United Nations


The United Nations is an international organisation founded in 1945. Belgium is one of the 51 founding members of the organisation, which today has 193 member states. The mission and activities of the United Nations are guided by the objectives and principles laid down in its founding treaty: the UN Charter.

Its internationally unique status and the powers conferred on it by the Charter allow it to take action to address many of the major challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. These include peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian disasters, health crises, gender equality and food security.

The United Nations also has an important function as a forum. Members can express their views in the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council, as well as in many other bodies and commissions covered by the UN system. The organisation allows for a global dialogue that enables member states to reach agreement and to solve problems together.

The United Nations is headed by the Secretary-General. Since January 2017, this has been António Guterres from Portugal.

The United Nations is headquartered in New York, but also has a strong presence in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beirut, Geneva, Nairobi, Santiago and Vienna, and has offices all over the world. The organisation has six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

More information about the United Nations can be found on the website https://www.un.org/en/.

Belgian UN policy