Important International Organisations-Part 2

CONVENTION RELATING TO THE STATUS OF REFUGEES ·        1951 Refugee Convention or the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951

·        a United Nations multilateral treaty that defines who a refugee is, and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum

·        Convention also sets out which people do not qualify as refugees, such as war criminals. The Convention also provides for some visa-free travel for holders of refugee travel documents issued under the convention.

·        146 parties to the Convention, and 147 to the Protocol

·        Although the Convention is “legally binding” there is no body that monitors compliance. 

·        The Convention specifies that complaints should be referred to the International Court of Justice

·        An individual may lodge a complaint with the UN Human Rights Committee under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, or with the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, but no one has ever done so in regard to violations of the Convention. Nations may levy international sanctions against violators, but no nation has ever done this.

·        India is not a member to the convention

UNITED NATIONS CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROGRAMME NETWORK ·        a network consisting of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as well as many crime-related institutes and other centres around the world. Its aim is to strengthen international co-operation in the areas of crime prevention and criminal justice

·        incorporates the secretariat of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)

·        Member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group

WORLD BANK GROUP ·        Family of five international organizations 

·        Observer at the United Nations Development Group

·        Headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States

·        05 organizations are the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

·        1st two are sometimes collectively referred to as the World Bank.

WORLD BANK ·        Created at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

·        Originally focused on reconstructing war-torn European countries. After 1950s focusing on poor countries of Asia and Africa.

·        Works with country governments, the private sector, civil society organizations, regional development banks, think tanks

·        Vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries

·        provides loans and grants to the governments of low- and middle-income countries

·        unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development

·        IBRD and IDA are collectively known as World Bank

·        component of the World Bank Group

·        Members: 189 Countries

·        Clean Air Initiative (CAI)

·        Reports – Doing Business Report, Global Economic Prospects, Global Financial Development Report, International Debt Statistics, World Development Report, World Development Indicators, Poverty and Shared Prosperity


·        supports the World Bank Group‟s mission by providing loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services to middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries

·        special emphasis on supporting lower-middle-income countries

·        Each member state of IBRD should also be a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and only members of IBRD are allowed to join other institutions within the Bank

·        owned by 189-member countries

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (IDA) ·        an international financial institution which offers concessional loans and grants to the world’s poorest developing countries

·        lending to developing countries which suffer from the lowest gross national income, from troubled creditworthiness, or from the lowest per capita income

·        single largest provider of funds to economic and human development projects in the world’s poorest nations

·        headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States

INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION ·        an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in less developed countries

·        Washington, D.C. in the United States

·        advance economic development by investing in for-profit and commercial projects for poverty reduction and promoting development

·        offers an array of debt and equity financing services and helps companies face their risk exposures while refraining from participating in a management capacity. 

MULTILATERAL INVESTMENT GUARANTEE AGENCY (MIGA) ·        an international financial institution which offers political risk insurance and credit enhancement guarantees.

·        guarantees help investors protect foreign direct investments against political and non-commercial risks in developing countries

·        Washington, D.C. in the United States

·        Members: 181

·        Membership in MIGA is available only to countries who are members of the World Bank, particularly the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR SETTLEMENT OF INVESTMENT DISPUTES (ICSID) ·        an international arbitration institution established in 1966 for legal dispute resolution and conciliation between international investors and States

·        part of and funded by the World Bank Group

·        encourage international flow of investment and mitigate non-commercial risks by a treaty drafted by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

·        does not conduct arbitration or conciliation proceedings itself, but offers institutional and procedural support to conciliation commissions, tribunals, and other committees which conduct such matters. 

·        headquartered in Washington, D.C., in the United States

·        163 countries (signatory and contracting states) &154 countries (contracting states only)

·        India is not a member party

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) ·        UN conference in Bretton Woods

·        189 countries

·        does not lend for specific projects

·        provide loans to member countries experiencing actual or potential balance of payments problems

·        plays a central role in the management of balance of payments difficulties and international financial crises

·        SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF

·        Gita Gopinath was appointed as Chief Economist of IMF

·        Not all member countries of the IMF are sovereign states, and therefore not all “member countries” of the IMF are members of the United Nations

·        Voting power in the IMF is based on a quota system.

INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION ·        created in 1919 by the Versailles Peace Treaty

·        first specialized agency associated with the UN

·        secretariat is in Geneva, Switzerland

·        tripartite governing structure – representing governments, employers, and workers

·        The ILO has 187 member states: 186 out of 193 UN member states plus the Cook Islands.

·        launched the Future of Work Initiative

·        International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO)

Core Conventions of the ILO

  • Forced Labour Convention (No. 29)
  • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No.105)
  • Equal Remuneration Convention (No.100)
  • Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (No.111)
  • Minimum Age Convention (No.138)
  • Worst forms of Child Labour Convention (No.182)
  • Freedom of Association and Protection of Right to Organised Convention (No.87)
  • 8. Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention (No.98)
  • India has ratified six out of the eight-core/fundamental ILO conventions. These conventions are:
    • Forced Labour Convention (No. 29)
    • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No.105)
    • Equal Remuneration Convention (No.100)
    • Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (No.111)
    • Minimum Age Convention (No.138)
    • Worst forms of Child Labour Convention (No.182)
UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION ·        Specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that coordinates postal policies among member nations

·        Headquarters – Bern, Switzerland

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO) ·        Specialized agency of the United Nations

·        secretariat is in Rome, Italy

·        composed of 197 member states

·        objective of eliminating hunger and improving nutrition and standards of
living by increasing agricultural productivity

·        Codex Alimentarius Commission established by FAO and WHO is an international food standard

·        International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)

·        Globefish is a unit within the FAO

·        The UN General Assembly designated 2021 the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV).

·        Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems

UNESCO ·        195 member states and is based in Paris, France

·        promoting peace, social justice, human rights and international security through International cooperation on educational, science and cultural programs

·        Creative Cities Network (UCCN)

  • Global Geoparks Network
  • Biosphere reserves, through the Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB), since 1971
  • City of Literature; in 2007, the first city to be given this title was Edinburgh, the site of Scotland’s first circulating library.
  • Endangered languages and linguistic diversity projects
  • Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity
  • Memory of the World International Register, since 1997
  • Water resources management, through the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), since 1965
  • World Heritage Sites
  • World Digital Library

·        Gender Parity Index, Global Education Monitoring Report, Science Report, State of the Education Report for India: Children With Disabilities

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION ·        194-member countries, and its secretariat is in Geneva, Switzerland

·        authority of directing and coordinating matters related to International health

  • Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, India, was recently elected the Chair of World Health Organization’s Executive Board.
  • The ACT-Accelerator alliance was launched on 24 April 2020 by WHO, the European Commission, France, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop and deliver tests, treatments and vaccines the world needs to fight COVID-19.
INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION ·        Only UN special agency to have its headquarters in the United Kingdom

·        Maritime safety and the prevention of marine pollution

·        not responsible for enforcing its policies. There is no enforcement mechanism to implement the policies of the IMO.

·        currently has 174 member states and three associate members

·        adopted the Hong Kong Convention in 2009 (not yet in force)

·        India’s acceded Hong Kong International Convention

·        International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)

·        MARPOL convention developed by the International Maritime Organization with an objective to minimize pollution of the oceans and seas, including dumping, oil and air pollution.

·        The International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969, renewed in 1992 and often referred to as the CLC Convention, is an international maritime treaty ad-mistered by the International Maritime Organization

·        The International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, 1992, often referred to as FUND92 or FUND

·        International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (Ballast Water Management Convention or BWM Convention)

·        International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGs) are published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO)

·        COLREGs are derived from a multilateral treaty called the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA (UNCLOS) ·        Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty

·        international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III)

·        defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources. The Convention, concluded in 1982, replaced the quad-treaty 1958 Convention on the High Seas.

  • 167 countries plus the UN Observer state Palestine, as well as the Cook Islands, Niue and the European Union have joined in the Convention.
  • UNCLOS serves as a parent convention to
    • International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
    • International Seabed Authority
    • Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

·        gives a clear definition on Internal Waters, Territorial Waters, Archipelagic Waters, Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone, and Continental Shelf.

INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL FOR LAW OF SEAS (ITLOS) ·        an independent judicial body established by the UNCLOS to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the UNCLOS Convention

·        composed of 21 independent members, elected from among persons enjoying the highest reputation for fairness and integrity and of recognized competence in the field of the law of the sea

·        open to both states and non-state parties to the Convention It is also open to intergovernmental organisations which are not parties to the Convention and also private entities

  • Dr. Neeru Chadha has become the first Indian woman to be elected as a judge at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas (ITLOS).

·        The tribunal is based in Hamburg, Germany.

·        The Convention also established the International Seabed Authority, with responsibility for the regulation of seabed mining beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, that is beyond the limits of the territorial sea, the contiguous zone and the continental shelf. 

INTERNATIONAL SEABED AUTHORITY (ISA) ·        An intergovernmental body based in Kingston, Jamaica,

·        Established to organize, regulate and control all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction (referred to as “the Area”), an area underlying most of the world’s oceans.

  • ISA is a UN agency estd in 1995 under UNCLOS (all 167 member nations under UNCLOS are also ISA members) and has the mandate to issue licenses regarding exploration and mining of deep marine resources particularly deep seabed mining in International waters (beyond 370 km in Continental Shelf region)
  • ISA has set environmental regulations regarding marine exploration activities but not mining regulations for underwater deep seabed mining.

·        It is an organization established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

·        Currently, the Authority has 167 members and the European Union, composed of all parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

·        India is a member state.

·        India was the first country to receive the status of a ‘Pioneer Investor ‘ in 1987 and was given an area of about 1.5 lakh sq km in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) for nodule exploration.

·        In 2002, India signed a contract with the ISA and after complete resource analysis of the seabed 50% was surrendered and the country retained an area of 75,000 sq km.

INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANIZATION (ICAO) ·        a specialized agency of the United Nations linked to Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

·        funded and directed by 193 national governments to support their diplomacy and cooperation in air transport as signatory states to the Chicago Convention (1944).

·        sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency as well as for aviation environmental protection

·        headquarters in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

·        not an international aviation regulator

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