Otázka: International organizations
An international organization is either an international non-governmental or an intergovernmental officially registred body; this sheet is about to focus on intergovrnmental organizations – those ones established by a treaty (treaties) among particular states or national governments
United Nations (UN) were founded in 1945, when the Charter of the United Nations was adopted, to pursue the following aims:
- a) to maintain of peace and contribute to find solutions in conflicts;
- b) to develop friendly relations among nations;
- c) to cooperate on solving cultural, economic and humanitary problems;
- d) to protect the human rights and freedom;
All tasks are distributed to six principal bodies of the UN:
- a) General Assembly, where representants of all the member states gather to take decisions on principal issues;
- b) Security Council, an organism with five permanent members (USA, United Kingdom, France, Russian Federation and China), having a veto-right, and ten changing members (15 in total); Security Council takes decisions on issues concerning conflicts etc.;
- c) Trusteeship Council, which exists only formally today as its task was to hold supervision on mandatory territories of the UN;
- d) International Court of Justice;
- e) Secretariat with the Secretary General (today Koffi Anan) running the administration of the UN;
- f) Economic and Social Council, which is in fact the executive head of most bodies of the UN, like UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Educational Organization), UNHCR (UN High Commissary for Refugees), UNICEF, WHO (World Health Organization) etc.
To fulfill its aims, the UN have various tools or policies: recommendations, military actions, economic sanctions, financial support etc. The seat is in New York.
International Monetary Fund (IMF), founded in 1944, has the following aims:
- a) to support international monetary cooperation and stability;
- b) to support removal of restrictions binding circulation of money;
- c) to help to balance payment adjustment of countries by providing financial resources;
it has for instance these policies:
- a) financial aid – credits offered to get over structural economic problems;
- b) supervision;
- c) technical aid – info etc.
World Bank – a group of institutions gathered around the IBRD – International Bank for Renewal and Development (founded in 1945), concentrating above all on improvement of productivity, living standards and working conditions, offering a great deal of credits and technical and advisory aid; the voting power of each country depends on the amount of money it brings to the budget
WTO – World Trade Organization: founded in 1994 as a successor of the GATT – General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade, aims: free international market, economic growth…; measures: settlement of disputes, supervision, right to abolish national laws of the member states that are not in accordance with the organization’s principles
OECD – Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – another organization based on the principles of modern liberalism
OPEC – Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries – founded in 1960 to coordinate policies of the major producers of petrol in order to achieve the most suitable prices; tools: quotas – they can either reduce or extend the exportation and thus influence the prices; members: SAE, Saudi Arabia, Alger, Libya, Nigeria, Venezuela, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait…
NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization: founded in 1949 in order to create a coherent organization that would balance the power of the USSR with its satelites in Europe. The original seat was in Paris, since the sixties it has been in Brussels (after France left the military structures of the Alliance). NATO is at once a military and political organization, the political bodies being
- a) North Atlantic Council, assembling representants of all the member states and taking the principal decisions;
- b) Defence Planning Committee, giving instructions to the military bodies;
- c) Nuclear Planning Group;
- d) International Staff – administrative organ ruled by NATO Secretary General.
The military structures are:
- a) Military Committee;
- b) International Military Staff;
- c) Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE);
- d) Allied Command Atlantic (ACLANT); France refused to surrender its army to colective commandment and has also its own nuclear planning.
The European Union was founded in 1951 as European Community of Coal and Steel by France, German Federal Republic, Italy and the countries of BENELUX. One of the main ideas was to prevent another conflict by binding the industries of the traditional ennemies together so that they virtually cannot wage a war on themselves; they also supposed that economic cooperation would lead towards growth and prosperity, which came true. In 1957 the organization was transformed into the European Economic Community (EEC) and the relations became closer. United Kingdom, Ireland and Danmark entered the org. In 1973, Greece in 1981 and Spain and Portugal in 1986. Another crucial event took place in 1992 when the Treaty of Maastricht was signed, planning furhter economic and monetary integration, thus officially creating the European Union. In 1995 Austria, Finland and Sweden were admitted. Monetary union has become a reality and the EU aims towards a huge enlargement, but it has necessarily undertake an institutional reform in order to be able to accept so many countries (maybe 14).
The most important institutions of the EU are:
- a) European Council – summit of the heads of the member states which takes important decisions concerning future of the Union;
- b) Council of the European Union (Council of Ministers) assembles ministers of the member states from the same domain to pass common legislation concerning this domain, e.g. the ministers of agriculture can gather to introduce a law concerning cultivation of wheat; they tend to fight for the interests of their national governments;
- c) European Commission (Brussels) – the main executive body consisting of technocrats specialising on various domains; asuures the implementation of the common laws and directives, but proposes them as well;
- d) European Parliament (Strassbourg) is elected by the citizens of the EU; approves the budget of the EU, approves the appointment of the European Commission, but still does not have enough legislative power, being rather an advisory institution;
- e) European Court of Justice (Luxembourg);
- f) European Central Bank (Frankfurt) …..
The Council of Europe is an organization that has nothing to do with the European Union, it is rather a forum of European countries founded in 1949; it concentrates on promotion of human rights and justice by intergovernmental cooperation
Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe, founded in 1975 in Helsinki, concentrates on peace-keeping in Europe, prevention of conflicts and settlement of disputes