Woman working in the fields with a hat.
Photo : © UN Colombia

The United Nations in Colombia 

Colombia is a founding member of the United Nations and since its admission on 5 November 1945, Colombia has played a significant role in the System. 

From valuable contributions, during the drafting and signing of the UN Charter, to sending troops to distinct parts of the world, Colombia has always been attentive to the demands of the Organization as a Member State. As a result, Colombia's participation has been recognized at the international level. For this reason, the United Nations continues to support the Colombian Government in many areas related to social, political and economic development. To this end, several United Nations entities have been and continue to be present in the country since its foundation.  

The following is a brief version of the history of UN agencies in Colombia: The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) arrived in December 1945; the World Bank in 1962; the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in 1963; the World Food Programme (WFP) in 1969; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 1974; the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1977;  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (formerly known as United Nations International Drug Control Programme) in 1985; the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in 1991. 

More recently, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights s (OHCHR) in 1997, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1998 and the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2001 have established offices in Colombia. Finally, although not a United Nations agency, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) arrived in Colombia in 1956 and signed an agreement of understanding to promote institutional collaboration in fields of common interest. 

Today, the 24 agencies, funds and programmes make up the United Nations System in Colombia work to improve national capacities to effectively address the challenges of development and jointly carry out various activities, and support programmes in humanitarian, peace and sustainable development fields. 

Key dates 


Representatives of 50 nations, including Colombia, met in San Francisco to sign the Charter of the United Nations, one of the most important documents used to address global challenges and for the betterment of mankind.  


The Colombian delegation, which included Alberto Lleras Camargo, who chaired the delegation, Eduardo Zuleta Angel, Alberto González Fernández, Jesús María Yepes and Silvio Villegas, whose signatures appear on the Charter, played an important role in the deliberations, and left their mark on some crucial issues. 

1946 - 1947 | EDUARDO ZULETA 

Dr. Eduardo Zuleta Angel chaired the Preparatory Committee for the First Session of the General Assembly. 


Colombia took part in the Security Council where the issues of Indonesian independence from the Netherlands and discrimination in South Africa were raised. Colombia's representative, Alfonso López Pumarejo, took a clear and democratic stand on these issues. 

1950 | UNICEF 

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) established its official country office in Colombia. 

1954 | UN-UNIC

The UN officially arrives in the country along with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC). 


Dr. Indalecio Liévano Aguirre was elected President of the 32nd Session of the General Assembly. 


Dr. Augusto Ramírez Ocampo, a human rights advocate, oversaw the United Nations Operation in El Salvador (ONUSAL). 

2016 | Peace agreements between the Colombian government and FARC-EP 

Signing ceremony of the final peace agreement on 24 September 2016. The national Government and the FARC-EP requested the UN establish a second political mission (with different responsibilities from those of the first mission), based on the Peace Agreement signed by the parties on 24 November 2016. 


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Data about the work of the UN Country Team on COVID-19 is available on their Country Dashboard

Équipe de pays des Nations Unies en Colombie

Bureau du/de la Coordonnateur/trice résident/te
Entités de l'ONU en Colombie

Documents clés de l'ONU

PNUAD/Plan-cadre de coopération des Nations Unies pour le développement durable

Date de début du cycle
01 janvier 2020
Date de fin du cycle
31 décembre 2023
Début du nouveau cycle
01 janvier 2024