six principal organs (one is not active, as of 2011) of the United Nations. It is responsible for co-ordinating the economic, social and related work of 14 UN specialized agencies, their functional commissions and five regional commissions. ECOSOC has 54 members; it holds a four-week session each year in July. Since 1998, it has also held a meeting each April with finance ministers heading key committees of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The ECOSOC serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to member states and the United Nations System.[10]

Economic and Social Council

There are 15 members of the Security Council, consisting of five veto-wielding permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and 10 elected non-permanent members with two-year terms. This basic structure is set out in Chapter V of the UN Charter. Security Council members must always be present at UN headquarters in New York so that the Security Council can meet at any time.

The Security Council held its first session on 17 January 1946 at Church House, Westminster, London. Since its first meeting, the Council, which exists in continuous session, has travelled widely, holding meetings in many cities, such as Paris and Addis Ababa, as well as at its current permanent home at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action. Its powers are exercised through United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Security Council

[9] The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA/GA) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation. Its powers are to oversee the budget of the United Nations, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council, receive reports from other parts of the United Nations and make recommendations in the form of

General Assembly

UN General Assembly
— Deliberative assembly of all UN member states —
UN Secretariat
— Administrative organ of the UN —
International Court of Justice
— Universal court for international law —
UN General Assembly hall
Headquarters of the UN in New York City
International Court of Justice
  • May resolve non-compulsory recommendations to states or suggestions to the Security Council (UNSC);
  • Decides on the admission of new members, following proposal by the UNSC;
  • Adopts the budget;
  • Elects the non-permanent members of the UNSC; all members of ECOSOC; the UN Secretary General (following his/her proposal by the UNSC); and the fifteen judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Each country has one vote.
  • Supports the other UN bodies administratively (for example, in the organization of conferences, the writing of reports and studies and the preparation of the budget);
  • Its chairperson – the UN Secretary General – is elected by the General Assembly for a five-year mandate and is the UN's foremost representative.
  • Decides disputes between states that recognize its jurisdiction;
  • Issues legal opinions;
  • Renders judgement by relative majority. Its fifteen judges are elected by the UN General Assembly for nine-year terms.
UN Security Council
— For international security issues —
UN Economic and Social Council
— For global economical and social affairs —
UN Trusteeship Council
— For administering trust territories (currently inactive) —
UN security council
UN Economic and Social Council
UN Trusteeship Council
  • Responsible for co-operation between states as regards economic and social matters;
  • Co-ordinates co-operation between the UN's numerous specialized agencies;
  • Has 54 members, elected by the General Assembly to serve staggered three-year mandates.
  • Was originally designed to manage colonial possessions that were former League of Nations mandates;
  • Has been inactive since 1994, when Palau, the last trust territory, attained independence.
Principal organs of the United Nations [7]

The principal organ of the UN System was the Charter of the United Nations:

United Nations


  • United Nations 1
    • General Assembly 1.1
    • Security Council 1.2
    • Economic and Social Council 1.3
    • Secretariat 1.4
    • International Court of Justice 1.5
    • Trusteeship Council 1.6
  • Funds and programmes, research and training institutes, and other bodies 2
    • Funds and programmes 2.1
    • Research and training institutes 2.2
    • Secretariats of Conventions 2.3
    • Other entities 2.4
  • Specialized agencies 3
  • Related organizations 4
  • Chief Executives Board and Senior Management Group 5
  • United Nations common system 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

The United Nations System includes the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies (such as the separately-administered funds and programmes, research and training institutes, and other subsidiary entities), specialized agencies, and affiliated organizations.[5][6] Some of the organizations of the United Nations System predate the founding of the United Nations in 1945 and were inherited after the dissolution of the League of Nations.

, meets twice a year to co-ordinate the work of the organizations of the United Nations System. Secretary-General of the United Nations This body, chaired by the [4] have seats on the United Nations System Chief Executives' Board for Coordination (CEB).[3][2][1]

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