United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

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  • Formerly known as United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund is special program of UN devoted to aiding national efforts to improve the health, nutrition, education, and general welfare of children.
  • It was created in 1946 to provide relief to children in countries devastated by World War II.
  • It is headquartered in New York City.
  • After 1950, it directed its efforts toward general programs for improvement of children’s welfare, particularly in less-developed countries and various emergency situations.
  • Its broader mission was reflected in present name adopted in 1953.
  • It was awarded Nobel Prize for Peace in 1965.
  • Since 1996 UNICEF programs have been guided by Convention on Rights of the Child (1989), which affirms right of all children to enjoyment of highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health.
  • Much of UNICEF’s efforts are concentrated in areas in which relatively small expenditures, but have significant impact on lives of the most disadvantaged children, such as the prevention and treatment of disease.
  • Its activities are financed by both government and private contributions.
  • It supports immunization programs for childhood diseases and programs to prevent spread of HIV/AIDS.
  • It also provides funding for health services, educational facilities and other welfare services.

United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

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  • It is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system
  • It is responsible for promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.
  • It was created by UNGA on 15 March 2006 by adopting resolution 60/251 to promote human rights globally.
  • It had replaced former UN Commission on Human Rights.
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • Members: 
    • UNHRC is made up of 47 UN member states which are elected by UN General Assembly (UNGA) with specific number of seats allocated for each region of the globe.
    • The term of each seat is three years, and no member may occupy a seat for more than two consecutive terms.
  • Functions: 
    • Members of the council work to engage countries on improving human rights.
    • They make decisions ranging from exposing violations to recommending that UN Security Council make referral to International Criminal Court (ICC).
    • UNJRC does not have authority to take action but can exert significant pressure on violating country.
    • It can also set up special rapporteurs with mandate to investigate and report human-rights violations and abuses.
    • The council works closely with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and engages the United Nations’ special procedures.
    • The General Assembly can suspend the rights and privileges of any Council member that it decides has persistently committed gross and systematic violations of human rights during its term of membership.
    • The suspension process requires a two-thirds majority vote by the General Assembly.
  • United States under President Donald Trump Administration had withdrawn from UNHRC after it questioned legitimacy of the council

because of presence of several dictatorial regimes violating human rights.

  • Why in news? India was elected to United Nations’ Human Rights Council’, the main body of UN charged with promoting and monitoring human rights for period of three years beginning January 1, 2019.

UN Conference on Disarmament

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  • UN Conference on Disarmament (CD) is not a formal United Nations (UN) organization.
  • It is linked to UN through personal representative of UN Secretary-General.
  • It is multilateral forum established in 1979 by international community to negotiate multilateral arms control and disarmament agreements.
  • It is headquartered in Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The conference has 65 members represent all areas of the world, including all known nuclear-weapon states (including India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea)
  • Resolutions adopted by UN General Assembly often request conference to consider specific disarmament matters.
  • In turn, conference annually reports its activities to UNGA.
  • In the 1990s, the Conference had held intensive efforts to draft CTBT text and its two annexes, but it did not succeed in reaching consensus on the adoption of the text.
  • Currently UNCD conducts discussion on Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), a pact to prevent an arms race in outer space, nuclear disarmament and negative security assurances (NSA).

United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

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  • UNWTO is United Nations agency responsible for promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
  • It is leading international organization in field of tourism.
  • It promotes tourism as driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability.
  • It offers leadership and support to sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.  
  • It is headquartered in Madrid, Spain.
  • Its membership includes 156 countries, 6 territories and over 500 affiliate members

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

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  • It is a UN body
  • It leads international efforts to defeat hunger
  • Established : 1945
  • HQ : Rome, Italy
  • In theory, acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy
  • FAO is also a source of knowledge and information, and helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture,  forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all.
  • India is a member of FAO

 

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

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  • The UNHCR, also known as the UN Refugee Agency, is a UN programme mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.
  • Its headquarters is located in GenevaSwitzerland, and it is a member of the United Nations Development Group.
  • The UNHCR has won two Nobel Peace Prizes (in 1954 and again in 1981).
  • The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, provide the mandate to UNHCR.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

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  • ITU is the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs).
  • Members: 193 countries + 800 private-sector entities and academic institutions.
  • HQ: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • ITU is responsible for allocating global radio spectrum and satellite orbits.
  • It also develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies to seamlessly interconnect.
  • It also strives to improve access to ICTs among the underserved communities worldwide.
  • Why in news? India was elected as member of International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Council for another 4-year term from 2019 to 2022.

 

 

International Labor Organization (ILO)

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  • Established in 1919
  • It is a UN agency
  • HQ : Geneva, Switzerland
  • It deals with labor issues, particularly international labor standards, social protection, and work opportunities for all
  • India is a founder member of ILO
  • The ILO registers complaints against entities that are violating international rules; however, it does not impose sanctions on governments
  • The ILO has 187 member states: 186 of the 193 UN member states plus the Cook Islands are members of the ILO.
  • In 1969, the organisation received the Nobel Peace Prize for improving peace among classes, pursuing decent work and justice for workers, and providing technical assistance to other developing nations.

UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

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  • It is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with trade, investment, and development issues.
  • Aims to “maximize the trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries.”
  • It organizes: World Investment Forum
  • It publishes reports like:
    • World Investment Report
    • Technology and Innovation Report
  • UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964.
  • HQ – Geneva

International Maritime Organisation

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  • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping.
  • Established in 1948 (Came into force in 1959; First meeting)
  • HQ : London, UK
  • India was one of the earliest members of the IMO and had joined it as a member-state in 1959.
  • The IMO’s primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.
  • IMO is governed by an assembly of members and is financially administered by a council of members elected from the assembly. IMO Council consists of 40 member countries who are elected by IMO Assembly. It plays a crucial role in deciding various matters related to global shipping industry.
  • Why in news? India was re-elected to Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

 

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