Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

United Nations

The United Nations (UN) is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to:

  • Maintaining international peace and security
  • Developing friendly relations
  • Promoting social progress, better living standards, and human rights

Today, the UN numbers more than 190 member states and is the only truly global organization in the world — each member country, no matter how small, has a voice in decision-making.

Canada's Commitment

Canada is one of the founding members of the UN and played a key role in drafting the UN Charter.

Through CIDA, Canada provides long-term institutional support to several UN development funds and programs, facilitating:

  • Working on a large scale
  • Using an integrated, system-wide approach to address complex issues
  • Generating and sharing critical knowledge that can benefit the global community

CIDA works with six key partner UN development organizations whose development objectives closely align with CIDA's priority themes of increasing food security; securing the future of children and youth; and stimulating sustainable economic growth. These organizations carry out a range of development assistance programs in all developing countries, including those in conflict, helping the poor and marginalized and assisting the world in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Key results

CIDA's work with UN organizations enables Canada to pool resources with other member countries and achieve more toward poverty reduction and meeting the needs of those affected by humanitarian crises.

CIDA collaborates with other donor agencies in developing joint institutional strategies to coordinate relationships with UN organizations and engage in multidonor evaluations, such as the Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) Common Approach assessment.

CIDA also promotes more joint planning and programming, simplified procedures among UN institutions, and new initiatives that will lead to a strengthened and effective UN system. In addition, Canada calls for greater attention to issues of equality between women and men in UN organizations, funds, and programs.

With support from Canada and other donors, UN organizations have helped individual countries:

  • Eliminate smallpox
  • Eradicate polio
  • Increase life expectancies in most developing countries
  • Reduce death rates for children under 5
  • Increase literacy rates
  • Achieve food self-sufficiency in countries where famine was once the rule