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The United Nations (UN) was established on October 24, 1945, as the peacekeeper of the world with the purpose of resolving conflicts and making sure another World War doesn’t take place. Here are 14 important United Nations (UN) agencies and their roles.

Currently, the UN has 193 countries as its members and it is headquartered in New York, USA. The UN not only focuses on peace but also aims at promoting sustainable development, upholding international laws and protecting human rights.

Due to the powers vested in its Charter and its unique international character, the United Nations can take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, such as:

  1. Peace and security

  2. Climate change

  3. Sustainable development

  4. Human rights

  5. Disarmament

  6. Terrorism

  7. Humanitarian and health emergencies

  8. Gender equality

  9. Governance

  10. Food production etc.

Here are 14 important UN agencies and their roles as per their order of establishment:

1. International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Established in: 1865
Headquarters: Geneva
Purpose: Sets international regulations for radio telegraph, telephone and space radio communications.

2. International Labour Organisation (ILO)

Established in: 1919
Headquarters: Geneva
Purpose: To improve conditions and living standards of workers.

3. International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Established in: 1945
Headquarters: Washington DC
Purpose: Promotes international monetary cooperation.

4. United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

Established in: 1945
Headquarters: New York
Purpose: To promote children’s welfare all over the world.

5. Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO)

Established in: 1945
Headquarters: Rome
Purpose: To improve the living conditions of the rural population.

6. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)

Established in: 1946
Headquarters: Paris
Purpose: To promote collaboration among nations through education science and culture.

7. World Health Organisation (WHO)

Established in: 1948
Headquarters: Geneva
Purpose: Attainment of highest possible level of health by all people.

8. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Established in: 1957
Headquarters: Vienna
Purpose: To promote peaceful uses of atomic energy.

9. International Development Association (IDA)

Established in: 1960
Headquarters: Washington DC
Purpose: An affiliate of the World Bank, it aims to help underdeveloped countries raise living standards.

10. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Established in: 1965
Headquarters: New York
Purpose: Helps developing countries increase the wealth producing capabilities of their natural and human resources.

11. United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)

Established in: 1972
Headquarters: Nairobi (Kenya)
Purpose: Promotes international cooperation in human environment.

12. World Trade Organisation (WTO)

Established in: 1995
Headquarters: Geneva
Purpose: Setting rules for world trade to reduce traffic.

13. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Established in: 1997
Headquarters: Vienna (Kenya)
Purpose: To prevent illicit trafficking and abuse of drug, crime prevention.

14. UN Women

Established in: 2010
Headquarters: New York
Purpose: To enable member states to achieve gender equality and women empowerment.