UNDP and the UN System

members of UN Country teamMembers of the UN Country Team promote MY World, UN Post 2015 Global Survey. (Photo: UNCO Philippines)

The UN system in the Philippines began in 1945 when the Philippines joined 49 other nations in signing the United Nations Charter in San Francisco, USA. This partnership between the government of the Philippines and the United Nations is underscored by the contributions made by Carlos P. Romulo who acted as Philippine delegate to the United Nations Organization Conference in San Francisco and then became the Philippine ambassador to the United Nations from 1946 to 1954. He distinguished himself as the first Asian to become president of the UN General Assembly (Fourth Session, Sept. 20, 1949).

Technical, financial and other forms of assistance to the Philippines began in the late 1940s as the country recovered from the ravages of World War II.  This partnership has progressed since then into a number of development initiatives, activities and programmes. The establishment of the UNDP in 1965 further strengthened the UN's cooperation with the country.

About the UN Country Team and the Resident Coordinator

The UN Country Team (UNCT) in the Philippines is composed of 17 agencies, funds and programmes. The Bretton Woods Institutions -- the World Bank (WB), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- are also members of the UN Country Team. Working as a team, the UN system develops the best strategy to respond to its host country’s needs and plans.

The UNDP Resident Representative serves as the UN Resident Coordinator (RC) and spokesperson in-country. One among equals, the RC leads the UN Country Team comprised of heads of UN agencies. The RC is supported by the Coordination Unit, which also supports other UN agencies and coordinates cross-cutting issues like humanitarian aid, common services, avian influenza, HIV and AIDS, and the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The RC also serves as the Chairperson for the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), which addresses disaster management issues and organizes broader coordination forums, reaching out to NGOs, donors and other international organizations.

At any given time, the UN system in the Philippines (excluding the Asian Development Bank) has an average of 1,000 international and national professional staff working on the many related issues of poverty reduction, gender, education, health, population management, human rights, governance, environment, labor issues, and peace and development.

UN agencies in the country

The UN Country Team is comprised of UNDP and the following UN agencies, funds and programmes:

  • Asian Development Bank
    Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a multilateral development finance institution dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific. Established in 1966, it is owned by 63 members, mostly from the region.

  • Food and Agriculture Association
    As a knowledge organization, FAO creates and shares critical information about food, agriculture and natural resources in the form of global public goods.

  • Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
    The main advocate for global action on HIV and AIDS, UNAIDS leads, strengthen and supports and expanded response to the epidemic.

  • International Finance Corporation
    The IFC promotes sustainable private sector investment in developing countries as a way to reduce poverty and improve peoples' lives. Established in 1956, IFC is the largest multilateral source of loan and equity financing for private sector projects in the developing world.

  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
    The ILO brings together the governments and employers' and workers' organizations of its 178 Member States in common action to improve social protection and conditions of life and work throughout the world.

*Note: UNESCO is a non-resident agency based in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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