Know about major international organisations and their headquarters

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New Delhi: Several international organisations have been established to assist in setting up a global agenda and creating stronger political ties among nations. These organisations also help simplify the implementation of development programmes. These organisations were established because of multilateral negotiations, and their headquarters have been made to support them. In this article, we will learn about major international organisations.

There are three types of international organisations, namely

Intergovernmental Organisations
International Non-Governmental Organizations
Multinational Enterprises

Major International Organisations

Amnesty International
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Commonwealth of Nations
European Union
International Monetary Fund
International Criminal Court
International Union for Conservation of Nature
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
United Nations Organization
World Trade Organization
World Health Organization

United Nations was founded in 1945 (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation that focuses on human rights. According to Amnesty International, it has more than 10 million members and supporters worldwide.

Founded: May 28, 1961

Headquarters: London, United Kingdom

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established to leverage the region’s growing interdependence. Its 21 members aim to create greater prosperity for the region’s people.

Founded: November 1989, Canberra, Australia

Headquarter: Singapore

Association of Southeast Asian Nations

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a political and economic union of 10 countries representing a population of over 600 million in Southeast Asia.

Founded: August 8, 1967, Bangkok, Thailand

Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia


The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, or BIMSTEC, is an alliance of the seven countries adjacent to the Bay of Bengal. It was formed to promote cooperation in multiple sectors among its member countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Nepal.

Founded: 1997

Headquarters: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Commonwealth of Nations

Often called just Commonwealth, the Commonwealth of Nations is an international association of 56 member states, most of which are former territories of the British Empire. The Commonwealth of Nations as we know it today was formally constituted in 1949 by the London Declaration, which modernised the community and established the member states as “free and equal”.

Balfour Declaration – November 19, 1926
Statute of Westminster – December 11, 1931
London Declaration – April 28, 1949

Headquarters: Marlborough House, London, United Kingdom

European Union

An international political and economic union, the European Union has 27 countries as its members, primarily located in Europe. The union has often been described as a sui generis political entity, meaning that it does not have precedent or comparison and combines the characteristics of both federation and confederation.

Founded: November 1, 1993, Maastricht, Netherlands

Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium

International Monetary Fund

The major financial agency of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is an international financial institution funded by 190 member countries.

Founded: July 1944

Headquarters: Washington DC, the US

International Criminal Court

Known as an intergovernmental organisation and international tribunal, the International Criminal Court is the first permanent international court with jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for international crimes.

Founded: July 1, 2002, Rome, Italy

Headquarters: The Hague, Netherlands

International Union for Conservation of Nature

The IUCN is the world’s only and most significant environmental network that harnesses knowledge and resources. The organisation reaches over 1,400 member organisations and 16,000 experts. This diversity and expertise make IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.

Founded: 1948

Headquarters: Gland, Switzerland

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

The OPEC, or Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is an international organisation that enables leading oil-producing countries to cooperate. It is done to influence the global oil market and maximise profit collectively.

Founded: September 14, 1960

Headquarters: Vienna, Austria

United Nations

The UN was founded in 1945 and has several other organisations that function under it. The international organisation is a diplomatic and political organisation whose purpose is to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among countries, promote international cooperation, and serve as a centre for harmonising the actions of nations.

Some of them are as follows:

United Nations Security Council (UNSC): The UNSC is one of the six main organs of the UN. It ensures international peace and security, recommends the admission of new UN members to the General Assembly, and approves any changes to the UN Charter.

Founded: October 24, 1945

Headquarters: New York, United Nations

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): This UN agency aims to promote world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture.

Founded: January 1, 1995

Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): This UN agency helps countries eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable economic growth and human development.

Founded: November 22, 1965

Headquarters: New York, US

United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF): It was earlier known as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund in total, but now it has been officially known as the United Nations Children’s Fund. The UN agency provides humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide.

Founded: December 11, 1946

Headquarters: New York City, US

United Nations World Tourism Organization: It is a specialised agency of the UN that promotes responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism.

Founded: November 1, 1975

Headquarters: Madrid, Spain

United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI): It is considered one of the five United Nations Research and Training Institutes and was founded to assist in formulating and implementing improved policies in crime prevention and criminal justice internationally. The parent organisation is UNESCO.

Founded: January 15, 1968

Headquarters: Turin, Italy

Food and Agriculture Organization: This international organisation oversees efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security worldwide.

Founded: October 16, 1945

Headquarters: Rome, Italy

World Trade Organization

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental global organisation that regulates and facilitates international trade. Member governments use the organisation to establish, revise, and enforce international trade rules in cooperation with the UN System.

Founded: January 1, 1995

Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

World Health Organization

It is an international public health organisation that looks after assets, personnel and duties of the League of Nations’ Health Organization and the Paris-based Office International d’Hygiène Publique, including the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The organisation aims to promote health and safety while helping the vulnerable worldwide. It helps assistance to countries and sets international health standards. Collects data on global health issues and serves as a forum for scientific or policy discussions related to health.

Founded: April 7, 1948

Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Parent organization: United Nations Economic and Social Council

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