The United Nations University (国際連合大学, Kokusai Rengō Daigaku) (UNU) is the think tank and academic arm of the United Nations. Headquartered in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, with diplomatic status as a U.N. institution, its mission is to help resolve global issues related to human development and welfare through collaborative research and education.
In 1969, U.N. Secretary-General U Thant proposed “the establishment of a United Nations university, truly international and devoted to the Charter objectives of peace and progress”. Following three annual sessions discussing the matter, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) approved the founding of the United Nations University in December 1972. Tokyo was chosen as the main location due to the Japanese government’s commitment to provide facilities and $100 million to the UNU endowment fund. The United Nations University was formally inaugurated in January 1975 as the world’s first international university.
Since 2010, UNU has been authorized by the UNGA to grant postgraduate degrees, offering several master’s and doctoral programs. The university’s research officially priorities three thematic areas: peace and governance; global development and inclusion; and environment, climate and energy. UNI also facilitates the U.N.’s engagement with academic institutions and policymakers around the world, in part through campuses, programmes, and affiliated institutes spanning twelve countries.