Department of Economic and
Social Affairs (DESA)
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and its predecessors have helped countries around the world meet their economic, social and environmental challenges for more than 50 years. DESA's mission - to promote development for all - reflects a fundamental concern for equity and equality in countries large and small, developed and developing.
Within the framework of the United Nations Development Agenda, DESA works on issues ranging from poverty reduction, population, gender equality and indigenous rights to macroeconomic policy, development finance, public sector innovation, forest policy, climate change and sustainable development. The Department also supports the effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, a set of time-bound targets, which put the eradication of poverty at the centre of the global partnership for development.
At the United Nations, DESA provides the substantive support to intergovernmental processes on development issues in the General Assembly and in the Economic and Social Council, its functional commissions and expert bodies.
DESA engages with a variety of stakeholders around the world, including non-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector, research and academic organizations and intergovernmental organizations, as well as our partner organizations in the United Nations system.
Our work takes many forms. DESA:
- Analyzes, generates and compiles a wide range of data and information on development issues.
- Brings together the international community to address economic and social challenges at conferences and summits.
- Supports the formulation of development policies, global standards and norms.
- Monitors and supports the implementation of international agreements.
- Assists nation states address their development challenges through engaging in a variety of capacity development initiatives.
Based at United Nations Headquarters in New York City, DESA has nine Divisions, each of which performs a critical function in promoting development, together with our Capacity Development Office. DESA also collaborates closely with its partners at regional and country levels in helping countries to formulate and implement national development strategies.
For more information on the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, please visit www.un.org/en/development/desa