Is the UN considered as an NGO?

calendar07 Oct, 2020
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
UN considered as an NGO

The United Nations is an Intergovernmental Organization (IGO) which aims at promoting harmony and peace in the world. On the other hand, NGOs are non-government organizational structures whose basic aim is to promote social cause and provide necessary aid to the deprived ones. Though the objectives of UN and NGOs are common and both provide for similar motives i.e. for the advancement and betterment of civilization but both are quite distinctive from each other and the notion of UN considered as an NGO is off the beam. And so, United Nations is not an NGO.

UN considered as an NGO – Why?

The United Nations is an Intergovernmental Organization which mainly works on the principles of quasi- governmental regulation. It has 193 countries including India, as its member and has a full-fledged right to conduct its actions in these member countries. UN is an international organization whose platform is wider and it is based on treaty and agreement of propagating peace in the world.

There are various international NGOs that works under the UN but that does not make UN considered as an NGO. The UN closely monitors its operations and from time to time, it also gives elaborative suggestions. The activities and decisions of the UN are not subject to government control. On the other hand, there are laws which tend to regulate and control the activities of the NGOs.

Read our article:NGO Registration – Step by Step Procedure

What is the work of an NGO?

NGOs are the organization or association which mainly works within the boundaries of country or states only whereas UN has large network allocation and mainly works on a wider scale. They work with a large channel of countries and that’s why it makes them highly recognized on different levels. NGO registration is basically done for the purpose of activities that are carried within a country.

Whereas, NGOs are mainly recognized from their domestic country or couple of states in which they work. They receive applause and recognition limited to these areas only. On the other hand, the UN is highly appreciated worldwide and people reckon their good efforts on large scale unlike NGOs whose work is appreciated from a specific country or state only.

 work of an NGO

Differences in Perspective

Since the UN and NGO are different in few perspectives but both of them does not share any connection with the government when it comes to financial support. They both are self-reliant in the direction of funding but the level of funding source may be small or large. International NGOs of the UN are basically funded by various international brands and groups.

NGOs also receive a good amount of funding from renowned corporations but since the work criteria of the NGOs are limited to the welfare of a particular section or society, they receive less funding as compared to International NGOs. On the other hand, International NGOs are spread on wider scale and also it is a renowned organization so they receive huge penny for their funding from across the countries.

Dilemma for UN considered as an NGO

There is a dilemma for UN to be considered as an NGO. It is extremely incorrect and misrepresented for UN to be deemed as an NGO. The consideration of making these two organizations same has no realistic approach. Both these organizations are relatable in their respective aims or objectives, but they are not the same. United Nations(UN) is an international organization and it has various international NGOs working under it and this is the main reason why it is considered as an NGO. Also, the objectives and aim are also similar of UN and NGO.

The United Nations(UN) is an international organization which has flourishes its roots in all major countries to promote the concept of peace and harmony. It has, from time to time came up with different agendas which mainly focusses on advancement, betterment and harmonization of people, not just limited to specific country or area, but across different large countries. It monitors the actions of 193 countries.

The NGOs, on the other hand, are basically association or organization which are non-governmental and works on a lower scale i.e. specific country or couple of states. Both these organizations have a similar motive and are set on the same benchmarks of humanity efforts and providing essential aid to the deprive ones. Both of them seek to achieve some social or public good and they strive to make our world a better place to survive and sustain. Charity[1], health, water and food conservation, legal aids are some of the common motives.

Things in Common between UN & NGO

One of the common things shared by NGOs and the UN is that they both does not accept any kind of help as well as funding from the governmental authorities. They work independently of the government and their main source of funding are from individual people who are passionate enough to support their cause, some renowned organization and some leading names. These are the reasons why is the UN considered as an NGO. Though, they both are similar in certain aspects, but they are highly different from each other and the consideration of making them similar is highly a misconception.


These were some disparities and the notion for UN considered as an NGO is wrong. Although they might be dissimilar in some aspects like functioning and mechanism, but both of them works for a common cause. They both have similar aim, to serve for the needy and for the advancement of poor countries. Their work majorly focuses on vulnerable prospects of the ecosystem and underprivileged classes of the society. The works which both of these associations are doing is highly credible and they are saviors of public and the environment. NGOs and INGOs are functioning for the flourishment of the society.

Read our article:Guide on NGO Registration: Types and Benefits

Request a Call Back

Are you human? : 3 + 6 =

Easy Payment Options Available No Spam. No Sharing. 100% Confidentiality