What are UN specialized agencies, and how many are there?
Last Updated: Oct 21, 2016
UN specialized agencies are international organizations that coordinate their work with the United Nations through negotiated agreements.
Unlike UN funds and programmes, which are established by and report to the United Nations General Assembly, specialized agencies are legally independent of the United Nations and have separate budgets, members, rules, and personnel. The bulk of their funding comes from voluntary contributions from governments, institutions, and individuals. Some specialized agencies, such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), have been in existence longer than the United Nations.
There are currently 15 specialized agencies:
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
- International Maritime Organization (IMO)
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
- Universal Postal Union (UPU)
- World Bank
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
- World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
- World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
You can find a short description of each of these agencies in the links below.
Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.