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United Nations System

Relations with the organizations of the UN System

Relations with the organizations of the UN System
  • © UNESCO/Malempré, Georges
  • United Nations building in Vienna

UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations system, as are another 14 agencies with which it shares a broad mandate.

Much of the work of the United Nations, aimed at improving the economic and social conditions of peoples around the world, is carried out mostly by the United Nations funds and programmes and the specialized agencies.

According to Articles 57 and 63 of the Charter of the United Nations, specialized agencies are autonomous intergovernmental organizations “having wide international responsibilities [...] in economic, social, cultural, educational, health and related fields” that are brought into relationship with the United Nations by agreements concluded with ECOSOC.

In order to strengthen and implement its cooperation with the organizations of the United Nations system, UNESCO has signed agreements and memorandum of understanding with 16 organizations.

Collaboration at the intergovernmental level
Specialized agencies have their own membership, legislative and executive bodies, secretariats and budgets and collaborate with the United Nations and with each other at the intergovernmental level through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to which they report regularly.

Inter-secretariat coordinating body
Their responsibilities in the economic, social, cultural, educational, health and related fields are so broad that an inter-secretariat coordinating body has been established with a view to avoiding duplication, thus ensuring convergence and complementarity of their activities and programmes. This body is the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB).


United Nations Development Group (UNDG)
Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific