The work of the UN is global, touching the lives of billions of people. The work of the Organization is, however, mostly done locally, within regions and countries. In order to accomplish this, the UN and the many entities comprising the “UN system” have created a presence in every region of the world, so the people most in need of help can be reached quickly. The UN’s work is divided into five geographical regions: Africa, Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, and the Middle East. Here is an overview of each area, with links to relevant offices, agencies and programmes:
The two main centres of UN activity in Africa are Nairobi, Kenya and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. There are also, in Africa, many regional and country offices of UN system entities, UN political offices, and nine UN peacekeeping missions.
A woman and child at Za’atri refugee camp in 2012, host to tens of thousands of Syrians displaced by conflict, near Mafraq, Jordan.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the camp in 2012 as part of a two-leg trip to Jordan and Turkey to assess the Syrian refugee situation in those countries.
The centre of UN activity in the Middle East is Beirut, Lebanon, home to the Economic and Social Commision for Western Asia. In addition to ESCWA, there are also UN political offices in the Middle East, and many regional and country offices of UN system entities in the Middle East and North Africa region.
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