In the UN system

The United Nations

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organisation that was set up by 51 countries after World War Two. Today it numbers 192 member states and is active in domains ranging from peace and security, development cooperation and the promotion of human rights. The organisation has its headquarters in New York and offices in Geneva, Paris, Madrid, Nairobi, Rome and Vienna. These principal organs run the organisation’s activities: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice and the Secretariat. The UN runs various specialised agencies, including UNICEF, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation (WHO).


World events are increasingly eluding the control of individual national governments. International cooperation is essential. More and more, Belgium’s policy is being defined by multilateral agreements. Multilateralism boosts stability and fosters democracy, prosperity and the spread of the international rule of law.

The United Nations plays a decisive role in all this. However, urgent reforms are required to bolster the organisation’s legitimacy and make it more representative and efficient. Top priorities in this connection are a breakthrough in the reform of the Security Council and measures designed to make the General Assembly work more effectively.

Belgium endeavours to shore up the key role played by the United Nations in promoting peace and security around the world. In that connection, Belgium was recently (2007-2008) a member of the UN Security Council and is currently involved in the activities of the Peacebuilding Commission.

Belgium also endorses an effective, inclusive form of multilateralism at the socio-economic level and, along with the international community, is striving to attain the Millennium Development Goals. Our country is closely monitoring the efforts made by the UN in connection with sustainable development and human rights.

 The United Nations and Belgium (PDF, 61.52 KB)