UN Agencies: UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WBG, WHO, WIPO, WMO

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Based in Paris (France), UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that the world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’S mission and activities.

The broad goals and concrete objectives of the international community – as set out in the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – underpin all UNESCO’s strategies and activities. Thus UNESCO’s unique competencies in education, the sciences, culture and communication and information contribute towards the realization of those goals.

UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
With HQs in Vienna (Austria), UNIDO is the specialised agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development ffor poverty reduction, inclusie globalisation and environmental sustainability.

The mandate of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is to promote and accelerate sustainable industrial development in developing countries and economies in transition.

In recent years, UNIDO has assumed an enhanced role in the global development agenda by focusing its activities on poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. The Organization carries out two core functions: as a global forum, it generates and disseminates industry-related knowledge; as a technical cooperation agency, it provides technical support and implements projects.

The Organization is recognized as a specialized and efficient provider of key services meeting the interlinked challenges of reducing poverty through productive activities, integrating developing countries in global trade through trade capacity building, fostering environmental sustainability in industry, and improving access to energy.

UNIDO’s vision is a world where economic development is sustainable and economic progress is equitable. The Organization focuses on three main thematic areas:

Poverty reduction through productive activities
Trade capacity-building
Energy and environment

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
With HQs in Madrid (Spain), UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.

UNWTO encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, to maximize tourism’s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts, and is committed to promoting tourism as an instrument in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), geared towards reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development.

UNWTO generates market knowledge, promotes competitive and sustainable tourism policies and instruments, fosters tourism education and training, and works to make tourism an effective tool for development through technical assistance projects in over 100 countries around the world.

UNWTO’s membership includes 155 countries, 6 Associate Members and over 400 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.

UNWTO works in six main areas – competitiveness, sustainability, poverty reduction, capacity building, partnerships and mainstreaming – to achieve responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
Universal Postal Union (UPU)
Established in 1874, the Universal Postal Union (UPU), with its headquarters in the Swiss capital Bern. UPU is a specialized agency of the United Nations that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system. The UPU contains four bodies consisting of the Congress, the Council of Administration (CA), the Postal Operations Council (POC) and the International Bureau (IB). It also oversees two cooperatives including the Telematics and EMS Cooperatives respectively. Each member agrees to the same terms for conducting international postal duties.

Prior to the establishment of the UPU, each country had to prepare a separate postal treaty with other nations it wished to carry international mail to or from. To simplify the complexity of this system, the United States called for an International Postal Congress in 1863. This led Heinrich von Stephan, Royal Prussian and later German Minister for Posts, to found the Universal Postal Union. It is currently the third oldest international organization after the Rhine Commission and the ITU[citation needed]. The UPU was created in 1874, initially under the name “General Postal Union”, as a result of the Treaty of Bern signed on October 9, 1874. Four years later, the name was changed to “Universal Postal Union.”[4]

The UPU established that:

There should be a uniform flat rate to mail a letter anywhere in the world
Postal authorities should give equal treatment to foreign and domestic mail
Each country should retain all money it has collected for international postage.
One of the most important results of the UPU Treaty was that it ceased to be necessary, as it often had been previously, to affix the stamps of any country through which one’s letter or package would pass in transit. The UPU provides that stamps of member nations are accepted for the entire international route.

After the foundation of the United Nations, the UPU became a specialized agency of the UN in 1948.[5] In 1969, the UPU introduced a new system of payment where fees were payable between countries according to the difference in the total weight of mail between them. These fees were called terminal dues. Ultimately, this new system was fairer when traffic was heavier in one direction than the other. As a matter of example, in 2012, terminal dues for transit from China to the USA was 0.635 SDR/kg, or about 1 USD/kg.

World Bank Group
Established in 1944, the World Bank is headquartered in Washington, D.C. (USA) We have more than 9,000 employees in more than 100 offices worldwide.

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development. We comprise two institutions managed by 188 member countries: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). The IBRD aims to reduce poverty in middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries, while IDA focuses exclusively on the world’s poorest countries. These institutions are part of a larger body known as the World Bank Group.

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)

World Health Organization (WHO)

When the League of Nations was created, one of the institutions that was transferred to the newly created United Nations was the League’s Health Organisation and restructured as the World Health Organisation. The Health Organization worked successfully with the government of the Soviet Union to prevent typhus epidemics and focused on ending leprosy, malaria, and yellow fever, the latter two by starting an international campaign to exterminate mosquitoes.

Today WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

In the 21st century, health is a shared responsibility, involving equitable access to essential care and collective defence against transnational threats.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
stablished in 1967, with its HQs in Geneva (Swizerland), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the United Nations agency dedicated to the use of intellectual property (patents, copyright, trademarks, designs, etc.) as a means of stimulating innovation and creativity.

We promote the development and use of the international IP system through:

Services – We run systems which make it easier to obtain protection internationally for patents, trademarks, designs and appellations of origin; and to resolve IP disputes.
Law – We help develop the international legal IP framework in line with society’s evolving needs.
Infrastructure – We build collaborative networks and technical platforms to share knowledge and simplify IP transactions, including free databases and tools for exchanging information.
Development – We build capacity in the use of IP to support economic development.
We also work with our member states and stakeholders to improve understanding and respect for IP worldwide. We provide economic analysis and statistics. And we contribute IP-based solutions to help tackle global challenges. Our activities all seek to further our nine strategic goals.

WIPO’s nine strategic goals were adopted by our member states in December 2009 in the first phase of a comprehensive strategic realignment process within the Organization. They reflect the evolving challenges for WIPO and for intellectual property in today’s rapidly changing environment:

Balanced Evolution of the International Normative Framework for IP
Provision of Premier Global IP Services
Facilitating the Use of IP for Development
Coordination and Development of Global IP Infrastructure
World Reference Source for IP Information and Analysis
International Cooperation on Building Respect for IP
Addressing IP in Relation to Global Policy Issues
A Responsive Communications Interface between WIPO, its Member States and All Stakeholders
An Efficient Administrative and Financial Support Structure to Enable WIPO to Deliver its Programs

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

With HQs in Geneva (Switzerland), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It is the UN system’s authoritative voice on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the oceans, the climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources.

Since its establishment, WMO has played a unique and powerful role in contributing to the safety and welfare of humanity. Under WMO leadership and within the framework of WMO programmes, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services contribute substantially to the protection of life and property against natural disasters, to safeguarding the environment and to enhancing the economic and social well-being of all sectors of society in areas such as food security, water resources and transport.

WMO promotes cooperation in the establishment of networks for making meteorological, climatological, hydrological and geophysical observations, as well as the exchange, processing and standardization of related data, and assists technology transfer, training and research. It also fosters collaboration between the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of its Members and furthers the application of meteorology to public weather and weather modification services, agriculture, aviation, shipping, the environment, water issues and the mitigation of the impacts of natural disasters.

WMO facilitates the free and unrestricted exchange of data and information, products and services in real- or near-real time on matters relating to safety and security of society, economic welfare and the protection of the environment. It contributes to policy formulation in these areas at national and international levels.

Related Organizations

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Preparatory Commission for the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
World Trade Organization (WTO)