United Nations University

Logo United Nations University

The mission of the United Nations University is to develop original, forward-looking solutions to the world’s most pressing problems and help build capacity, in particular in developing countries. Major shifts, however, have made the University’s mission more comely, and more important. Globalization, rapid technological advances and economic shifts favoring knowledge-based economies offer great opportunities.

UNU provides specialized training throughout the world. Its “faculty” is an international network of scholars and professional contributors, while its “students” are mainly young researchers and other professionals who receive postgraduate training as UNU fellows, or who benefit from UNU’s capacity-building activities. Postgraduates are recommended by their home institutions, work in an area of concern to UNU, and must be committed to returning to work at their home institutions.

Academics and professionals are recruited from universities, research institutions, international organization and similar institutions, often on secondment for fixed terms.

UNU forms and cooperates with networks between universities and research institutes around the globe. The University consists of the UNU Centre in Tokyo, several research and training centres and programs worldwide, and a network of associated institutions and scholars. From the UNU Centre, the University’s global program and activities are managed. The UNU Centre also coordinates the Capacity-Building and Fellowships Program, providing training grants for young scientists.

UNU’s work is both theoretical and practical. It promotes innovative thinking, generates useful knowledge and facilitates down-to-earth action. UNU’s efforts are divided into two thematic areas: Peace and Governance and Environment and Sustainable Development. Within these areas the University undertakes research and training on a broad range of issues.