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.
Funds and Programmes
The Funds and Programmes were created by the United Nations to meet needs not envisaged at San Francisco, such as Palestine refugees, development assistance, food aid, or the environment. They are subordinate to the United Nations, but since they are immediately controlled by distinct inter-governmental bodies and derive most of their financial resources from other sources than the United Nations budgets, they are somewhat more akin to specialized agencies than to "subsidiary organs" such as UN commissions and committees. Moreover, as their activities are more operational and carried out at field level, they have needs dictated by an environment quite different from that of headquarters-centred administrations. The Programmes and Funds apply UN rules and regulations in the realm of administration and personnel.
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.