2.1.2 Democracy and development
188.8.131.52 The United Nations - basic element of the international system
184.108.40.206.1 Main organs
The most powerful organ of the UN system is the Security Council, whose basic task is to deal with interstate conflict regulation.
The significance of the Security Council for development and environment issues is indirect. The fact that the most powerful element of the UN does explicitly not deal with such important problems shows the limitations of the UN in contributing to their solution.
The General Assembly deals with development issues mainly through it´s economic and finance commission.
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) was initially intended to be the coordinating body for the economic and social sector just as the Security Council is the coordinating body for security issues. But the ECOSOC remained always insignificant.
During the fifty years of it´s existing the UN has created some twenty specialised institutions, which, as a matter of fact, are independent, but don't have a membership of their own, i.e. the UN membership is automatically also theirs.
Their link with the UN system consists in the obligation to report to the General Assembly. The most prominent special agencies which have an impact on development and environment issues are the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which is a joint venture between World Bank, UNDP and UNEP.
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