UN programs and funds

In reaction to increasing problems in the economic, social and humanitarian fields a number of secondary or special organs have been established. These subsidiary organs are part of the UN organization, but they have their own governing bodies, secretariats and budgets. The different offices, programs and funds provide technical assistance and other forms of practical help in virtually all areas of economic and social endeavour.

The UN Charter contains a number of provisions according to which the principal organs can create appropriate subsidiary organs for the fulfilment of their tasks.

UN Programs and Funds


International Trade Centre provides support for the business sector in developing countries and economies in transition.


UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHSP) is mandated to develop goals, priorities and guidelines for a human settlement policy of the United Nations.


UN WOMEN focuses exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment.


United Nations Conference on Trade and Development whose aim is that of accelerating economic growth, in particular in developing countries.


United Nations Development Programme is the largest UN development assistance program, coordnating the work within UN.


United Nations Environment Programme acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment.


United Nations Population Fund. It is the world's largest international source of funding for population and reproductive health.


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees gives protection and support to refugees globally.


United Nations Children's Fund. Its principal focus on long-term programmes for improving the conditions for children in developing countries.


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is the administrative centre for the UN programmes on drug control and crime prevention.


United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East provides basic humanitarian services to the Palestinian refugees


United Nations Volunteers.


World Food Programme. The goal is to eradicate hunger and malnutrition.

Research and training institutes, United Nations University

Within the United Nations there are a number of Research and Training Institutes. The institutes are autonomous bodies of the UN, mainly funded by voluntary contributions.

Aims of the institutes

The UN Research and Training Institutes were established in order to

  • provide high-priority training
  • conduct research projects to facilitate the UN objectives of world peace and security
  • conduct research to facilitate economic and social progress.

Overview of the institutes

  • UNICRI United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute
  • UNIDIR United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
  • UNITAR United Nations Institute for Training and Research
  • UNRISD United Nations Research Institute for Social Development
  • UNSSC United Nations System Staff College
  • UNU United Nations University.
Last modified: 2024-01-30