Useful Links to UNEP Partners and UN Organizations

Information networks for Major Groups and Stakeholders of Civil Society

Geneva Environment Network (GEN)

The Geneva Environment Network (GEN) is a cooperative partnership between over 40 environment and sustainable development organizations based in the Geneva area, including United Nations offices and programmes, specialized agencies and NGOs. UNEP acts as its Secretariat. 

       Earth Negotiations Bulletin

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), is a balanced, timely and independent reporting service that provides daily information in print and electronic formats from multilateral negotiations on environment and development.

Stakeholder Forum for Our Common Future

The Stakeholder Forum for Our Common Future's primary objective is to promote sustainable development through facilitating the involvement of Major Groups and stakeholders in the policy work of the United Nations and other inter-governmental institutions. 

      United Nations System Wide EarthWatch

EarthWatch is a UN system wide mechanism that monitors global disturbance in the environment in order to give early warning of problems requiring action. UNEP is the Secretariat of EarthWatch.



Great Transition Initiative – Hopeful Global Scenarios of Earth’s Future

The Great Transition Initiative is a global network elaborating visions and pathways for a future of enriched lives, human solidarity and a healthy planet. Even though environmental and social crises threaten the future of humanity and the earth, a Great Transition toward improved well-being and environmental sustainability is still possible.

Centre on Energy, Climate and Sustainable Development (URC)

The UNEP Risoe Centre on Energy, Climate and Sustainable Development (URC) supports the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in its aim to incorporate environmental aspects into energy planning and policy worldwide. It thereby puts a special emphasis on assisting developing countries. 


Links within the United Nations System

 United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS)

NGLS is a small inter-agency programme established in Geneva and New York, with the aim of strengthening UN-NGO dialogue and cooperation in the fields of development education, information and policy advocacy on global sustainable development issues.

      United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and its predecessors have helped countries around the world meet their economic, social and environmental challenges for more than 50 years.



United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

As UNDP repositions itself as a leading policy and advocacy organization for sustainable human development and poverty eradication, substantive partnerships with civil society organizations (CSOs) are of greater strategic importance than ever. The Programme works with a wide cross section of local, regional and global CSOs in and around its six thematic areas (democratic governance, poverty reduction, crisis prevention and recovery, HIV/AIDS, energy and environment, information and communications technology).


The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The Permanent Forum is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights. The Permanent Forum provides expertise and makes recommendations on indigenous issues, raises awareness and promotes the integration and coordination of activities related to indigenous issues within the UN system. 

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

UNCTAD believes that enhanced cooperation between the private and the public sector is essential to the effective integration of developing countries into the global economy and seeks ways to involve civil society organizations, academia, trade unions, parliamentarians and business associations in its work.


International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. There is wide recognition that NGOs have a significant role to play in assisting the rural poor in breaking out of their condition of poverty. For IFAD, a major source of the strength of NGOs comes from their insistence on the empowerment of the poor as the key to the transformation of their livelihoods.


International Labour Organization (ILO)

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the only tripartite U.N. agency with government, employer, and worker representatives. This tripartite structure makes the ILO a unique forum in which the governments and the social partners of the economy of its Member States can freely and openly debate and elaborate labour standards and policies. 


UNAIDS was the first United Nations programme to have formal civil society representation on its governing body. The position of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) is critical for the effective inclusion of community voices in the key global policy forum for AIDS.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. A major priority for UNHCR is to strengthen its partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGO). The agency sees such partnerships as the best way to ensure that the basic needs of refugees and populations of concern are met.

    United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UNHABITAT)

UN-HABITAT has long campaigned for closer relationships with civil society, parliamentarians, and the private sector around the world and with in the United Nations system. Ranging from non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, women's and youth groups to trade unions, urban professionals, researchers and spiritual organizations, they have innovative ways of helping the poor.


United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. CSOs play a critical role in supporting UNICEF efforts to deliver results for children. The majority of partnerships between UNICEF and CSOs take place at country level.


The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) 

In partnership with the United Nations (UN) and donor agencies, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) especially Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) have played a significant role in the social and economic development of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the last decade. 

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Civil society and non-governmental organizations include campaign and research networks, teachers’ unions and religious organizations, community associations, parent and student associations, and social movements. 

    United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA partners with governments, other agencies and civil society to advance UNFPA's mission. 

World Food Programme (WFP)

Following many decades of intense collaboration with NGOs, it is WFP's vision today to be the "best possible partner". WFP's Strategic Plan (2008-2013) clearly states that "partnerships are essential for WFP in order to accomplish its mission and achieve its objectives". NGOs are described as "instrumental in increasing WFP's global deep field presence" and "essential in both short-term and long-term responses to hunger".

  World Health Organization (WHO)

The objectives of WHO's relations with NGOs are to promote the policies, strategies and activities of WHO and, where appropriate, to collaborate with NGOs in jointly agreed activities to implement them. WHO may also seek to harmonize intersectoral interests among various sectoral bodies concerned in a country, regional or global setting.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Working with civil society organizations (CSOs) enables FAO to increase the effectiveness and quality of its work. Through consultation with CSOs, FAO ensures that its decision-making, policies and scientific research reflect the interests of all sectors of society.

      The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Over a decade ago, most countries joined an international treaty - the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - to begin considering what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable. In 1997, governments agreed to an addition to the treaty, called the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful (and legally binding) measures. 

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification proposes new orientations based on principles such as participation, the creation of an enabled environment, the implementation of a cooperation framework and the promotion of integrated activities to combat desertification. The cooperation between the UNCCD and NGOs contributes significantly to the successful implementation of the Convention.

      The UN Works Programme

The United Nations helps millions of people around the world in ways you never imagined. This site features the stories of men, women and children who have benefited from the UN's work.