International Organizations and their Headquarters

An international organization is established by a treaty or an instrument by international law. It possesses its own legal personality, like the United Nations and the World Health Organization. International organizations consist of member nations and other entities like international organizations. Their role is to help set the international agenda, coordinate political understandings, and act as catalysts for the coalition- formation. They ensure cooperation and coordination between all member nations. The United Nations Organisations operates most of the non-government agencies in the world thus becoming an important entity. There are many other international organizations functioning around the globe. But there are some important international organizations which must be understood in detail.

International organizations and their Headquarters

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1. United Nations Organisation – New York

It is an intergovernmental organization. They aim to preserve international peace and security while developing friendly relations between nations and they want to achieve global cooperation and be the entity for coordinating the actions of nations. It came into being in 1945 after World War II to promote international peace. The United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China were the founder members of this organization. It has six main agencies – International Court of Justice, General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Trusteeship, and UN Secretariat. They all have different roles and responsibilities for the functioning of society. The current chairman of the United Nations Organisation is António Guterres.

2. World Health Organisation – Geneva

It is an international agency of the United Nations that is responsible for global public health. WHO came into being in 1948 for promoting the healthcare system around the globe. It is an autonomous organization that works closely with the UN and works on issues related to Life courses and lifestyle, Emergency work, Environmental health, Communicable diseases, and non-communicable diseases. It has 194 member nations as of now. The current director of WHO is Tedros Adhanom.

3. International Monetary Fund – Washington DC

This aims to reduce poverty globally, encourage trade internationally, and achieve financial stability with economic growth. The IMF is responsible for 3 things – take care of economic development, lending, and capacity growth. IMF came into being in 1945 to reconstruct the international payment system. It has 189 member nations currently. It promotes global monetary cooperation, ensures financial stability, international trade, promotes employment, and sustainable economic development. The current director is Kristalina Georgieva and the Chief Economist is Gita Gopinath.

4. International Labour Organization (ILO) – Geneva

It came into being in 1919 and is one of the oldest international organizations functioning. ILO is a United Nations agency that works to achieve social and economic justice and equality by setting labor standards. It has 187 member nations. The standards are aimed at accessible, productive, and sustainable work at a global level with freedom, equity, security, and dignity. The current director of ILO is Guy Ryder.

5. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – Rome

It is a United Nations organization that works on defeating hunger and improving nutrition and food security. FAO came into being in 1945 to create an international platform for agriculture and nutrition issues. It has 197 member nations currently. It works on different campaigns around poverty, food security, nutrition values, and more. FAO deals with eight departments – Climate, Agriculture & Consumer Protection, Biodiversity, Land & Water, Economic & Social Development, Aquaculture, Forestry, Corporate Services, and Programme Management. The current director of FAO is Qu Dongyu.

6. World Bank Group (WBG) – Washington DC

It is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants for capital projects to the governments of developing countries. WBG has two institutions working under it: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Development Association. It came into being in 1944 to serve as an International Financial Institution. It has 193 member nations. The current director of WBG is David Malpass.

7. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – Paris

It works on building peace, eradicating poverty, sustainable development, and cultural diversity. UNESCO came into being in 1945 to address these issues. It works in five areas – education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information. It has 193 member nations currently. The current director of UNESCO is Audrey Azoulay.

8. World Trade Organization (WTO) – Geneva

It is an intergovernmental organization that is responsible for regulating international trade between nations. WTO aims to remove barriers to trade and work to make this process smooth. It came into being in 1995 to address the issue of international trade globally. It is the largest economic organization in the world with 123 member nations. The current director of WTO is Roberto Azevêdo.

9. Northern Atlantic Treaty Organisation – Brussels

This organization works on safeguarding the freedom and security of its members through political and military ways. It is an alliance between North American and European countries. This came into being in 1949 to implement the North Atlantic Alliance. It has 30 member nations currently. The current director of NATO is Jens Stoltenberg.

10. International Civil Aviation Organization – Canada

It monitors and regulates principles and techniques of air navigation and promotes the planning of air transport to ensure safe and secure growth. This came into being in 1944 to address the issues related to civil aviation. It has 193 member nations currently. It formulates rules and practices related to air navigation, infrastructure, inspection, and unlawful interference. The current director of ICAO is Fang Liu.

11. International Criminal Court (ICC) – Netherlands

This intergovernmental organization aims to investigate and try those charged with different crimes. It deals with genocide crimes, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression. ICC came into being in 2002 to address a variety of crimes around the globe. It has 123 member nations currently. The current president of ICC is Chile Eboe-Osuji.

12. United Nations Security Council, New York

It is a UN body responsible for ensuring international peace and security. This is in charge of approving changes to the UN Charter. It also focuses on peacekeeping operations, international sanctions, and authorizing military action. It is the most important agency of the UN and came into being in 1945 to support the council of the organization. This council has 15 member nations currently. The president of UNSC changes every month as it rotates between all 15 countries.

These were the important organizations explained in detail. Here’s a list of all international organizations with their headquarters, year of establishment, and a short description to make your learning process easy.

No.OrganizationYearDescription
1United Nations Organisation, New York1945It is an intergovernmental organization. They aim to preserve international peace and security while developing friendly relations between nations and they want to achieve global cooperation and be the entity for coordinating the actions of nations. 
2United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, New York1946This is a United Nations agency that works on providing aid to children at a  global level. It has a global image as a social welfare organization with a  presence in 192 countries.
3United Nations Population Fund, New York1969This is again a UN organization that works on safe pregnancy and childbirth and focuses on young people’s potential. 
4UN Women, New York2010It stands for The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. it is a United Nations entity that works on the empowerment of women. 
5United Nations Security Council, New York1945It is a UN body responsible for ensuring international peace and security. This is in charge of approving changes to the UN Charter. This also focuses on peacekeeping operations, international sanctions, and authorizing military action.
6International Monetary Fund, Washington DC1945It aims to reduce poverty globally, encourage trade internationally, and achieve financial stability with economic growth. The IMF is responsible for 3 things – take care of economic development, lending, and capacity growth.
7World Bank Group, Washington DC1944It is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants for capital projects to the governments of developing countries. This has two institutions working under it: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Development Association.
8World Health Organisation, Geneva1948This is an international agency of the United Nations that is responsible for global public health. 
9International Labour Organisation, Geneva1919It is a United Nations agency that works to achieve social and economic justice and equality by setting labor standards. 
10International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva1863It is an organization to protect human life and health. It works to maintain respect for all individuals and to prevent and stop human suffering. 
11World Trade Organisation, Geneva1995This is an intergovernmental organization that is responsible for regulating international trade between nations. 
12World Meteorological Organisation, Geneva1950It is responsible for international cooperation topics related to the Earth’s atmosphere. They work on earth’s relation with the land and oceans, the weather and climate, and the water resources.
13World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva1967It is a UN organization global for intellectual property services, policies, information, and cooperation.
14International Organization for Standardization, Geneva 1994It is an international organization that provides standardization for different products and companies. This focuses on trade facilitation, with emphasis on process improvement, safety, and quality.
15United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Paris1945It stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. This works on building peace, eradicating poverty, sustainable development, and cultural diversity. 
16Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris1961This is an intergovernmental economic organization. It works to stimulate economic growth and development and world trade. 
17United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Vienna1966It is a United Nations organization that helps nations to achieve economic and industrial development. 
18International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna1957This is an international organization that works on promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy. It aims to discourage its use for military purposes, including nuclear weapons.
19Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Vienna1960This organization works on coordinating the petroleum policies of its Member nations. It also focuses on the stabilization of oil markets for the efficient, nominal, and regular supply of petroleum to consumers.
20UNAIDS, Geneva1994This organization works on promoting measures related to AIDS and breaking stereotypes revolving around it. 
21International Maritime Organisation, London1948It is a UN organization responsible for shipping regulation. 
22Commonwealth of Nations, London1931This organization works for international cooperation for economic, social, and human rights development. 
23Amnesty International, London1961This organization works on promoting human rights globally.
24Food and Agricultural Organisation, Rome1945This is a United Nations organization that works on defeating hunger and improving nutrition and food security. 
25Northern Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Brussels1949This organization works on safeguarding the freedom and security of its members through political and military ways. 
26Universal Postal Union, Berne1874It is a United Nations organization that works on formulating postal policies for member countries, with the worldwide postal system. 
27Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Jakarta1967This organization works on promoting the economic, political, and security cooperation of its member nations.  
28Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Singapore1989It is an intergovernmental organization that works on promoting fair trade and investment, economic development, and coordination in the Asia-Pacific region. 
29Transparency International, Berlin1993It is a non-governmental organization that works to control global corruption. It promotes anti-corruption measures and prevents criminal activities from corruption. 
30International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi (UAE)2009It is an intergovernmental organization that works to ensure cooperation and knowledge to adopt sustainable use of renewable energy.
31South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Kathmandu1985This organization monitors the activities, meetings of the association. It works as the channel of communication between south Asian associations and international organizations. 
32Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Jeddah1969This organization works to preserve Islamic values, defend and save the national identity of member nations to ensure international peace.
33Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation, Ebene – Mauritius1997This organization works to promote sustained growth and balanced development within the Indian Ocean region.
34Worldwide Fund for Nature, Switzerland1961It is a non-governmental organization that works to preserve wilderness and reduce the human effect on the environment. 
35International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Zurich1919It is an international federation that represents chemists in different countries. It is a part of the International Science Council. 
36Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, The Netherlands1997It is an intergovernmental organization that works on conserving Chemical Weapons Convention.
37International Olympic Committee, Switzerland1894It is a sports organization that acts as the authority for organizing and monitoring the summer and winter Olympic games.
38World Economic Forum, Geneva1971It works on improving the world’s condition by shaping global and industry agendas by engaging with political, academic, and other leaders of society.
39International Union for Conservation of Nature, Switzerland1948It is an international organization that works on conserving nature and promotes the sustainable use of resources.
40International Council on Monuments and Sites, Paris1965It is a professional association for conserving and protecting cultural heritage sites around the globe. 
41United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi1972It works on the UN’s environmental activities coordination and assists developing countries in practicing environmentally sound policies.
42United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva1950It is a United Nations organization that works to protect refugees, displaced communities and stateless people, and help them lead a comfortable life.
43United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna1997It is a UN organization for improving crime prevention and assisting criminal justice reform and discourages drug use.
44United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, Italy1968It is a UN institute for forming and implementing policies of crime prevention and criminal justice. 
45United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva1964This organization works on formulating policies related to the development of trade, aid, transport, finance, and technology.
46UN-Habitat, Nairobi1978It works on promoting social and environmental sustainable locations to provide shelter for all.
47UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva1999This organization works on ensuring the application of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. 
48World Food Programme, Rome1961This organization is to address global hunger issues and promote food security.
49International Court of Justice, Netherlands1945It is responsible for settling disputes between states and giving opinions on international legal issues. They serve as sources of international law. 
50United Nations University, Tokyo1972This is the academic and research extension of the United Nations. 
51United Nations World Tourism Organization, Madrid1974It is a UN organization that works on promoting sustainable and accessible tourism. 
52International Telecommunication Union, Geneva1865It is a UN organization that works on information and communication technologies related issues.
53International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome1977This is a UN organization that works on addressing poverty and hunger issues in developing countries.
54United Nations Development Programme, New York1965It works on connecting countries to knowledge, experience, and resources to help individuals live a better life.
55International Civil Aviation Organization, Canada1944This monitors and regulates principles and techniques of air navigation and promotes the planning of air transport to ensure safe and secure growth. 
56International Criminal Court, Netherlands2002This intergovernmental organization aims to investigate and try those charged with different crimes. 

Conclusion

General Knowledge sections of many competitive exams will have questions related to international organizations. They are an important entity for the functioning of society. It is important to know the basic information about them. Exams like UPSC, SSC, RRB, Banking, and more have GK sections. This article on International Organizations and their Headquarters covers facts and figures related to international organizations. It should help make your learning process smoother. Aspirants must read this article before the exams.

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