Agencies of the United Nations

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff

Linked to the United Nations through special agreements, the separate, autonomous specialized agencies of the UN family set standards and guidelines, help formulate policies, provide technical assistance, and other forms of practical help in virtually all areas of economic and social endeavor.

  • The International Labor Organization (ILO)

    formulates policies and programs to improve working conditions and employment opportunities, and defines international labor standards as guidelines for governments.

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO)

    works to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, to improve agricultural productivity and food security, and to better the conditions of rural populations.

  • The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

    promotes education for all, cultural development, protection of the world's natural and cultural heritage, press freedom, and communication.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO)

    coordinates programs aimed at solving health problems and the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health; it works in areas such as immunization, health education, and the provision of essential drugs.

  • The World Bank

    group provides loans and technical assistance to developing countries to reduce poverty and advance sustainable economic growth.

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

    facilitates international monetary cooperation and financial stability, and provides a permanent forum for consultation, advice, and assistance on financial issues.

  • The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

    sets international standards necessary for the safety, security, efficiency, and regularity of air transport, and serves as the medium for cooperation in all areas of civil aviation.

  • The Universal Postal Union (UPU)

    establishes international regulations for the organization and improvement of postal services, provides technical assistance, and promotes cooperation in postal matters.

  • The International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

    fosters international cooperation for the improvement and use of telecommunications of all kinds, coordinates usage of radio and TV frequencies, promotes safety measures, and conducts research.

  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

    promotes scientific research on the atmosphere and on climate change, and facilitates the global exchange of meteorological data and information.

  • The International Maritime Organization (IMO)

    works to improve international shipping procedures, encourages the highest standards in marine safety, and seeks to prevent marine pollution from ships.

  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

    promotes international protection of intellectual property and fosters cooperation on copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs, and patents.

  • The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

    mobilizes financial resources for better food production and nutrition among the poor in developing countries.

  • The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

    promotes the industrial advancement of developing countries through technical assistance, advisory services, and training.

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

    an autonomous intergovernmental organization under the aegis of the UN, works for the safe and peaceful uses of atomic energy.

  • The UN and the World Trade Organization (WTO)

    the major entity overseeing international trade, cooperate in assisting developing countries' exports through the Geneva-based International Trade Center.

Sources +