International Organizations and their Headquarters

Are you ready for UPSC Exam? Check your preparation with Free UPSC Mock Test

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

Do you want to crack UPSC in first attempt? Join UPSC Telegram Channel

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. Organization Year Description
1 United Nations Organisation, New York 1945 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. 
2 United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, New York 1946 This 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.
3 United Nations Population Fund, New York 1969 This is again a UN organization that works on safe pregnancy and childbirth and focuses on young people’s potential. 
4 UN Women, New York 2010 It 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. 
5 United Nations Security Council, New York 1945 It 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.
6 International Monetary Fund, Washington DC 1945 It 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.
7 World Bank Group, Washington DC 1944 It 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.
8 World Health Organisation, Geneva 1948 This is an international agency of the United Nations that is responsible for global public health. 
9 International Labour Organisation, Geneva 1919 It is a United Nations agency that works to achieve social and economic justice and equality by setting labor standards. 
10 International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva 1863 It is an organization to protect human life and health. It works to maintain respect for all individuals and to prevent and stop human suffering. 
11 World Trade Organisation, Geneva 1995 This is an intergovernmental organization that is responsible for regulating international trade between nations. 
12 World Meteorological Organisation, Geneva 1950 It 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.
13 World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva 1967 It is a UN organization global for intellectual property services, policies, information, and cooperation.
14 International Organization for Standardization, Geneva  1994 It 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.
15 United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Paris 1945 It stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. This works on building peace, eradicating poverty, sustainable development, and cultural diversity. 
16 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris 1961 This is an intergovernmental economic organization. It works to stimulate economic growth and development and world trade. 
17 United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Vienna 1966 It is a United Nations organization that helps nations to achieve economic and industrial development. 
18 International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna 1957 This 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.
19 Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Vienna 1960 This 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.
20 UNAIDS, Geneva 1994 This organization works on promoting measures related to AIDS and breaking stereotypes revolving around it. 
21 International Maritime Organisation, London 1948 It is a UN organization responsible for shipping regulation. 
22 Commonwealth of Nations, London 1931 This organization works for international cooperation for economic, social, and human rights development. 
23 Amnesty International, London 1961 This organization works on promoting human rights globally.
24 Food and Agricultural Organisation, Rome 1945 This is a United Nations organization that works on defeating hunger and improving nutrition and food security. 
25 Northern Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Brussels 1949 This organization works on safeguarding the freedom and security of its members through political and military ways. 
26 Universal Postal Union, Berne 1874 It is a United Nations organization that works on formulating postal policies for member countries, with the worldwide postal system. 
27 Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Jakarta 1967 This organization works on promoting the economic, political, and security cooperation of its member nations.  
28 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Singapore 1989 It is an intergovernmental organization that works on promoting fair trade and investment, economic development, and coordination in the Asia-Pacific region. 
29 Transparency International, Berlin 1993 It is a non-governmental organization that works to control global corruption. It promotes anti-corruption measures and prevents criminal activities from corruption. 
30 International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi (UAE) 2009 It is an intergovernmental organization that works to ensure cooperation and knowledge to adopt sustainable use of renewable energy.
31 South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Kathmandu 1985 This organization monitors the activities, meetings of the association. It works as the channel of communication between south Asian associations and international organizations. 
32 Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Jeddah 1969 This organization works to preserve Islamic values, defend and save the national identity of member nations to ensure international peace.
33 Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation, Ebene – Mauritius 1997 This organization works to promote sustained growth and balanced development within the Indian Ocean region.
34 Worldwide Fund for Nature, Switzerland 1961 It is a non-governmental organization that works to preserve wilderness and reduce the human effect on the environment. 
35 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Zurich 1919 It is an international federation that represents chemists in different countries. It is a part of the International Science Council. 
36 Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, The Netherlands 1997 It is an intergovernmental organization that works on conserving Chemical Weapons Convention.
37 International Olympic Committee, Switzerland 1894 It is a sports organization that acts as the authority for organizing and monitoring the summer and winter Olympic games.
38 World Economic Forum, Geneva 1971 It works on improving the world’s condition by shaping global and industry agendas by engaging with political, academic, and other leaders of society.
39 International Union for Conservation of Nature, Switzerland 1948 It is an international organization that works on conserving nature and promotes the sustainable use of resources.
40 International Council on Monuments and Sites, Paris 1965 It is a professional association for conserving and protecting cultural heritage sites around the globe. 
41 United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi 1972 It works on the UN’s environmental activities coordination and assists developing countries in practicing environmentally sound policies.
42 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva 1950 It is a United Nations organization that works to protect refugees, displaced communities and stateless people, and help them lead a comfortable life.
43 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna 1997 It is a UN organization for improving crime prevention and assisting criminal justice reform and discourages drug use.
44 United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, Italy 1968 It is a UN institute for forming and implementing policies of crime prevention and criminal justice. 
45 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva 1964 This organization works on formulating policies related to the development of trade, aid, transport, finance, and technology.
46 UN-Habitat, Nairobi 1978 It works on promoting social and environmental sustainable locations to provide shelter for all.
47 UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva 1999 This organization works on ensuring the application of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. 
48 World Food Programme, Rome 1961 This organization is to address global hunger issues and promote food security.
49 International Court of Justice, Netherlands 1945 It is responsible for settling disputes between states and giving opinions on international legal issues. They serve as sources of international law. 
50 United Nations University, Tokyo 1972 This is the academic and research extension of the United Nations. 
51 United Nations World Tourism Organization, Madrid 1974 It is a UN organization that works on promoting sustainable and accessible tourism. 
52 International Telecommunication Union, Geneva 1865 It is a UN organization that works on information and communication technologies related issues.
53 International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome 1977 This is a UN organization that works on addressing poverty and hunger issues in developing countries.
54 United Nations Development Programme, New York 1965 It works on connecting countries to knowledge, experience, and resources to help individuals live a better life.
55 International Civil Aviation Organization, Canada 1944 This monitors and regulates principles and techniques of air navigation and promotes the planning of air transport to ensure safe and secure growth. 
56 International Criminal Court, Netherlands 2002 This 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.