The “United Nations System” includes the UN along with its Funds and Programs and its specialized agencies. The Funds and Programs are the actual development organizations of the United Nations. These include, among others, the Development Program (UNDP), the World Food Program (WFP), the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Population Fund (UNFPA), the Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Women, the Environment Program (UNEP), the Program on HIV/AIDS, (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV). The Funds and Programs are financed by voluntary contributions.
The specialized agencies, including among others, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), have the purpose of developing and supervising international norms and standards. These agencies are financed by mandatory contributions by Member States. Beyond that, they implement development projects and financed through voluntary contributions. These agencies have contractual obligations to the United Nations but are governed by autonomous bodies which are usually comprised of the respective Member States.
Ambassador Heiko Thoms has been confirmed as one of four Vice-Presidents of UNICEF's Executive Board in 2015. In this position he will support UNICEF in implementing the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.