United Nations (UN)
United Nations was created to maintain peace and security in the world after the Second World War. In 1945, delegates of 50 countries signed the United Nations (UN) Charter. 24 October is celebrated as United States Day every year because the UN officially came into existence on this day.
- Headquarters – New York
- The first Secretary General of the UN was Trygve Lie from Norway.
- Total number of members – 193
- Latest Member to join UN – South Sudan (2011)
- United Nations is composed of six principal bodies –
- General Assembly
- Security Council
- Economic and Social Council
- International Court of Justice
- Trusteeship Council
- The General Assembly consists of all member states of the UN. The first session of the UN General Assembly was held in the third week of September. Accordingly, 21 September is observed as International Year of Peace every year. Vijaylakshmi Pandit was the first woman to be President of the UN General Assembly. She is also the first and only Indian to be the President of the General Assembly.
- The United Nations Security Council consists of 15 members – 5 permanent members (US, UK, China, France and Russia) and 10 non-permanent members which are elected by the General Assembly for a two-year term. Each permanent member of the UN enjoys the veto power. India has been part of the UN Security
- Council as a non-permanent member for 7 terms.
- The International Court of Justice (ICJ) was set up in 1946 to resolve disputes between states and provide advisory opinions on matters of international law. It comprises of 15 judges who hold office for a period of 9 years. At present, the only Indian judge at the ICJ is Justice Dalveer Bhandari. Previously, Justice B.N Rao, Justice Nagendra Singh and Justice R.S Pathak from India have served as judges in the ICJ. Justice Nagendra Singh was the first Indian to serve as the President of ICJ. As of January 2016, Ronny Abraham (France) is the President of the International Court of Justice.
World Trade Organization (WTO)
The World Trade Organization came into being in 1995 by replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The total membership of WTO is 164 with Afghanistan being the latest member of WTO in 2016.
International Criminal Court (ICC)
International Criminal Court is the first permanent court set up to try individuals for genocide, war crimes and other major human rights violations established by the Rome Statute which came into force in 2002. It is based in the Hague, Netherlands. Total number of members in ICC stands at 123 with Palestine being the latest member to join in 2015.
European Union came into effect in 1993 to work together for peace and prosperity of countries in Europe. The member states of the EU set up common institutions to which they delegate some of their sovereignty to reach joint decisions.
- Total number of members - 28
- Latest member to join – Croatia (2013)
19 out of the 28 countries which are a part of the European Union have adopted the Euro as their currency. These countries are collectively called ‘Eurozone.’ Countries like Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden are members of European Union not a part of the Eurozone.
Commonwealth of Nations
It is a group of independent states which were earlier under the British colonial rule. These countries are bound together by certain common constitutional principles, shared interests and ideals. British Monarch is the symbolic head of the Commonwealth. In 2015, Patricia Scotland replaced India’s Kamlesh Sharma as the Commonwealth Secretary-General.
Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
It was formed in 1967 with headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia. It has 10 members – Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
The then Bangladesh Prime Minister Zia-ur- Rahman proposed the idea of SAARC for the first time. The organization was established in 1985 to promote the welfare of the people of South Asia. The Secretariat of SAARC is located in Kathmandu, Nepal. Eight countries are a part of SAARC – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.
Headquarters of Important International Organizations
|International Maritime Organization (IMO)
|Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO)
|The World Health Organization (WHO)
|World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
|North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
|European Central Bank
|Asian Development Bank
|International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
|World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
||Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
|International Olympic Committee (IOC)
|International Cricket Council (ICC)
|International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
|International Fund for Agricultural Development
|International Court of Justice (ICJ)
||The Hague, Netherlands
|International Criminal Court (ICC)
||The Hague, Netherlands
|United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
|United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
|United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
|Universal Postal Union
Countries and names of their Parliament
|Indonesia, Iran, Maldives