Today: • UN • EU • IMF • WB • WTO • NATO • African Union • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
The United Nations (UN) The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions. There are currently 193 member states, including every internationally recognised sovereign state in the world but the Vatican City. Other prominent UN System agencies include theWorld Health Organization(WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The UN's most visible public figure is the Secretary-General, currently Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, who attained the post in 2007.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly(the main deliberative assembly)Security Council (for deciding certain resolutions for peace and security) Economic and Social Council (for assisting in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development) The Secretariat (for providing studies, information, and facilities needed by the UN); The International Court of Justice (the primary judicial organ) The Security Council is charged with maintaining peace and security among countries. While other organs of the United Nations can only make 'recommendations' to member governments, the Security Council has the power to make binding decisions that member governments have agreed to carry out, under the terms of Charter Article 25. The decisions of the Council are known as United Nations Security Council resolutions. The Security Council is made up of 15 member states, consisting of 5 permanent members–China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States–and 10 non-permanent members, currently Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil,Colombia, Gabon, Germany, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa. The five permanent members hold veto power over substantive but not procedural resolutions allowing a permanent member to block adoption but not to block the debate of a resolution unacceptable to it. The ten temporary seats are held for two-year terms with member states voted in by the General Assembly on a regional basis. The presidency of the Security Council is rotated alphabetically each month.
The United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. The UN Charter stipulates that to assist in maintaining peace and security around the world, all member states of the UN should make available to the Security Council necessary armed forces and facilities. Peacekeepers monitor and observe peace processes in post-conflict areas and assist ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreements they may have signed. Such assistance comes in many forms, including confidence-building measures, power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, strengthening the rule of law, and economic and social development. Accordingly UN peacekeepers (often referred to as Blue Beret because of their light blue berets or helmets) can include soldiers, police officers, and civilian personnel. Despite the large number of contributors, the greatest burden continues to be borne by a core group of developing countries, who often profit financially from their participation in such missions. The 10 main troop-contributing countries to UN peacekeeping operations as of September 2010 were Bangladesh (10,736), Pakistan (10,691), India (8,935), Nigeria (5,709), Egypt(5,458), Nepal (5,044), Jordan (3,826), Ghana (3,647), Rwanda (3,635), Uruguay (2,489).
The United Nations (UN) Developing nations tend to participate in peacekeeping more than developed countries. This may be due in part because forces from smaller countries avoid evoking thoughts of imperialism. For example, in December 2005, Eritrea expelled all American, Russian, European, and Canadian personnel from the peacekeeping mission on their border with Ethiopia. Additionally, an economic motive appeals to the developing countries. Additionally, an economic motive appeals to the developing countries. The rate of reimbursement by the UN for troop contributing countries per peacekeeper per month include: $1,028 for pay and allowances; $303 supplementary pay for specialists; $68 for personal clothing, gear and equipment; and $5 for personal weaponry. This can be a significant source of revenue for a developing country. About 4.5% of the troops and civilian police deployed in UN peacekeeping missions come from the European Union and less than one percent from the United States (USA).
The United Nations (UN) Reporters witnessed a rapid increase in prostitution in Cambodia, Mozambique, Bosnia, and Kosovo after UN and, in the case of the latter two, NATO peacekeeping forces moved in. In the 1996 U.N. study ‘The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children’, former first lady of Mozambique GraçaMachel documented: "In 6 out of 12 country studies on sexual exploitation of children in situations of armed conflict prepared for the present report, the arrival of peacekeeping troops has been associated with a rapid rise in child prostitution." GitaSahgal spoke out in 2004 with regard to the fact that prostitution and sex abuse crops up wherever humanitarian intervention efforts are set up. She observed: "The issue with the UN is that peacekeeping operations unfortunately seem to be doing the same thing that other militaries do. Even the guardians have to be guarded."
The International Criminal Court(ICC) The International Criminal Court (ICC), it came into being on 1 July 2002 with the entering into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court which was adopted on 17 July 1998. It is the first permanent international court charged with trying those who commit the most serious crimes under international law, including war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression (although it cannot exercise jurisdiction over this crime prior to 2017). The ICC is functionally independent of the UN in terms of personnel and financing, but some meetings of the ICC governing body, the Assembly of the States Parties to the Rome Statute, are held at the United Nations. There is a "relationship agreement" between the ICC and the UN that governs how the two institutions regard each other legally.
The European Union (EU) The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union or confederation of 27 member states which are located primarily in Europe.The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed by six countries in 1958. In the intervening years the EU has grown in size by the accession of new member states, and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit. In 1993, the European Union replaced the EEC according to the Maastricht Treaty. The EU operates through a system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmental negotiated decisions by the member states. Important institutions of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the European Central Bank. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens. With a combined population of over 500 million inhabitants, or 7.3% of the world population, the EU generated a nominal GDP of 16,242 billion US dollars in 2010, which represents an estimated 20% of global GDP when measured in terms of purchasing power parity.
The Eurasian Economic Community Originated from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) customs union between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan on 29 March 1996. The Treaty on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community was signed on 10 October 2000,in Kazakhstan's capital Astana. On 7 October 2005 it was decided between the member states that Uzbekistan would join. Freedom of movement is implemented among the members (no visa requirements). Common Economic Space was launched on 1 January 2010. One of the Organization's chief activity vectors is ensuring the dynamic evolution of the Community states through coordinating their economic and social reforms while effectively using their economic potentials to improve the living standards of their peoples.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF’s stated objectives are to promote international economic cooperation, international trade, employment, and exchange rate stability, including by making resources available to member countries to meet balance of payments needs. The members of the IMF are the187 members of the UN and Kosovo. The primary mission of the IMF is to provide financial assistance to countries that experience serious financial and economic difficulties using funds deposited with the IMF from the institution’s 187 member countries. Member states with balance of payments problems may request loans to help fill gaps between what countries earn and/or are able to borrow from other official lenders and what countries must spend to operate, including to cover the cost of importing basic goods and services. The IMF oversees the international monetary system and monitors the financial and economic policies of its members. It keeps track of economic developments on a national, regional, and global basis, consulting regularly with member countries and providing them with macroeconomic and financial policy advice. To assist mainly low- and middle-income countries in effectively managing their economies, the IMF provides practical guidance and training on how to upgrade institutions, and design appropriate macroeconomic, financial, and structural policies.
The World Bank (WB) The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loansto developing countries for capital programmes. The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty. By law,all of its decisions must be guided by a commitment to promote foreign investment, international trade and facilitate capital investment. For the poorest developing countries in the world, the bank's assistance plans are based on poverty reduction strategies; by combining a cross-section of local groups with an extensive analysis of the country's financial and economic situation the World Bank develops a strategy pertaining uniquely to the country in question. The government then identifies the country's priorities and targets for the reduction of poverty, and the World Bank aligns its aid efforts correspondingly. Apply through PRSPs (Poverty Reduction Strategy papers). The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has 187 member countries, while the International Development Association (IDA) has 171 members.Each member state of IBRD should be also a member of the International Monetary Fund(IMF) and only members of IBRD are allowed to join other institutions within the Bank (such as IDA).
World Trade Organisation (WTO) The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which commenced in 1948. The organization deals with regulation of trade between participating countries; it provides a framework for negotiating and formalizing trade agreements, and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants' adherence to WTO agreements which are signed by representatives of member governments and ratified by their parliaments. Subject to formal ratification of the three most recent members, the WTO has157 members, representing more than 97% of the world's population,and 26 observers, most seeking membership.
World Trade Organisation (WTO) It is the WTO's duty to review and propagate the national trade policies, and to ensure the coherence and transparency of trade policies through surveillance in global economic policy-making.Another priority of the WTO is the assistance of developing, least-developed and low-income countries in transition to adjust to WTO rules and disciplines through technical cooperation and training. The WTO is also a centre of economic research and analysis: regular assessments of the global trade picture in its annual publications and research reports on specific topics are produced by the organization.Finally, the WTO cooperates closely with the two other components of the Bretton Woods system, the IMF and the World Bank.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. The alliance includes 28 members in North America and Europe, with the most recent being Albania and Croatia who joined in April 2009. An additional 22 countries participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the world's defence spending.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) • The Bosnian War (Began in 1992 with the break-up of Yugoslavia. UN mandated no-fly zones. Enforced arms embargo and economic sanctions. Also carried out air strikes after the Srebrenica massacre- These strikes are credited with ending the Yugoslav wars.) • The Kosovo War (1999- First broad-scale military engagement consisting of an 11 week bombing campaign. Established a military ground force under UN mandate. Aim was to stop the Serbian-led crackdown on Albanian civilians) • Operations in Afghanistan (The 11 September attacks in the United States caused NATO to invoke Article 5 of the NATO Charter for the first time in its history. The Article says that an attack on any member shall be considered to be an attack on all. The eight official actions taken by NATO in response to the attacks included a naval operation in the Mediterranean Sea and is designed to prevent the movement of terrorists or weapons of mass destruction as well as to enhance the security of shipping in general which began on 4 October 2001)
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) • Training mission in Iraq (In August 2004, during the Iraq War, NATO formed the NATO Training Mission – Iraq, a training mission to assist the Iraqi security forces in conjunction with the U.S. led MNF-I) • Operation Ocean Shield (Beginning on 17 August 2009, NATO deployed warships in an operation to protect maritime traffic in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean from Somali pirates.) • Operations in Libya (violence between protestors and the Libyan government under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi escalated, and on 17 March 2011 led to the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which called for a ceasefire, and authorized military action to protect civilians. A coalition that included several NATO members began enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya shortly afterwards. On 20 March 2011, NATO states agreed on enforcing an arms embargo against Libya with Operation Unified Protector using ships from NATO Standing Maritime Group 1 and Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 1, and additional ships and submarines from NATO members)
African Union (AU) The African Unionis a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002,the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). • Among the objectives of the AU's leading institutions are: • to accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent; • to promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples; • to achieve peace and security in Africa; and • to promote democratic institutions, good governance and human rights. The combined states of the African Union constitute a nominal GDP of US$1.627 trillion dollars. By measuring GDP by PPP, the African Union's economy totals $2.849 trillion, ranking it 6th after Germany. The AU future confederation's goals include the creation of a free trade area, a customs union, a single market, a central bank, and a common currency, thereby establishing economic and monetary union. The current plan is to establish an African Economic Community with a single currency by 2023.
African Union (AU) The individual member states of the African Union coordinate foreign policy through this agency, in addition to conducting their own international relations on a state-by-state basis. The AU represents the interests of African peoples at large in intergovernmental organisations (IGOs); for instance, it is a permanent observer at the United Nations General Assembly. Both the African Union and the United Nations work in tandem to address issues of common concerns in various areas. The African Union Mission in United Nations aspires to serve as a bridge between the two Organisations. Membership of the AU overlaps with other IGOs and occasionally these third-party organisations and the AU will coordinate matters of public policy. The African Union maintains special diplomatic representation with the United States and the European Union.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) An intergovernmental mutual-security organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Except for Uzbekistan, the other countries had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organisation. Observer states include India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan. Its six full members account for 60% of the land mass of Eurasia and its population is a quarter of the world’s. With observer states included, its affiliates account for half of the human race. The SCO has now established relations with the United Nations, where it is an observer in the General Assembly, the European Union, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) The SCO is primarily centred on its member nations' Central Asian security-related concerns, often describing the main threats it confronts as being terrorism, separatism and extremism. However evidence is growing that its activities in the area of social development of its member states is increasing fast. At the June 16–17, 2004 SCO summit, held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the Regional Antiterrorism Structure (RATS) was established. On April 21, 2006, the SCO announced plans to fight cross-border drug crimes under the counter-terrorism rubric. The organisation is also redefining cyber-warfare, saying that the dissemination of information "harmful to the spiritual, moral and cultural spheres of other states" should be considered a "security threat." An accord adopted in 2009 defined "information war," in part, as an effort by a state to undermine another's "political, economic, and social systems."
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) There have been a number of SCO joint military exercises. China and Russia have teamed up for large-scale war games in 2005, 2007 and 2009, under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. At the joint military exercises in 2007 (known as "Peace Mission 2007") which took place in Chelyabinsk Russia, near the Ural Mountains and close to Central Asia, as was agreed upon in April 2006 at a meeting of SCO Defence Ministers, more than 4,000 Chinese soldiers participated. Air forces and precision-guided weapons were also likely to be used. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said that the exercises would be transparent and open to media and the public. Following the war games' successful completion, Russian officials began speaking of India joining such exercises in the future and the SCO taking on a military role. Peace Mission 2010, conducted September 9–25 at Kazakhstan's Matybulak training area, saw over 5,000 personnel from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan conduct joint planning and operational manoeuvres.