What We Do

Photo of Indian Adolescent Girls playing tug of war
Photo: UNFPA. Rewrite the future for girls: UNFPA’s Action for Adolescent Girls/ India, Rajasthan/ January 2015 - June 2016

What We Do

The United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP) serves as a global gateway for catalysing and building partnership initiatives between public and private sector stakeholders including civil society organizations, businesses, philanthropy, trade unions, academia and the United Nations in furtherance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UNOP’s core features include: 

  • being the center of excellence and repository for system-wide learning, as well as responsive service center for strategic partnership activity across the UN system;
  • facilitates partnerships with the wider UN system;
  • serves as the administrative hub for the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), providing administrative support for UNDEF's operations;
  • advises, guides and facilitates partnership events and initiatives between the United Nations and non-state actors (such as private sector, foundation and civil society) in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • supports and leverages the leadership, convening capacity, and catalytic thinking of the SG and DSG around Agenda 2030 and the UN’s wider development priorities in order to spur impactful partnerships;
  • serves as the Secretariat for the Secretary-General's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocates. The SDG Advocates are 17 eminent personalities from business, sport, entertainment, academia and advocacy, appointed by the Secretary-General and led by co-chairs H.E. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, and H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana. The Advocates engage global audiences to raise awareness of the SDGs and accelerate efforts to achieve the Goals by 2030.

Together with the UN Sustainable Development Group and the UN Global Compact, UNOP are boosting efforts to leverage assets and enthusiasm of a broad range of partners eager to work for a better world.


The United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP) was established by the UN Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan in 1998 to serve as the interface between the United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation) and the United Nations (UN) system.  UNFIP is a UN trust fund that manages and accounts for the UN Foundation’s grant-making to the United Nations and also provides ongoing guidance and accountability for the Foundation’s work in accordance with the Relationship Agreement between the UN and UN Foundation.  As part of its governance structure, UNFIP has an Advisory Board, which is chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General and comprised of senior representatives from the UN Secretariat, Member States and outside experts.

The United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) was created by the UN Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan in 2005 as a United Nations General Trust Fund to support democratization efforts around the world. UNDEF supports projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. The large majority of UNDEF funds go to local civil society organizations – both in transition and consolidation phases of democratization. UNDEF has supported over 600 projects in more than 100 countries at a total amount of almost US$170 million. UNDEF grants range from US$100,000 to US$300,000.

The UNOP also provides Partnership Advisory and Outreach Services in response to requests from the UN system, non-state actors and Member States pursuing public-private partnerships in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for action. This area of UNOP’s work includes co-convening a number of high profile events at the United Nations each year that engage non-state actors (private foundations, civil society organizations, private sector and business associations, academic institutions) together with UN entities that  share a common commitment to advancing the SDGs in innovative and impactful ways through cross-sector partnerships.

The organization of UNOP is elaborated in the Secretary-General’s Bulletin dated 18 December 2009 (ST/SGB/2009/14).



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