FAO and the UN

FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations. The UN system, also known unofficially as the 'UN family', is made up of the UN itself and a series of Programmes, Funds and Specialized Agencies, all with their own leadership and budget. The Specialized Agencies are independent international organizations funded by both voluntary and assessed contributions.

Related UN organs and coordination forum


The daily work of the UN is carried out by the Secretariat. It assists the other principal organs of the United Nations and oversees and executes programmes and policies established by them.

General Assembly

The General Assembly is the main deliberative organ of the United Nations. It makes decisions on important matters such as budget and peace and security issues. It meets once a year, and is composed of representatives from all Member States, each of which has one vote.

Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

ECOSOC debates and discusses the world’s economic, social and environmental challenges, and publishes policy recommendations for a way forward to counter these problems.

UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB)

The CEB supports and reinforces coordination between United Nations intergovernmental bodies, and is the longest-standing and highest-level forum in the United Nations system. There are 31 members of the CEB, who are Executive Heads of the United Nations, its Specialized Agencies, Funds, Programmes and other organizations.

Related UN Specialized Agencies, Funds, Programmes

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

IFAD works with poor rural populations in developing countries to tackle and eliminate poverty, hunger and malnutrition

World Food Programme (WFP)

WFP aims to eradicate hunger and malnutrition.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

IAEA boosts international coordination in the nuclear sector, working with its members and partners to promote the safe and peaceful use of nuclear technology. FAO and IAEA have a Joint Division of Nuclear Techniques in food and agriculture, to support and promote the safe and appropriate use of nuclear and related technologies in food and agriculture.

World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO is the UN’s directing and coordinating authority on international health. WHO often works with FAO on projects, including the Codex Alimentarius, a collection of international food standards aimed at protecting consumers’ health.