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UNDG membership is inclusive, transparent, and open to the entire UN development system, in alignment with CEB membership criteria and the definition of the UN development system (UNDS) put forward in the reports of the Secretary General.


To be eligible for UNDG membership, an entity must be:

  1. Member of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), in recognition of the fact that the UNDG is a subsidiary pillar of the CEB;
  2. Part of the UNDS as defined in the reports of the Secretary-General (i.e. it must receive contributions for operational activities for development);
  3. Fully engaged in the UNDG, and importantly in field operations through UNDAFs and UNCTs; and
  4. Contributor to the global UNDG cost-sharing arrangement in support of the Resident Coordinator system.

The following special provisions apply:

  • UN entities that are classified as “Other Entities” in the UN system are also eligible for UNDG membership and are otherwise treated analogously to UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies;
  • UN Secretariat departments and offices and the UN Regional Commissions, are eligible to become UNDG members in their own right, provided they are part of the UNDS;
  • The International Organization for Migration (IOM), shall be invited to UNDG meetings when programmatic issues of common concern are discussed.
  • UNDG working mechanisms at headquarters may decide to extend participation rights to additional UN entities that have a relevant role in the respective area of the associated working mechanism (i.e. Working Group or Task Team). The membership of the global UNDG shall remain unaffected by these arrangements.

Observer Status

The following entities are eligible for UNDG observer status:

  1. UN entities that are members of the CEB but not part of the UNDS;
  2. UN research and training institutes;
  3. Subsidiary bodies of UNDG member entities.

UNDG observer rights:

  • UNDG members and observers enjoy equal rights regarding information sharing and participation in UNDG working mechanisms and meetings;
  • UNDG observers can be formally invited to be members of Working Groups whose TORs extend beyond the UNDG even if they are not members at the UNDG level;
  • UNDG observers may be requested to provide input to specific products, policy positions as appropriate;
  • Observers do not take part in UNDG decision-making and do not have voting rights regarding endorsement of UNDG guidance products, position statements etc;
  • Observers cannot become members of the UNDG Advisory Group;
  • Observers are not expected to contribute to the global UNDG cost-sharing arrangement.

UNDG membership and observer criteria shall also apply to UNDG working mechanisms, Regional UNDG Teams and UN Country Teams.

Members and Observers

FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
ILO International Labour Organization
IOM International Organization for Migration
ITU International Telecommunications Union
OHCHR Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
OHRLLS Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries & Small Island Developing Countries
OSAA Office of the Special Adviser on Africa
OSRSG-CAC Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
UNAIDS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UNDESA United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNECA United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
UNECE United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
UNECLAC United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNESCAP United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNESCWA United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
UNFPA United Nations Population Fund
UN Habitat United Nations Human Settlements Programme
UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund
UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNODC United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
UNOPS United Nations Office for Project Services
UN Women United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
UNWTO United Nations World Tourism Organization
WFP World Food Programme
WHO World Health Organization
WMO World Meteorological Organization
DSG Director, Office of the Deputy Secretary General (observer)
ITC International Trade Centre (observer)
OCHA Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (observer)
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General (observer)
UNCDF UN Capital Development Fund (observer)
UNDPA United Nations Department of Political Affairs (observer)
UNDPI United Nations Department of Public Information (observer)
UNFIP United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (observer)
UNICRI UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (observer)
UNIDIR UN Institute for Disarmament Research (observer)
UNISDR UN International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (observer)
UNITAR UN Institute for Training and Research (observer)
UNRISD UN Research Institute for Social Development (observer)
UNSSC UN System Staff College (observer)
UNU UN University (observer)
UNV UN Volunteers (observer)
World Bank World Bank (observer)