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Lesson 9:

The UN Family of Organizations

Having previously looked at the decision making process in the 3 deliberative bodies, we now look at the Secretariat, the funds and programmes and related organizations in order to understand how these all work into the big picture of the UN and which main organs they relate to.

This adds another piece to our understanding of the United Nations and the ways it works worldwide.

Download the Chart of the UN System.


List all the organizations related to the UN that you can think of.
Look at the chart and see what organ is their main contact.
Look up one of the organizations on the chart that you have never heard of BUT that interests you and find out: what they do, who they serve, it’s head, and follow them in the news for the next few months.

Consider what you are finding out against the following objectives for being effective at the UN:

1. Developing knowledge of your NGOs work, projects and programs
2. Utilizing knowledge of the agencies, funds, programmes or subsidiary bodies of the UN that your NGO’s work aligns with
3. Knowledge of how your NGO’s work UNIQUELY contributes that sets it apart from all other organizations and approaches.

Suggested Reading and Resources

United Nations Today. New York: United Nations Dept. of Public Information, 2008. Print.
The NGLS Handbook of UN Agencies, Programmes, Funds and Conventions Working for Sustainable Development. Geneva [u.a.: NGLS, 2000. Print & Online Resource.]
—Walker, Ronald A, and Brook Boyer. A Glossary of Terms for UN Delegates. Geneva: UNITAR, 2005. Internet resource.

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