More UN entities and specialized agencies

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More UN entities and specialized agencies

District Tribunal, one of the four post-independence tribunals operating in Timor-Leste.

The United Nations is engaged in an ongoing process to strengthen coherence and coordination of UN rule of law work at the national and international levels. A number of UN entities and specialized agencies (organizations provided for in the Charter of the United Nations) conduct or support rule of law activities in the context of their mandates, which relate to, among others, research and training, economic and social development, counter-terrorism, disarmament, humanitarian affairs, labour rights, gender equality, child rights and protection, and funding for democracy-building.

The UN convenes yearly meetings of the United Nations system on rule of law in order to share information, avoid duplication, and draw on Headquarters-level rule of law expertise, ensuring it reaches field locations. The first annual meeting was held in New York in June 2009.

The UN is strengthening its partnership with the World Bank on the rule of law in order to draw on the respective strengths and expertise of each organization. The first step in this partnership was a workshop held at the UN in New York on 30 September and 1 October 2009, aimed at sharing knowledge, good practices and programmatic approaches.

These more UN entities and specialized agencies engaged in rule of law work are:

Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED)
Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
International Labor Organization (ILO)
Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA)
Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues (OSAGI)
Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (OSRSG/CAAC)
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF)
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)
United National International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW)
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Regional Commissions
World Bank Group

  • Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED)
    CTED facilitates assistance to Member States in implementing their obligations under Security Council Resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005), and ensures that their needs in these areas are brought to the attention of the relevant multilateral and bilateral donors.
  • Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
    DESA conducts research and analysis on social and economic development issues related to rule of law, and develops tools and publications to promote international norms and standards in the areas of women’s rights and gender equality, and public administration and governance.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
    FAO assists developing countries and countries in transition to strengthen the protection of property rights, land tenure, and the right to food through legal reform, property and land governance programming and strengthening judicial and administrative institutions.
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
    The ILO is the global body responsible for developing and overseeing the implementation of international labour standards; its structure is uniquely tripartite (employer and worker representatives participating alongside governments); and it promotes respect for the rule of law through legal tools - ratification, supervision of Conventions, and the related domestic processes in each State; and practical ones - assistance on legislation and decent work country programmes. Social justice is defined by standards on rights concerning freedom of association, equality, forced labour and child labour, as well as social dialogue, social protection, employment and working conditions rights, including labour migration and gender equality.
  • Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA)
    ODA promotes universal membership in – and compliance with – key multilateral treaties for the elimination and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It works with States and civil society to promote the negotiation of new treaties on issues ranging from fissile materials to the trade in conventional arms, while also assisting in the development and implementation of norms to prevent the illicit trade small arms and light weapons.
  • Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
    OCHA works to mobilise and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action for the protection of civilians in armed conflict, an agenda that involves compliance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
  • Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues (OSAGI)
    OSAGI promotes and monitors the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, including the rule of law aspects of the resolution, within the UN system and at the national level. The Office advises the Secretary-General on the Campaign on Violence against Women.
  • The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
    UNCITRAL was established by the UN General Assembly in 1966 to further the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade. The Commission has since come to be the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law.
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
    UNCTAD promotes the integration of developing countries into the world economy through efforts such as analysis and capacity-building in competition and consumer protection laws and policies in developing countries, legal aspects of international investment agreements, international transfer of technology, transport and trade facilitation issues including reform of customs administration and  assistance to countries acceding to WTO in adapting their legal framework.
  • United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF)
    UNDEF was established by the Secretary-General in July 2005 as a United Nations General Trust Fund. UNDEF funds projects that support democratization around the world, and one specific area of its funding is human rights and the rule of law.
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
    UNEP supports developing countries to strengthen their legal and institutional frameworks for environmental management.
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
    UNESCO elaborates, monitors and supports the implementation of international norms and standards relating to culture and the right to education.
  • United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
    UN-HABITAT activities promote the progressive realization of housing and land rights, land governance, slum upgrading, equal access to justice, crime prevention and community development as part of its efforts to achieve adequate shelter for all in the context of sustainable urbanization.
  • United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)
    UNICRI provides applied research, training programmes and technical cooperation to assist Member States in promoting the rule of law by fostering efficient justice systems, facilitating international law-enforcement cooperation and judicial assistance, and gathering and sharing information on policy options, strategies and best practices adopted in different geographic areas and criminal justice systems.
  • United National International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW)
    UN-INSTRAW undertakes research, training and knowledge management on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the rule of law area of security, particularly security sector reform, in partnership with governments, the UN system, civil society and academics.