UN System at a Glance

The Secretary-General

SG Mr. António Guterres

The Secretary-General acts either personally or through his envoys in the interests of preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peace-building in the region. He also represents the UN in the Middle East Quartet. The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process represents the Secretary-General in all matters related to the peace process.

The General Assembly

General Assembly

The General Assembly, comprised of all the Member States of the United Nations, has been involved in the quest for a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine since 1947. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was established by the Assembly in 1975.

Maintaining Peace and Security

The Security Council

sc-smallThe Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. The Council has addressed the situation in the Middle East and the Palestinian question on many occasions.


untso-smallThe United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) was authorised by the Security Council in Palestine in 1948, the first peacekeeping operation established by the UN.

Safeguarding Human Rights

The Human Rights Council

unhr-smallThe Human Rights Council has addressed the situation in Palestine during its regular and special sessions. It works closely with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.

Providing Assistance, Promoting Development, Building Institutions

The UN Country Team (UNCT OPT) brings together over 20 UN agencies active on the ground, working in areas as diverse as refugees (UNRWA), education and culture (UNESCO), children (UNICEF), humanitarian issues (UNSCO, OCHA), gender (UN Women), development (UNDP), health (WHO), food and agriculture (FAO, WFP), housing (UN HABITAT), human rights (OHCHR), labour relations (ILO), population (UNFPA), unexploded remnants of war (UNMAS), drugs control (UNODC), and more. It includes:


unrwa-smallUnited Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) by far the biggest UN operation in the Middle East, provides education, health, relief and social services for over 5 million Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.


undp_smallUnited Nations Development Programme/Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP) has gained considerable experience through its decades of efforts to assist the Palestinian people.


The Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process coordinates the UN humanitarian and development assistance to the Palestinians.


unesco-smallUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People is focused on education, science, culture and communication.

World Bank

world-bank-smallThe World Bank provides financing for development projects, insurance for private investment, and plays a key role in donor coordination.


ocha-smallThe United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs established a field office (OCHA-OPT) in 2000 to enhance coordination of humanitarian assistance and disseminate humanitarian information.


wfp-small-1The World Food Programme (WFP) has been providing food assistance to the Palestinians since 1991.

Upholding International Law


icj-smallIn its landmark Advisory Opinion the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found the wall being constructed by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to be contrary to international law. Israel is under an obligation to cease construction, dismantle it and make reparations for damage.


un-logo-smallThe United Nations Register of Damage Caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (UNRoD) was established by the General Assembly following the ICJ Advisory Opinion.

Conducting Research


escwa-smallThe Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) inter alia, publishes reports on the economic and social impact of the Israeli occupation and settlements on the Palestinian people.


unctad-smallThe work of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on the Palestinian economy is centred on research, analysis, and technical cooperation.

Informing the Public


un-logo-smallAs part of its special information programme on the question of Palestine, the Department of Global Communication organises the annual International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East. A training programme for young Palestinian journalists provides hands-on skills training as well as access to UN officials and diplomats.