About the UN in Iran

WHO Mission to Iran on Covid-19 Outbreak visited Masih Daneshvari Hospital in North of Tehran as designated hospital for admitting Covid-19 patients.
Photo: © Public Relations Department of Masih Daneshvari Hospital

Iran joined the United Nations in 1945  as one of the original 50 founding members. Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran is an active member of the UN. The UN has actively partnered with Iran since 1950, opening in Tehran in 1950, one of the very first UN Information Centres worldwide. The UNICEF office opened the following year. Other agencies soon followed.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a middle-income country. The I.R. of Iran ranks highly on the human development index, significantly increasing over the last three decades. The I.R. of Iran is the 6th largest refugee-hosting country globally and allows refugees access to primary health care services and education free-of-charge, the same as for Iranians.

UN entities:

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the United Nations is represented by 20 resident and non-resident agencies, funds and specialized programmes, which carry out  activities according to their respective roles and functions. There are approximately 450 staff members in the UN system in Iran (90 per cent of whom are Iranian citizens) and they work in duty stations in different parts of the I.R. of Iran with most based in Tehran.

What we do: The United Nations in Iran focuses on development and humanitarian assistance as mutually agreed upon with the Government. Refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq are a main beneficiary of the UN’s humanitarian response, while support for the environment, the health care, resilient economy, and drug control is addressed through UN development programmes.

The UN Country Team is working closely with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and other national partners to mitigate the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the resulting economic downturn on the people of Iran, particularly on the most vulnerable, at this particular time, to ensure that no one is left behind.

The Government’s socio-economic initiatives already provide relief and support to vulnerable households and small businesses and the UN in Iran is currently reinforcing and scaling up programmes to sustain recovery efforts. Apart from immediate relief for the most vulnerable in COVID-19- affected families, UN in Iran focuses on empowering local capacity as well as generating livelihood opportunities.

How we do it: The United Nations offices in Iran work in partnership with the Government to respond to national development priorities and emerging needs. We have agreed on programmes of cooperation with the Government according to UN entities development and humanitarian mandates. Some of these programmes are partly-funded by the Government.  We work not only with the Government, but also with partners in the non-governmental sector under projects and programmes agreed with the Government.

The UN in Iran focuses primarily on development work and humanitarian assistance. The UN System is a partner in Iran’s development process, as articulated in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2017-2021.

The UNDAF’s main purpose is to provide a strategic framework for cooperation and a broad guide to facilitate coordinated planning and implementation of UN work in partnership with the Government. It focuses on the specific achievements within mutually agreed outcomes under four pillars: environment, health, resilient economy and drug control.

The Sustainable Development Goals in Islamic Republic of Iran

The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Iran: