International Civil Service

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The first international civil servants, as opposed to those serving in the administration of a single state, were those employed: in Universal Postal Union (UPU), established 9 Oct 1874, Bern (Switzerland); by the League of Nations, set up 10 Jan 1920; and by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) formed 28 Jun 1919. The scope was greatly expanded with the establishment of the United Nations (UN) and its specialized agencies after World War II, and subsequently by bodies such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Commission. Such civil servants owe their allegiance to the international agency in which they are employed and not to their respective national governments, from whom they are not allowed to take instruction.


Not a formally organized body. Organizations which exist to coordinate or regulate international activity at this level include: E-XE0128 - International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), which deals with conditions of service within the United Nations Common System; and C-XC0946 - Federation of International Civil Servants' Associations (FICSA), which deals principally with the staff associations of the United Nations, acting at inter-Agency level.

Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

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Type I Classification

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Subjects *

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UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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