WHO's work with the United Nations

Outside view of UN Secretariat in New York, USA
UN Photo/M. Elias

WHO works closely with the United Nations system to support its Member States in achieving their national priorities and ensuring better health outcomes. WHO strives to increase coherence, effectiveness and efficiency in delivering results.

WHO collaborates with the UN system to position health in the debates and decisions of UN intergovernmental bodies; contribute to a coherent and effective UN system at global, regional and country levels; provide leadership in health-related humanitarian efforts, including as the Health Cluster Lead; and promote alliances and interagency approaches to address health issues.

Development goals

Health is a crucial priority for the world population. Across regions, economic groups, ethnicities and gender, health has emerged as central to the next development agenda.

WHO reform and the UN

Part of the WHO reform efforts is to “Maximize convergence with the UN system to deliver effectively and efficiently on the UN mandate”. The reform aims to reinforce WHO’s leadership role in global public health by strengthening effective engagement with all partners.

WHO and the UN in countries

WHO’s efforts count most when working in countries as part of the United Nations system. Through its broad network of country offices, WHO actively participates in UN joint activities in all countries where the UN system is present.

Country cooperation


Department of Country Cooperation and Collaboration with the United Nations System (CCU)
World Health Organization
Geneva, Switzerland