International organizations in Bulgaria
Bulgaria joined NATO's Partnership for Peace operation in 1994 and applied for NATO membership in 1997. During the November 2002 Prague Summit Bulgaria was one of the countries invited to join the Alliance. Bulgaria became a member of NATO in April 2004. The country is actively cooperating with NATO and participates in its international operations.
In Bulgaria exists a non governmental organization called “Information center of NATO in Sofia” which promotes the activities of NATO and provides information about it.
UN Family in Bulgaria
In Bulgaria, as in many other countries, the United Nations Development Programme has its own office. It provides various types of support to the work of UN agencies in the country. The RC system brings together the various UN agencies in Bulgaria to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all activities. Specifically, UN agencies, both jointly and alone, assist Bulgaria to reach the Millennium Development Goals aiming to improve peoples’ lives through out the world. Annual Reports of the UN Resident Coordinator for Bulgaria outline the coordinated work of the UN country team during the year.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Children`s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) also maintain country offices. The International Labor Organization (ILO) is represented in Bulgaria by a national correspondent officer, while the Bretton Woods Institutions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) both have resident missions. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) operates a project office in Sofia coordinating regional drug interdiction and crime prevention. Project offices are maintained also by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).The International Organization for Migration (IOM), which collaborates with the UN agencies around the world, also has a field mission to Bulgaria.
Partnership among the UN agencies
The UN Social Development Unit (UNSDU) has been the best example of the growing partnership of UN agencies in Bulgaria. Established in 2000, the UN Social development Unit includes the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and UNDP. They jointly work under the UN Resident Coordinator guidance with a focus on youth, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS.
UN Working in Bulgaria
The national political consensus on direction of reform and the necessity of working within the framework provided by EU accession has provided good opportunities for UN agencies to do work on many issues throughout the country. The issues on which most UN programmes focus, such as employment generation, health, minority integration and equal opportunity access, human rights and local government capacity building are priority areas for the Bulgarian government and this translated into UN agency supported work producing more results. In the coming years, as Bulgaria joint the European Union, UN system programmes will increasingly focus on supporting Bulgaria to benefit from the new development opportunities arising from the EU membership.
The United Nations Association is an organization, which carries out activities for public benefit. The Association was founded in 1948 in order to assist the acceptance of Bulgaria into the UN, which happened in 1955. It is part of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) together with another 160 national associations. The members of the Association are mainly career-diplomats, University professors and students.
The Mission of UNA-Bulgaria is to work for the unity of the Bulgarian society for support of the goals and principles of the UN Charter, and for support of the activity of the organization for strengthening international peace and security, for development of friendships and multilateral collaboration between the countries and between the peoples, for the mutual respect for basic human rights and freedoms. It supports and applies the ideas, principles and decisions of the UN through its activities and publications.