United Nations University (UNU)
Based on a proposal by the then UN Secretary-General U Thant, the United Nations University was established in 1973 as an international university based in Tokyo that is devoted to the UN Charter objectives of peace and progress.
Originally created as a think-tank, UNU today provides a world-wide network for post-graduate students and scientists that focuses on promoting peace policy and good governance, development, technology, social issues and environmental aspects. Through teaching, research and capacity-building the United Nations University aims to contribute to solving global problems.
The UNU is an autonomous United Nations body, equipped with a governing board that is composed of 24 experts. These experts, who serve in an individual capacity, not as representatives of their countries, are appointed jointly by the United Nations General Assembly and the UNESCO Director-General.
The United Nations University has two offices, in Paris and New York, and 12 international institutes, the UNU Institutes of Alliance of Civilisations (Barcelona), on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (Bruges), for Environment and Human Security (Bonn), of Advanced Studies (Yokohama), for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and Resources (Dresden), for Global Health (Kuala Lumpur), for Development Economics Research (Helsinki), for Software Technology (Macau), for Natural Resources in Africa (Accra), for Sustainability and Peace (Tokyo), for Water, Environment and Health (Hamilton/Ontario) and the UNU Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (Maastricht) as well as programmes and initiatives such as the UNU Foods and Nutrition Programme for Human and Social Development (New York), the Reykjavik-based Geothermal Energy Training Programme and the Fisheries Training Programme, and the Programme for Biotechnology in Latin America and the Caribbean (Caracas). The University’s only Vice-Rectorate located outside the UNU Centre in Tokyo was established in Bonn in 2007 and runs two programmes.