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International Organisations

Global and cross-border challenges are best solved through strong, international cooperation. Therefore, active Danish participation in international organisations such as the United Nations’ funds, programs, and agencies, the EU, and the International Financial Institutions is an important part of Denmark’s engagement in international development cooperation.
Afghan women receive food aid from the UN's World Food Programme (WFP). Denmark is an engaged participant in the work of the UN's.Photo: UN Photo/UNAMA

The impact of global warming, security threats, wide spread poverty, migration, and disrespect for human rights are examples of cross-border, global challenges which cannot be addressed effectively without joint efforts by the international community. Therefore, Denmark is an active player in several multilateral, international and inter-governmental organisations.

Multilateral organisations, in particular within the United Nations system, set common standards in areas such as human rights, environmental protection, treatment of refugees, and the level of rich countries’ development assistance. The multilateral system has global legitimacy and presence, which enables multilateral organizations to promote the standards world-wide while implementing concrete programs and projects throughout the world.

In addition, multilateral organisations provide a platform for international dialogue – also with partners with whom we disagree. Irrespective of the multi-facetted role of multilateral and international organisations, international cooperation must deliver results that have a further reach than mere dec-larations of intent.

Through Denmark’s engagement in international cooperation, we seek to increase our influence and make a difference with regard to addressing global challenges. Denmark may act on its own behalf as a nation or contribute to international cooperation within the framework of the European Union. Important fora for Denmark and the EU are the UN, the World Bank, IMF, WTO, and other global and intergovernmental fora such as the OECD, the Global Environment Facility, and G20.

Below is a snapshot of the work of international fora in which Denmark participates actively.


Denmark is an engaged participant in the work of the UN system. In addition to the General As-sembly, the Security Council, and other principal organs, the UN system comprises a multitude of bodies such as its Funds and Programs, its Specialized Agencies, its Commissions. Denmark plays an active part in most of these bodies, and seeks influence by promoting Danish views and interests. From 2000 to 2015, a main driver of cooperation within the UN systems has been the UN Millenni-um Development Goals. From 2015 to 2030, the UN system and international cooperation beyond the UN will aim to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  


The EU and its member states are the biggest contributors to development cooperation in the world. Together the EU member states and the EU Commission provide over half of the world’s official development assistance. The main objective of EU development policy is to reduce poverty, and to promote economic growth and prosperity for the benefit of people all over the world. Community assistance is mainly financed over the EU’s budget and through the European Development Fund. More information on EU’s development policy can be found here

World Bank and other International Financial Institutions

The World Bank Group is considered one of the most efficient channels for transfer of official financial resources to developing countries. The World Bank provides concessional and non-concessional lending and grants to programs and projects in a wide range of sectors with the aim to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. The Bank also works to strengthen the opportunities of the poorest by investing in the social sectors, and helps to facilitate a business-friendly climate in developing countries, thereby promoting investments, employment, and sustainable growth.

In addition to the World Bank, Denmark also participates in the work of the regional development banks, the IMF, and other international financial institutions.

The Global Environment Facility

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is one of the most important instruments for furthering environmental and climate initiatives in the developing countries. The GEF receives funds through replenishment of its Fund every fourth year. In this context, guidelines for the coming period are defined. The major part of the funds goes to addressing climate challenges and safeguarding biological diversity in the developing countries. Projects in the areas of water, land and chemicals are also financed through the GEF.


The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is an important forum in which the governments of donor countries and multilateral organisations such as the World Bank and the UN meet to coordinate international development cooperation. The DAC sets the criteria for which official public expenditures can be counted as Official Development Assistance (ODA). In addition, DAC sets standards for effective development cooperation, collects and publishes data on official development assistance, and carries out peer reviews of OECD countries’ development efforts.  

Monitoring of multilateral organisations  

In order to assess the performance of Denmark’s most important multilateral partner organisations, Denmark participates in the Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN ). Through MOPAN, Denmark monitors the way in which the organisations work, how effective they are in creating value for money, and the results they achieve.

Find the organisational strategies for Denmark's collaboration with international partners here.