Under the leadership of an Assistant Secretary, a Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, and three Deputy Assistant Secretaries, the Front Office guides IO’s work domestically, and through its seven missions, to develop and implement U.S. policy in the United Nations, its specialized and voluntary agencies, and other international organizations. The Front Office advances U.S. foreign policy strategic goals and U.S. interests through multilateral diplomacy, while ensuring that the international organizations through which the United States works remain viable and effective.
IO/C has the statutory authority for accrediting, instructing, and managing some 4,000 U.S. delegates to almost 400 multilateral conferences each year, ensuring that U.S. Government representation consists of those whose presence and participation reflect the highest possible value to U.S. foreign policy. The dedicated staff provides preparatory and on-site logistical support for nearly two dozen large conferences annually, and is committed to conscientious stewardship of the resources funded by America’s taxpayers.
IO/HRH advances U.S. policy relating to human rights, democracy promotion, humanitarian assistance, women’s issues, indigenous issues, and social affairs. IO/HRH works through and with a variety of UN bodies and entities, including the UN General Assembly Third Committee, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UN Women, the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF), and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
IO/EDA supports implementation of U.S. policy initiatives on human security, with particular focus on economic growth and sustainable development, global food security, and global health issues. IO/EDA manages U.S. participation in the UN General Assembly Second Committee, Economic and Social Council, and in bodies, funds and programs working in these priority areas, including the UN Development Program (UNDP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
IO/MPR is responsible for developing, coordinating, and implementing U.S. policies, both within the UN system and in a broad range of non-UN organizations, as they relate to financial, budgetary, administrative, and management issues, as well as promoting U.S. citizen employment in international organizations through public outreach and diplomatic engagement.
IO/PPC advances U.S. interests by communicating the nation’s goals, priorities, and accomplishments in international organizations using a variety of public affairs and public diplomacy tools. The office is also responsible for coordinating the Bureau’s engagement with Congress and oversees its strategic and performance planning efforts.
IO/PSC advances the Department of State’s mission to shape and sustain a more peaceful world. IO/PSC guides U.S. policies on United Nations peace operations, working to maximize the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping missions that are helping countries move from conflict to stability. IO/PSC also structures and enforces UN sanctions so they are effective and humane, and builds support for peacekeeping and sanctions from Congress, private organizations, and the American people. In addition, IO/PSC manages Department of State coordination of counter-terrorism issues in the UN system to promote multilateral cooperation on key U.S. counter-terrorism goals.
IO/STA develops, coordinates, and implements U.S. policy in UN and other specialized and technical international organizations. The office covers the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), UN Environment Program (UNEP), UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Universal Postal Union (UPU), UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and more than twenty other specialized and technical agencies and programs of the United Nations system, as well as a number of multilateral environmental agreements and several non-UN multilateral organizations.
IO/UNP develops, coordinates, and implements U.S. policy on political issues before the UN Security Council (UNSC) and UN General Assembly (UNGA). IO/UNP is also responsible for coordinating the Department of State’s participation in the UNGA General Debate each September. IO/UNP provides assistance to the U.S. Mission to the UN in New York on host country issues. IO and its diplomatic missions in New York, Geneva, Vienna, Rome, Montreal, and Nairobi, actively promote U.S. interests, in part by advocating for more effective, transparent, accountable, and efficient international organizations.
IO and its diplomatic missions in New York, Geneva, Vienna, Rome, Montreal, and Nairobi, actively promote U.S. interests, in part by advocating for more effective, transparent, accountable, and efficient international organizations.
The U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN) serves as the United States’ delegation to the United Nations. USUN is responsible for carrying out the nation’s participation in the world body. In 1947 USUN was created by an act of Congress to assist the President and the Department of State in conducting United States policy at the United Nations. Since its inception, USUN has served a vital role as the Department of State’s UN branch. Today, USUN has approximately 150 staff who represent the United States’ political, economic and social, legal, military, public diplomacy, and management interests at the United Nations.
The U.S. Mission to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva works with a host of agencies and organizations to advance U.S. national interests. U.S. mission staff are involved in some 300 Geneva-based conferences a year, promoting United States policy and representing United States interests to over 23 international organizations.
There are more than 100 countries that maintain permanent missions to the UN in Geneva, and among the many international organizations headquartered in Geneva are the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Geneva is also the seat of the UN Human Rights Council.
The United States Mission to International Organizations in Vienna (UNVIE) works with seven major organizations of the United Nations system based in Vienna: the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC); the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBT); the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA); the Wassenaar Arrangement; the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). UNVIE also covers the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria.
Rome, as headquarters of the three principal organizations dedicated to food and agriculture, is at the center of international efforts to promote sustainable development and combat world hunger. The U.S. mission in Rome serves as the link between the Rome-based international organizations and the United States Government. With staff representing the Department of State, Agriculture, Agency for International Development, the U.S. Mission works to advance UN efforts in the areas of emergency food aid, food safety standards, agriculture, fisheries, forests, and financing.
The U.S. Mission to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) works closely with the organization to reduce the number of international civil aviation accidents and fatalities through implementation of ICAO safety standards and recommended practices; increase transparency among member states by promoting the sharing of security audit results; increase the number of member states using machine-readable passports and biometric passports; and develop an auditing and reporting process to achieve standardization among member state aircraft fleets.
Headquartered in Montreal, ICAO is a UN specialized agency which promotes and develops standards and recommended practices for the safety, security and sustainability of international civil aviation. Founded in 1947 under the Chicago Convention, ICAO works in cooperation with its 190 Member States, including the United States.
The United States Permanent Mission to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) works with the secretariats of these two organizations and with the representatives of other member states in Nairobi to cooperatively advance the U.S. objective of protecting the environment while reducing poverty and promoting economic growth and find solutions to the phenomenon of rapid urbanization.
The Mission carries out this work through participation in the Committees of Permanent Representatives of UNEP and HABITAT, through informal consultations, and by serving as a link between these two Nairobi-based UN programs and the various parts of the U.S. Government that engage with them. In addition, the Mission also contributes to the U.S. Government’s efforts to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the UN through these two programs.