- To maintain international peace and security.
- To develop spirit of co-operation and friendly relations among the nations.
- To promote respect for human rights, dignity and freedom.
- To solve international problems of social, economic, agricultural and humanitarian character.
- To employ international machinery for the promotion of economic and social advancement of all people.
Organs of the UN:
Functional of General Assembly:
- The membership of new states is done by the general assembly on the recommendation of Security Council.
- The Judges of the International Court of Justice are elected by general assembly.
- It elects the non-permanent members of security council, members of Economic and Social Council, and certain members of Trusteeship Council.
- It passes entire budget of UNO.
- Security Council : It is the executive body of UN which is responsible for maintaining international peace in the world. Its session can be summoned at 24 hour notice and if functions almost continuously. the council consists of 15 members–5 permanent (USA, UK; Russia, France and China) and 10 non- ermanent members which are elected for a term of 2 years by the General Assembly. the distribution of the numbers of non-permanent members are (1) Five members from Asian and African countries (2) two from latin American countries (3) two from western Europes and other (which implies commonwealth countries) (4) and one from east European countries. Each member of the Security Council has one vote. The approval of all permanent members is necessary. If any permanent member casts a “Veto” to show its disagreement, then no decision can be taken. The number of affirmative votes needed for a decision are atleast nine which includes the vote of 5 permanent members. In the event of a threat to peace or occurence of war between two or more countries, the security council has the power to take appropriate measures to restore peace and security.
- Economic and Social Council : The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is the welfare council which coordiantes the economic and social activities of the United Nations and its specialised agencies and other organisations. This council meets at least thrice a year. It is composed of 54 members. General Assembly elects one-third members of ECOSOC every year for a period of 3 years. ECOSOC takes decision by a majority of those members present and voting. ECOSOC seeks to build a world of greater prosperity, stability and justice.
- The Trusteeship Council : The Prime responsibility of this council is to supervise the administration of those territories which were placed under the International Trusteeship System. This council of UNO is also known as ‘Protector of Dependent People’ who are not yet able to Govern themselves. It consists of member of states administering trust territories and permanent members of the security council nto administering territories. Under the charter, the member states have to accept certain obligations to promote their development and to protect their interest and security so long as the trustee territories are not able to govern themselves.
At present, USA is the only administering trust territory. So, the Trusteeship Council consists of only permanent members. This council meets at least once in a year.
- Secretariat : All day today functions of the UN are performed by the Secretariat. the Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General who is the chief Administrative Officer, and he is appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of Security Council for a five-year term, which is renewable. It is his duty to implement all resolutions passed by the Security Council or the General Assembly. He makes the annual report of General Assembly and also bring to the notice of security council about any matter threatening the maintenance of international peace and Security.
Secretary General : Ban Ki Moom
- International Monetary Fund (IMF) : HQ – Washington, D.C. The IMF came into existence in December 1945, as one among the Bretton Wood twins when the first 29 countries signed its Articles of Agreement. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organisation that oversees the global financial system by observing exchange rates and balance of payments. An unwritten rule establishes that the IMF’s managing director must be non-Italian European and that the president of the World Bank must be from the United States. IMF describes itself as “an organisation of 185 countries, Montenegro being the 185th as of January 18th, 2007.
- World Bank Group : HQ–Washington, D.C. The World Bank Group is a group of five international organisations responsible for providing finance and advice to countries for the purposes of economic development and eliminating poverty. The Bank came into formal existence on 27 December, 1945 following international ratification of the Bretton Woods agreements, it approved its first loan to France for postwar reconstruction. The World Bank Group consists of:
- The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), established in 1945, which provides debt financing on the basis of sovereign guarantees;
- The International Finance Corporation (IFC), established in 1956, which provides various forms of financing without sovereign guarantees, primarily to the private sector;
- The International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, which provides concessional financing (interest-free loans or grants), usually with sovereign guarantees;
- The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), established in 1988, which provides insurance against certain types of risk, including political risk, primarily to the private sector; and
- The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), established in 1966, which works with governments to reduce investment risk.
- Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) : HQ–Rome, Italy.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. FAO was founded on 16 October 1945, in Quebec City, Canada. In 1951 its hadquarters were moved from Washington, D.C., United States, to Rome, Italy. As of 17 November 2007, it had 191 members (plus one member organisation, the European Community and one associate member, the Faroe Islands).
- International Labour Organisation (ILO) : HQ-Geneva, Switzerland. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that deals with labour issues. Founded in 1919, it was formed through the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles, and was initially an agency of the League of Nations. The ILO hosts the International Labour Conference in Geneva every year in June. The organisation received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969. Its secretariat is known as the International Labour Office. Its a tripartite intergovernmental body of governments, employers and workers.
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) : HQ-Paris, France. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. Its stated purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter. As of October 2007, UNESCO had 193 member states and 6 associate members.
- International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) : HQ–Montreal, Canada. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an agency of the United Nations set up in 1944, codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth. The ICAO defines the protocols for air accident investigation, followed by transport safety authorities in countries signatory to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, commonly known as the Chicago Convention.
- World Health Organisation (WHO) : HQ-Geneva, Switzerland. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordianting authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health Organization, which had been an agency of the League of Nations. WHO complies the widely followed International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) : HQ-Vienna, Austria. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was established as an autonomous organisation on July 29, 1957. It seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inhibit its use for military purposes. United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower envisioned, in his “Atoms for Peace” speech before the UN General Assembly in 1953, the creation of this international body to control and develop the use of atomic energy.
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU) : HQ–Paris, France. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is an international organisation established to standardise and regulate international radio and telecommunications. It was founded as the International Telegraph Union in Paris in May 17, 1865, and is today the World’s oldest international organisation. Its main tasks include standardization, allocation of the radio spectrum, and organising interconnection arrangements between different countries to allow international phone calls.
- Universal Postal Union (UPU) : HQ–Berne, Switzerland The Universal Postal Union (UPU) is an international organisation that coordiantes postal policies between member nations, and hence the worldwide postal system. Each member country agrees to the same set of terms for conducting international postal duties. It is the second oldest, international organisation (after the ITU). It was created in 1874, under the name “General Postal Union”, as a result of the Treaty of Berne signed on 9 October 1874. In 1878, the name was changed to “Universal Postal Union”.
- International Maritime Organisation (IMO) : HQ–London, U.K The International Maritime Organisation (IMO), formerly known as the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), was established in 1948, through the United Nations to coordinate international maritime safety and related practices. However the IMO did not enter into full force until 1958. The IMO promotes cooperation among government and the shipping industry to improve maritime safety and to prevent marine pollution.
- World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) : HQ–Geneva, Switzerland. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It is the UN system’s authoritative voice on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the oceans, and the climate produces or the resulting distribution of water resources. It originated from the International Meteorological Organisation (IMO), which was founded in 1873. Established in 1950, WMO became the specialized agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. The WMO helped create the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is also directly responsible for the creation of the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW).
- Interpol (International Criminal Police Organisation) : HQ–Lyon, France
Established as International Criminal Police Commission in 1923 to assist international criminal police co-operation. Its work focuses primarily on public safety, terrorism, organised crime etc. It is the world’s third largest international organisation after UN and FIFA.
- International Court of Justice (ICJ) : HQ-The Hague, The Netherlands The International Court of Justice (known colloquially as the World Court or ICJ) is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. Established in 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations, the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The ICJ is composed of 15 judges elected to nine year terms by the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council from a list of persons, nominated by the national groups in the Permanent Court of Arbitration. All 192 UN members are automatically parties to the Court’s statute. Article 94 establishes the duty of all UN members to comply with decisions of the Court involving them. If parties do not comply, the issue may be taken before the Security Council for enforcement action. It conducts its business in English and French.
- International Criminal Court (ICC) : HQ–The Hague, The Netherlands. It is a court created under the Rome Statute of 2002 as an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The ICC is based on a treaty, joined by 104 countries. The ICC s a court of last resort. It will not act if a case is investigated or prosecuted by a national judicial system unless the national proceedings are not genuine. In addition, the ICC only tries those accused of the gravest crimes.
- Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) : HQ–The Hague, The Netherlands. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is an international agency. Its mission is to promote membership of the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty which entered into force in 1997 and mandated the elimination of “the scourge of chemical weapons forever and to verify the destruction of the declared chemical weapons stockpiles within stipulated deadlines”.
- United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) : HQ–New York City, USA The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was created on December 11, 1946. In 1953, its name was shortened from United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. UNICEF provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965.
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) : HQ–Vienna, Austria. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a United Nations agency which was founded in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention with the intent to fight drugs and crime on an international level. This intent is fulfilled through three primary functions: research, lobbying state government to adopt various crime and drug based laws and treaties and assistance of said governments on the ground level. In October 2002, the United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) was merged into the UNODC.
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) : HQ–Geneva, Switzerland. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1963 as a permanent intergovernmental body, UNCTAD is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with trade, investment and development issues. UNCTAD has 191 member States.
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) : HQ–Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya.
It was founded as a result of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1973. The World Meteorological Organisation and the UNEP established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. UNEP is also one of several implementing agencies for the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The year 2007 has been declared as International Year of the Dolphin by the United Nations and UNEP.
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) : HQ–New York City, USA.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations’ global development network, is the largest multilateral source of development assistance in the world. The UNDP is an executive board within the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The UNDP Administrator is the third highest ranking member of the United Nations after the United Nations Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General. UNDP publishes an annual Human Development Report to measure and analyze developmental progress.
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) : HQ–Geneva, Switzerland.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (established December 14, 1950) protects and supports refugees at the request of a government or the United Nations and assists in their return or resettlement. It succeeded the earlier International Refugee Organisation and the even earlier United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. UNHCR was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 and 1981. UNHCR presently has major missions in Lebanon, South Sudan, Chad/Darfur, Iraq, Afghanistan as well as Kenya to assist and provide services to IDPs and refugees.
- United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) :HQ–Nairobi, Kenya. The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It was established in 1978. It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.
- United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) : HQ–Vienna, Austria. The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDCO), is a specialized agency in the United Nations system. UNIDO was established as a UN programme in 1966 and became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1985.
- United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) : HQ–New York, USA.
The United Nations Fund for Population Activities was started in 1969 and renamed the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 1987. The United Nations Population Fund is the world’s largest international source of funding for population and reproductive health programs.
- World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) : HQ–Geneva, Switzerland.
The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations. WIPO was created in 1967 with the stated purpose of encouraging creative activity and promoting the protection of intellectual property throughout the world. WIPO currently has 184 member states and administers 23 international treaties. Vatican City and almost all UN members are member of the WIPO. The predecessor to WIPIO was the BIRPI (French acronym for United International Bureau for the Protection of Intellectual Property), which had been set up in 1893 to administer the Berne Convention for the Protection of Library and Artistic Works and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. WIPO was formally created by the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organisation (signed at Stockholm on July 14, 1967 and as amended on September 28, 1979).
- World Trade Organisation (WTO) : HQ–Geneva, Switzerland.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is an international organisation that establishes rules for international trade through consensus among its member states. It also resolves disputes between the members, which are all signatories to its set of trade agreements. Uruguay Round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), negotiations culminating in the Marrakesh Agreement that established the WTO. There are 151 member states in the organisation, the latest to join being Tonga on July 27, 2007. Since its inception in 1995, the WTO has been a major focus for protests by civil society groups in many countries.
- International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement : HQ–Geneva, Switzerland.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement founded in 1863, whose stated mission is to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for the human being, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering, without any discrimination based on nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It adopted a new symbol a hollowed out red crystal on a white background in addition to the present symbols of red cross (1863) and red cresent (1876). Red star of David was used by Israel till now. Awarded the Nobel Peace prize in three times –1917, 1944 and 1963.
- World Social Forum (WSF)
The World Social (WSF) is an annual meeting held by members of the anti-globalisation movement to coordiante world campaigns, share and refine organizing strategies, and inform each other about movements from around the world and their issues. It tends to meet in January when its “great capitalist rival”, the World Economic Forum is meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
- World Economic Forum (WEF) The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Geneva-based foundation whose annual meeting of top business leaders, national political leaders (presidents, prime ministers and others), and selected intellectuals and journalists is usually held in Davos, Switzerland. There are also regional meetings throughout the year. It was founded in 1971 by Klaws M. Schwab, a business professor in Switzerland.
- Global Water Partnership (GWP) It is a network created by stakeholders including Sweden, The UNDP, World Bank and committee of Economic development of Australia. It has been established to ensure optimum use of scrace water resources in an integrated manner to benefit the world community.
- Asian Development Bank (ADB) : HQ–Manila, Philippines.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established in 1966 to promote economic and social development in Asian and Pacific countries through loans and technical assistance. It is a multilateral development financial institution owned by 66 members, 47 from the region and 19 from other parts of the globe. ADB’s vision is a region free of poverty. Its mission is to help its developing member countries reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their citizens. The highest policy-making body of the bank is the Board of Governors composed of one representative from each member state. The Board of Governors also elect the bank’s President who is the chairperson of the Board of Directors and manages ADB. Traditionally, and because Japan is one of the largest shareholders of the bank, the President has always been Japanese.
- African Development Bank (ADBP): HQ–Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire.
Established officially in 1964 as a result of Monorovian Conference of 1961, under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Africa, the ADBP began operation in 1966 with. With the statute of a regional multilateral development bank, the African Development Bank engaged in promoting the economic development and social progress of its Regional Member Countries (RMCs) in Africa. The African Development Bank Group has two other entities: the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF).
- UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF) The UN Democracy Fund will be a voluntary fund housed in the UN Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP), but with its own Executive Head who will report to an Advisory Board of Member States on substantive matters. In order to ensure transparency and accountability, a dedicated support office will arrange for monitoring, evaluation and auditing of the program. The idea for the Fund was first articulated by President Bush in a speech before the UN General Assembly last fall and has been embraced by the 141 nations that attended the third ministerial meeting of the Community of Democracies in Santiago, Chile in April 2005.
UN Secretaries General
|1982||Javier Peres De Cuellar||Peru|
|1992||Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali||Egypt|
|2007||Ban Ki Moom||S. Korea|
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) : HQ–Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a geopolitial and economic organisation of 10 countries, located in Southeast Asia. ASEAN was established on 8 August, 1967 in Bangkok by the five original Member Countries namely–Indonesia, Malaysia, Phillippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined on 8 January 1984, Vietnam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999.
ASEAN Plus Three (APT)
ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)
- European Union (EU)
The European Union (EU) is a supranational and intergovernmental union of 27 democratic member states in Europe. It was established under that name by the Treaty on European Union (Maastricht Treaty) signed on February 7, 1992 in Maastricht, Netherlands. The Union has a single market consisting of a customs union, a currency called the euro (adopted by 13 member states), a Common Agricultural Policy, a common trade policy and a Common Fisheries Policy. The Schengen Agreement abolished passport control and customs checks for most member states within EU’s internal borders, creating, to some extent, a single area of free movement for EU citizens to live, travel, work and invest. A Common Foreign and Security Policy, and the Police and Judicial Co-operation in criminal matters have been initiated. Important EU institutions and bodies include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the European Central Bank, the European Court of Justice, and the European Parliament which is directly elected by EU citizens once every five years.
Location of European Union Institutions
|Brussels||seat of the European Commission and the|
Council of Ministers.
|Strasbourg||Seat of the European Parliament.|
|Luxembourg||Seat of the European Court of Justice,|
the European Court of Auditors, the
Secretariat of the European Parliament and the
European Investment Bank.
|Frankfurt||Seat of the European Central Bank.|
Council of European Union
- Main EU decision making body.
- Also known as Council of Ministers.
- Represents interests of individual member states.
- Each member states represented by its own ministers.
- Presidency rotates between member states on six-monthly basis.
- Proposes legislation to Council and Parliament.
- Manages implementation of EU legislation.
- Commissioners appointed on five-yearly basis by Council in agreement with member states.
- Appointments confirmed by parliament to which commission is answerable.
- Votes on and oversees implementation of EU budget.
- Considers Commission proposals on legislation.
- Works with Council on legislative decisions.
- Caribbean Community (CARICOM) : HQ–Georgetown, Guyana.
The Caribbean Community and Common market or CARICOM was established by the Treaty of Chaguaramas which came into effect on August 1, 1973. The first four signatories were Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. CARICOM replaced the 1965–1972 Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA). Currently CARICOM has 15 full members, five associate members and seven observers. From March 2004, Haiti’s participation in CARICOM was suspended by its interim Prime Minister. But in early June 2006, Haiti was readmitted as a full member of the CARICOM.
- Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) : HQ–Abuja, Nigeria.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional group initially of sixteen countries, founded on May 28, 1975 when sixteen West African countries signed the Treaty of Lagos. Its mission is to promote economic integration.
- Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) : HQ-Bangui, Central African Republic.
The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) is an organisation of states of Central Africa established to promote economic integration among countries that share a common currency, the CFA franc. CEMAC is the successor of the Customs and Economic Union of Central Africa (UDEAC), which it completely superseded in June 1999 (through an agreement from 1994). Its six members states are Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Equatorial Guinea joined in January 1984.
- Southern African Customs Union (SACU) : HQ–Windhoek, Namibia.
SACU is the oldest customs union in the world. It was established in 1910 as a Customs Union Agreement between the then Union of South Africa and the High Commission Territories of Bechuanaland, Basutoland and Swaziland. With the advent of independence for these territories, the agreement was updated and on December 11, 1969 it was re-launched as the SACU was the signing of an agreement between the Republic of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. The updated union officially entered into force on March 1, 1970. After Namibia’s independence in 1990, it joined SACU as its fifth member.
- Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) : HQ–Riyadh.
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, formerly named and still commonly called Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a regional organisation involving the six Arab Gulf states with many economic and social objectives in mind. Created on May 25, 1981, the Council is comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Not all of the countries neighboring the Persian Gulf are members of the council. Specifically, Iran and Iraq are not members. Yemen is currently (as of 2007) in negotiotions for GCC membership, and hopes to join by 2016. On the economic front, the GCC aims to create a common market by 2007 and to adopt a single currency, the Khaleeji, in 2010.
- South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) : HQ–Kathmandu, Nepal.
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the largest regional organisation in the world by population, covering approximately 1.5 billion people. SAARC is an economic and political organisation of eight countries in Southern Asia. The organisation was established on December 8, 1985 by India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan. Afghanistan became a member (eighth) on April 3, 2007. It declared 2006–2015 as the’SAARC decade of poverty alleviation’. It was agreed in principle to the desire of China and Japan to become SAARC obsevers. The Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country in Southern Asia that is not a part of SAARC. In April 2006, the United States of America and South Korea made formal requests to be granted observer status. The European Union has also indicated interest in being given observer status, and made a formal request for the same to the SAARC Council of Ministers meeting in July 2006. On August 2nd, 2006 Foreign ministers of SAARC countries agreed in principle to grant observer status to the US, South Korea and the European Union.
- Group of 77 (G-77) : HQ–New York, USA
The Group of 77 at the United Nations is a loose coalition of developing nations, designed to promote its members’ collectives, economic and interest to create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations. There were 77 founding members of the organisation, but the organisation has since expanded to 130 member countries. It is modelled on the Group of 7, which now contains 8 countries. The group was founded on June 15, 1964 by the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy Seven Countries” issued at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
- Intergovernmental Group of Twenty Four (G-24) : HQ–Washington D.C., USA
The Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four on International Monetary Affairs and Development (G-24) was established in 1971. Its main objective is to concert the position of developing countries on monetary and development of finance issues. It consists of countries from three regions of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia.
- North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA)
The Noth American Free Trade Area is the trade bloc created by the North American free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its two supplements, the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) whose members are Canada, Mexico and the United States. It came into effect on 1 January 1994. It is the world’s largest free trade area.
- Developing 8 (D-8) : HQ-Istanbul, Turkey.The Developing 8 (D-8) is a group of developing countries that have formed an economic development alliance. It consists of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.
- Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Co-operation (BIMSTEC)
The organisation was formed in Bangkok, Thailand, on 6 June 1997. Initially, its name was BIST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand Economic Cooperation). At that time, Myanmar was an observer, but later joined the organisation as a full member at a special ministerial meeting, held in Bangkok on 22 December 1997. Consequently, the name of the organisation was changed to BIMST-EC. Nepal was granted observer status by the second ministerial meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh in December 1998. Later, full membership has been granted to Nepal and Bhutan in 2003. During the first summit in Bangkok on 31 July 2004, the organisation’s name was changed to its current name.
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) : HQ–Chateau de la Muette in Paris, France.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) is an international organisation of those developed countries that accept the principles of representative democracy and a free market economy. It originated in 1948 as the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) to help administer the Marshal Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. Later its membership was extended to non-European states, and in 1961 it was reformed into the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. There are currently thirty full members; of these, 24 are described as high-income countries by the World Bank.
- Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) : HQ–Vienna, Austria.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organisation, created at the Baghdad Conference on September 10-14, 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The five Founding Members were later joined by nine other Members Indonesia’s membership currently under review as Indonesia is no longer considered by OPEC as a net oil exporter. Former Members are Gabon (full member from 1975 to 1995) and Ecuador (full member from 1963 to 1993). However Ecuador has expressed interest in rejoining. OPEC’s official language is English, although the official language of a majority of OPEC member-states is Arabic, as seven current members are Arab states. Only one member nation (Nigeria) has English as an official language. From 1976-2006 OPEC gained on new member nations. In November 2006, the Angolan Government announced its intention to apply for membership and subsequently joined on 1st January 2007. Sudan has also expressed intent for joining. Russia, though a net exporter of oil, has failed to gain membership into the grouping.
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) : HQ–Singapore.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is an economic forum for a group of Pacific Rim countries to discuss matters on regional economy, cooperation, trade and investment. The current membership of APEC consists of 21 members, which includes most countries with a coasting on the Pacific Ocean. the last countries to have joined APEC, during its sixth leader’s summit in Kualalumpur, November 1998 were Peru, Russia and Vietnam.
- Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) : HQ–Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
OIC is an inter-governmental organisation with a Permanent Delegation to the United Nations. It groups 57 mostly Islamic nations in the Middle East, North, West and Southern AFrica, Central Asia, Europe, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and South America.
- African Union (AU) : HQ-Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The African Union (AU) is an organisation consisting of fifty-three African States. Established in 2001, the AU was formed as a successor to the amalgamated African Economic Community (AEC) and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). The African Union was launched in Durban on July 9, 2002, by its first president, South African Thabo Mbeki, at the first session of the Assembly of the African Union. Eventually, the AU aims to have a single currency and a signle integrated defence force, as well as other institutions of state, including a cabinet for the AU Head of State. The AU covers the entire continent except for Morocco, which opposes the membership of Western Sahara/Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. However, Morocco has a special status within the AU and benefits from the services available to all AU states from the institutions of the AU.
- League of Arab States: HQ-Cairo, Egypt.
The League of Arab States, or Arab League, is a voluntary association of countries whose peoples are mainly Arabic speaking. It aims to strengthen ties among member states, coordiante their policies and direct them towards the common good. The idea of the Arab League was mooted in 1942 by the British, who wanted to rally Arab countries against the Axis powers. However, idea did not take off until seven states formed the Arab League on March 22, 1945. It has 22 members, including Palestine, which the league regards as an independent state. In January 2003, Eritrea joined the Arab League as an observer.
- North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) : HQ–Brussels, Belgium.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) also called the North Atlantic Alliance, the Atlantic Alliance, the Western Alliance, is a military alliance established by the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. The organisation establishes a system of collective security whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. The Treaty of Brussels, signed on 17 March 1948 by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France and the United Kingdom is considered the precursor to the NATO agreement. The 2006 NATO summit was held in Riga, Latvia, which had joined the Atlantic Alliance two years earlier. It is the first NATO summit in a former COMECON country. Membership went on expanding with the accession of seven more European countries to NATO–Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and also Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania thereby taking the membership to 26. These 7 countries joined NATO on 29 march 2004.
- Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) : HQ–Minsk, Belarus.
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is the international organization, or alliance, consisting of 11 former Soviet Republics: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan and one associate member. Turkmenistan discontinued permanent membership as of August 26, 2005 and is now an associate member. The CIS is not a confederation. On December 21, 1991, the leaders of 11 of the 15 constituent republics of the Soviet Union met in Almata, Kazakhstan, and signed the charter, thus de facto ratifying the initial CIS treaty and launching the organisation.
- ANZUS The Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty (ANZUS or ANZUS Treaty) is the military alliance which binds Australia and the United States, and separately Australia and New Zealand to cooperate on defence matters in the Pacific Ocean area, though today the treaty is understood to relate to attacks in any area. The treaty was concluded at San Francisco on
1 September 1951, and entered into force on 29 april 1952. The treaty bound the signatories to recognize that an armed attack in the Pacific area on any of them would endanger the peace and safety of the others.
- Mercosur : HQ–Montevideo, Uruguay.
Mercosur or Mercosul is a Regional Trade Agreement (RTA) between Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Paraguay, founded in 1991 by the Treaty of Asuncion, which was later amended and updated by the 1994 Treaty of Ouro Preto. It is known as the Common Market of the South. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, peoples, and currency. Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru currently have associate member status.
- Shanghia Cooperation Organisation (SCO) : HQ–Beijing, China.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an intergovernmental organisation which was founded on June 14, 2001 by leaders of the China, Russia, Kazakhastan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Except for Uzbekistan, the other countries had been members of the Shanghai Five; after the inclusion of uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organisation.
- Benelux Benelux is an economic union in Western Europe comprising three neighbouring monarchies. Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The treaty establishing the Benelux Customs Union was signed in 1944 by the governments in exile of the three countries in London, and entered into force in 1947. It ceased to exist in 1960, when it was replaced by the Benelux Economic Union. A Benelux Parliament (originally referred to as Interparliamentary Consultative Council) was created in 1955. The treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union was signed in 1958 and came into force in 1960 to promote the free movement of workers, capital, services, and goods in the region. In 1965, the treaty establishing a Benelux Court of Justice was signed and it entered into force in 1975 with seat at Brussels.
- Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) : HQ–Mauritius.
The IOR-ARC, initially known as the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative, is an international organization with 18 member states. It was first established in Mauritius on March 1995 and formally launched on 6-7 March 1997. Countries with the status of dialogue partners are China, Egypt, France, Japan and United Kingdom.