United Nations

From Open Energy Information


"The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. Due to its unique international character, and the powers vested in its founding Charter, the Organization can take action on a wide range of issues, and provide a forum for its 192 Member States to express their views, through the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and other bodies and committees.

The work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe. Although best known for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, there are many other ways the United Nations and its System (specialized agencies, funds and programmes) affect our lives and make the world a better place. The Organization works on a broad range of fundamental issues, from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promoting democracy, human rights, gender equality and the advancement of women, governance, economic and social development and international health, clearing landmines, expanding food production, and more, in order to achieve its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world for this and future generations."

Structure and Organization

Main Bodies

General Assembly

"The General Assembly is the main deliberative organ of the UN and is composed of representatives of all Member States. The work of the United Nations year-round derives largely from the mandates given by the General Assembly. A revitalization of the Assembly is under way to enhance its role, authority, effectiveness and efficiency."

Programmes and Funds

  • International Trade Centre (ITC)
  • Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
  • United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)
  • United Nations Volunteers (UNV)
  • United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) (2)
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
  • United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
  • Research and Training Institutes
  • United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)
  • United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
  • United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)
  • United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW)
  • United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)

United Nations Economic and Social Council

"The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), established by the UN Charter, is the principal organ to coordinate the economic, social and related work of the United Nations and the specialized agencies and institutions. Voting in the Council is by simple majority; each member has one vote."

Regional Commissions

International Court of Justice

"The International Court of Justice, located at the Hague in the Netherlands, is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It settles legal disputes between states and gives advisory opinions to the UN and its specialized agencies. Its Statute is an integral part of the United Nations Charter."

Security Council

"The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security. A reform of the Security Council, including its membership is under consideration."

Trusteeship Council

"The Trusteeship Council was established in 1945 by the UN Charter to provide international supervision for 11 Trust Territories placed under the administration of 7 Member States, and ensure that adequate steps were taken to prepare the Territories for self-government and independence. By 1994, all Trust Territories had attained self-government or independence. Its work completed, the Council has amended its rules of procedure to meet as and where occasion may require."


"The Secretariat carries out the day-to-day work of the Organization. It services the other principal organs and carries out tasks as varied as the issues dealt with by the UN: administering peacekeeping operations, surveying economic and social trends, preparing studies on human rights, among others."

Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs

"The Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs is a legal publication containing analytical studies of the decisions of the principal organs of the United Nations. It is a comprehensive summary of the decisions of United Nations Organs and serves to throw light on questions of application and interpretation of the UN Charter in practice."

Specialized Agencies

  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
  • International Development Association (IDA)
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)

Related Organizations

  • United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) (5)
  • United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP) (6)

UN Structure


  1.  "United Nations"