An international organization (intergovernmental organization) is an organization established by a treaty or other instrument governed by international law and possessing its own legal personality, such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization and NATO.International organizations are composed of primarily member states, but may also include other entities, such as other international organizations. Additionally, entities (including states) may hold observer status.
Notable examples include the United Nations (UN), Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Council of Europe (COE), International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).
The first and oldest international organization—being established employing a treaty, and creating a permanent secretariat, with a global membership—was the International Telecommunication Union (founded in 1865). The first general international organization—addressing a variety of issues—was the League of Nations. The United Nations followed this model after World War II.
The role of international organizations is helping to set the international agenda, mediating political bargaining, providing a place for political initiatives and acting as catalysts for the coalition- formation. They facilitate cooperation and coordination among member nations. In addition, they promote global initiatives aimed at reducing inequality like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 10.
International organizations typically have member states from the whole world, however in some cases organizations have geographic limitations, such as the European Union, African Union and NATO. The United Nations also has regional organizations, such as UNECE and UNECA.
The oldest regional organization is the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine, created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna.
The United Nations organizes its work into agencies, such as United Nations Relief Works Agency, which are generally considered as international organizations in their own right.
Additionally, the United Nations has Specialized Agencies which are organizations within the United Nations System, that have their member states (often nearly identical to the UN Member States) and are governed independently by them, examples include International Organizations that predate the UN, such the International Telecommunication Union, and the Universal Postal Union, as well as organizations that were created after the UN such as the World Health Organization (which was made up of regional organizations such as PAHO that predated the UN).
International organizations are sometimes referred to as intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), to clarify the distinction from international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), which are non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that operate internationally. These include international nonprofit organizations such as the World Organization of the Scout Movement, International Committee of the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières, as well as lobby groups that represent the interests of multinational corporations
An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states, or of other organizations through formal treaties for handling/serving common interests and governed by international laws. IGOs are established by a treaty that acts as a charter creating the group. Treaties are formed when lawful representatives (governments) of several states go through a ratification process, providing the IGO with an international legal personality. Intergovernmental organizations are an important aspect of public international law.
The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for all matters related to information and communication technologies. It was established in 17 May 1865 as the International Telegraph Union, making it among the oldest international organizations still in operation.
In international relations, intergovernmentalism treats states as the primary actors in the integration process. Intergovernmentalist approaches claim to be able to explain both periods of radical change in the European Union because of converging governmental preferences and periods of inertia because of diverging national interests. Intergovernmentalism is distinguishable from realism and neorealism because of its recognition of the significance of institutionalisation in international politics and the impact of domestic politics upon governmental preferences.
The United Nations Economic and Social Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, responsible for coordinating the economic and social fields of the organization, specifically in regards to the fifteen specialised agencies, the eight functional commissions and the five regional commissions under its jurisdiction.
World government, global government or cosmocracy is the concept of a common political authority for all of humanity, giving way to a global government and a single state or polity with jurisdiction over the entire world. Such a government could come into existence through violent and compulsory world domination or through peaceful and voluntary supranational union.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, and education. IUCN's mission is to "influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable".
The United Nations System consists of the United Nations' six principal organs, the Specialized Agencies and related organizations. The UN System includes subsidiary bodies such as the separately administered funds and programmes, research and training institutes, and other subsidiary entities. Some of these organizations predate the founding of the United Nations in 1945 and were inherited after the dissolution of the League of Nations.
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO) was established by resolution 2.31 adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO. It first met in Paris at Unesco Headquarters from 19 to 27 October 1961. Initially, 40 States became members of the Commission. The IOC assists governments to address their individual and collective ocean and coastal management needs, through the sharing of knowledge, information and technology as well as through the co-ordination of programs and building capacity in ocean and coastal research, observations and services.
The Indian Ocean Commission is an intergovernmental organisation that links African Indian Ocean nations: Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, and Seychelles. There are also seven observers: China, the European Union, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the Sovereign Order of Malta, India, Japan and the United Nations.
A continental union is a regional organization which facilitates pan-continental integration. Continental unions vary from collaborative intergovernmental organizations, to supranational politico-economic unions. Continental unions are a relatively new type of political entity in the history of human government. Throughout most of human history, political organization has been at the local level and in more recent centuries, the sub-regional ("regional")/sub-continental level ; however, starting with the advent of better transportation, weapons and communication there was for the first time the ability for a union of member states to organize at the continental level. After the devastation of the First and Second World Wars in the middle of the twentieth century, Europe began to slowly integrate with the founding of the "European Community", which became a political union covering much of the European continent.
The International Federation for Human Rights is a non-governmental federation for human rights organizations. Founded in 1922, FIDH is the second oldest international human rights organisation worldwide after Anti-Slavery International. As of 2016, the organization is made up of 184 member organisations including Ligue des droits de l'homme in over 100 countries.
The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) is a United Nations committee whose main task is to review and foster international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, as well as to consider legal issues arising from the exploration of outer space.
Turkey is a founding member of the United Nations, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, a member state of the Council of Europe since 1949, and of NATO since 1952. Since 2005, Turkey is in accession negotiations with the European Union, having been an associate member since 1963. Turkey is also a member of the G20 industrial nations which brings together the 20 largest economies of the world.
Throughout the Cold War, Ivory Coast's foreign policy was generally favorable toward the West. In particular, Félix Houphouët-Boigny kept relations with France that was among the closest between any African country and a former colonial power. The country became a member of the United Nations at independence in 1960 and participates in most of its specialized agencies. It is also an associate member of the European Union. In general, President Bédié initiated and maintained relations with many countries of the European Union and Asia. Ivory Coast maintains a wide variety of diplomatic contacts.
The United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) is a high-level intergovernmental policy forum. The forum includes all United Nations member states and permanent observers, the UNFF Secretariat, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, Regional Organizations and Processes and Major Groups.