IUCN maintains a formally accredited permanent observer mission to the UN in New York. IUCN has also designated representatives for the United Nations Offices in Nairobi, Geneva, and Vienna, and has participated regularly in mission-relevant discussions under the auspices of the UNGA and ECOSOC (UN Economic & Social Council). The IUCN's Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations was established on 17 December 1999, as environmental issues continue to assume a greater role in many multilateral organizations.
IUCN is the only international observer organization in the UN General Assembly with expertise in issues concerning the environment, specifically biodiversity, nature conservation and sustainable natural resource use. The USA and Caribbean Multilateral office manages the implementation of this mission, with co-operation from the Environmental Law Centre in Bonn, and under the direct supervision of the Director General.