United Nations System


International Court of Justice

Peace Palace, International Court of Justice
headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the primary judicial body of the United Nations. Its headquarters are based in the Peace Palace, in The Hague, Netherlands, with offices in New York.

The ICJ has the double function to settle, under international law, legal disputes among Member States, and to advise international organizations and agencies on matters of international law.

In 1948, the United Nations elected the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama, Ambassador Ricardo J. Alfaro, to the International Law Commission to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was signed in Paris in 1948.

In1959, Dr. Alfaro was elected Magistrate Vice-President in the International Court of Justice, occupying the Vice-Presidency from 1961 until his retirement in 1964.


Department of Peacekeeping Operations

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations is dedicated to helping Member States and the Secretariat in its efforts to maintain international peace and security

Panama participated in the Peacekeeping Operations of 1974. In that year, Panama deployed 406 military observers to Suez – UNEF II (United Nations Emergency Force).


Panama as a regional hub of the United Nations

City of Knowledge, Panama City, Panama

Many regional offices of the United Nations have their base of operations in Panama, within the “City of Knowledge” campus, due to Panama’s geographic position, comparative advantages and competitive costs. 

In this “Home of the United Nations”, regional operational offices have been established where a great exchange of ideas, values and cooperation work towards advancing society, education and human development.




UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund
WFP World Food Programme
OCHA Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
UNAIDS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
GEF Global Environment Facility
International Strategy for Disaster Relief for  
Latin America and the Caribbean
Regional Information System for Latin America 
and the Caribbean
United Nations Department of Safety and 
Security – Latin America and the Caribbean
© 2010 Permanent Mission of Panama to the United Nations