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United Nations

Ireland’s relationship with the United Nations (UN) is based on our shared commitment to security, human rights and development. Our support of key UN development agencies allows us to widen the reach of our own development programme and contribute to tackling development issues and responding to emergencies in countries where we don’t have a presence on the ground. 

Ireland and the UN

‌‌Ireland works closely with the United Nations as it is unmatched by any other organisation in its legitimacy, neutrality and global presence. This gives it a unique position to address emergency and development needs in around 150 countries, particularly countries that otherwise receive little direct aid or that are affected by disasters.  

Many UN agencies, particularly the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), focus on fragile and conflict-affected states and are able to reach some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people and communities in countries where we do not have a direct presence.

And the UN plays a crucial role in setting and monitoring progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which inform and guide our aid programme.

‌ The United Nations is in a unique position to address emergency and development needs in around 150 countries, particularly countries that otherwise receive little direct aid or that are affected by disasters.

Our UN development partners

‌‌We have a strong relationship with all our UN partners, both at Headquarters level and in the partner countries where we workand we stress the importance of working together to achieve our common goals in delivering real benefits for poor people and poor communities.

We are represented on the governing bodies of many of the UN’s agencies and we work closely with them to develop their strategic and operational priorities. We work to ensure that their budgetary, financial, evaluation and auditing systems are as efficient and effective as possible.

Our support and engagement with these UN development agencies enables us to widen the reach of our own development programme and have a greater impact.

United Nations Development Programme

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is of strategic importance given its central role in galvanising global support for the SDGs. UNDP focuses in particular on poverty reduction, HIV and AIDS, democratic governance, energy and environment, social development, and crisis prevention and recovery. At the country level, UNDP partners with governments and civil society to help build nations that can withstand crisis. It also helps to drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone.

United Nations Children’s Fund

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) provides long-term humanitarian and development assistance to children and their families in developing countries. UNICEF’s focus on child survival and development; basic education and gender equality; HIV and AIDS; and child protection is a strong reflection of the priorities at the core of our aid programme. 

United Nations Refugee Agency

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has a mandate to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. In more than six decades, the UNHCR has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is the main provider of basic services such as education, health, relief and social services to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory.

United Nations Population Fund

The work of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) (UNFPA) encompasses a wide range of priority issues for Irish Aid, ranging from the most intimate and personal decisions related to family planning and maternal health to the impact of those decisions on global population and development trends. Reproductive health in the broadest sense is the very heart of the UNFPA mandate. It is also an issue that lies at the intersection of human rights, gender equality and population dynamics.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Human rights are central to the achievement of many of our priorities including the Sustainable Development Goals. As the principal United Nations office mandated to promote and protect human rights for all, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)  leads global human rights efforts and speaks out objectively in the face of human rights violations worldwide. IT also provides support to countries in areas such as the administration of justice, legislative reform, human rights treaty ratification, and human rights education.