Important International Organisations-Part 3

OUTER SPACE TREATY ·        Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

·        Treaty that forms the basis of international space law

·        The treaty forbids countries from deploying “nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction” in outer space.

·        The treaty, however, does not prohibit the launching of ballistic missiles, which could be armed with WMD warheads, through space.

·        It is mostly a non-armament treaty and offers limited and ambiguous regulations to newer space activities such as lunar and asteroid mining

·        India is a party to all the major international treaties/regulations related to outer space, including Outer Space Treaty, the Rescue Agreement, the Liability Convention and the Registration Convention and has also signed the Moon Treaty. India also implements all the outer space related instruments, including the UN Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines. India also actively participates in various meetings and Working Groups of COPUOS during different sessions.

·        Members-111 including India

OPEN SKIES TREATY (OST) ·        The treaty allows 34 countries to conduct unarmed surveillance flights over one another’s territories — including the US and Russia. It was signed in 1992 and went into effect in 2002.

·        It was agreed just after the Cold War to allow signatories to avoid nasty surprises by monitoring rival militaries.

·        The treaty “was designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering information through aerial imaging on military forces and activities of concern to them.”

·        The OST aims at building confidence among its 34 signatories’ countries through mutual openness, thus reducing the chances of accidental war.

·        Both USA and Russia have pulled out from the treaty

  • India is not a member of this treaty.
  • Note

·        This is different from the Open Sky Agreements which are bilateral agreements that the two countries negotiate to provide rights for airlines to offer international passenger and cargo services. It expands international passenger and cargo flights. Recently, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has expressed interest to have an Open Sky Agreement with India.

WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION (WMO) ·        specialized agency of the United Nations

·        membership of 193 Member States

  • Secretariat – Geneva, Switzerland
  • promoting international cooperation on atmospheric science , climatology , hydrology and geophysics
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a joint creation of the WMO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • Global Atmospheric Research Program was a fifteen-year international research programme led by the World Meteorological Organization and the International Council of Scientific Unions.
  • draws world attention to the depletion of the ozone layer
  • India has been designated as a nodal centre for preparing flash-flood forecasts by the WMO.
WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION (WIPO) ·        one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN)

·        Global forum for Intellectual Property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation

·        Currently has 193 member states

  • India joined WIPO in 1975.
  • Headquarter – Geneva, Switzerland
  • India acceded

·        WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty

·        Budapest Treaty

·        Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks

·        Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities

·        WIPO Copyright Treaty

·        Publication: Global Innovation Index in association with Cornell University and INSEAD

·        Organizes Global Digital Content Market (GDCM)

·        Berne Convention open to all States and Instruments of ratification or accession must be deposited with the Director General of WIPO

INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION (ITU) ·        A specialized agency of the United Nations

·        responsible for the allocation of radio spectrum and satellite orbits, and for the standardization and development 0f ICTs worldwide

·        Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the ITU’s global membership includes 193 countries

·        Membership of ITU is open to only UN members

·        India has been an active member of the ITU since 1869 and has been a regular member of the ITU Council since 1952.

·        ITU South Asia Area Office and Technology Innovation Centre in New Delhi

·        India has been elected as a member of the International Telecommunications Union Council (ITU) for another 4-year term – from 2019 to 2022

·        The Plenipotentiary Conference is the supreme organ of the ITU.

·        The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was convened by the ITU along with UNESCO, UNCTAD, and UNDP

INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT ·        Specialized agency of the United Nations that works to address poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries

·        An international financial institution and specialized United Nations agency based in Rome, the UN’s food and agriculture hub.

·        only multilateral development organization focused on eradicating hunger and poverty in rural areas.

·        Headquartered in Rome, Italy

·        Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) is IFAD’s flagship programme for channeling climate and environmental finance to smallholder farmers.

·        Managed by the two main governing bodies i.e. the Governing Council and the Executive Board.

UN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION (UNIDO) ·        a specialized agency of the United Nations

·        headquartered at the UN Office in Vienna, Austria

·        promote Inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in was described in the Lima Declaration

·        comprises 170 member states

·        member of the United Nations Development Group, a coalition of UN entities aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals

·        Members of the UN, or of UN specialized agencies, or of the IAEA, are eligible for membership

·        one of the two UN specialized agencies where members are separated into groups while the other is IFAD

UN WORLD TOURISM ORGANIZATION ·        United Nations specialized agency entrusted with the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism,

·        Headquarters-Madrid, Spain

·        releases the World Tourism Barometer annually

·        Membership of the UNWTO includes 158 states



·        Established in 1995.

·        Replaced General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) which was in place since 1946.

·        commenced under the Marrakesh Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)

·        only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations

·        Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) – was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and entered into force with the establishment of the WTO on January 1, 1995. 

·        Green box, Blue box and Amber box subsidies

·        Agreement on Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMS), resulting from the Uruguay Round, recognizes that certain investment measures may cause restrictive effects on international trade in goods.

·        Monitor’s implementation of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the TRIPS Agreement).

·        General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) requires most-favoured-nation Treatment, market access commitments and national treatment. (Agreed upon at the end of the Uruguay Round negotiations)

·        One of the three international organisations (the other two are the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group) which by and large formulate and co-ordinate world economic policy.

·        India is a founder member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1947 and its successor, the WTO.

·        Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA) 

·        The WTO agreements contain special provisions which give developing countries special rights and allow other members to treat them more favourably. These are “special and differential treatment provisions” (abbreviated as S&D or SDT).

·        WTO has 164 members and 22 observer governments

·        HQ – Geneva, Switzerland

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION ·        an intergovernmental organization that provides services and advice concerning migration to governments and migrants, including internally displaced persons, refugees, and migrant workers

·        related organization of the United Nations

·        173 member states and nine observer states

  • Headquarter – Geneva, Switzerland
  • World Migration Report
UN DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (UN-DESA) ·        entity of the UN Secretariat responsible for economic, social and environmental issues

·        promotes international cooperation in the pursuit of sustainable development

·        part of the United Nations Secretariat and is responsible for the follow-up to major United Nations Summits and Conferences, as well as services to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the Second and Third Committees of the United Nations General Assembly

·        member of the United Nations Development Group

·        supports international cooperation to promote sustainable development for all, having as a foundation the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

·        World„s Women Report once in 5 years, World Economic Situation & Prospects (along with UNCTAD), World Youth Report

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ·        inter-governmental body within the United Nations system

·        made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe

·        meets at the UN Office at Geneva

·        resolutions are not legally binding but carry moral authority

·        replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights

·        No member may occupy a seat for more than 2 consecutive terms.

·        India was elected as a member in the beginning of January 1, 2019

·        United States announced that it would rejoin the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council that it left in 2018.

Seats are distributed as follows:

·        African States: 13 seats

·        Asia-Pacific States: 13 seats

·        Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats

·        Western European and other States: 7 seats

·        Eastern European States: 6 seats

UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE LAW ·        Subsidiary body of the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) 

·        Core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law. 

·        legal body with universal membership specializing in commercial law reform

  • Headquarters in New York and at the Vienna International Centre at Vienna

·        India was re-elected to UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) for the 2016-2022 term.



·        first intergovernmental negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of UN to cover all dimensions of migration

·        agreement was signed in the UNGA by adopting a political declaration “New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants” in 2016

·        framed consistent with one of the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

·        pact is not binding on member countries. All the 193 member countries of UNGA are part of the global pact for migration

INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE ·        Established under UN Charter 1945 (which also established UNSC) to act as a principal Judicial organ of UN

·        Successor of the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), which was established in 1920 by the League of Nations

·        Hague, The Netherland

·        Panel of 15 judges elected by the General Assembly and Security Council for nine-year terms

·        No more than one judge of a given nationality may serve on the court at the same time, and judges as a whole must represent the principal civilizations and legal systems of the world

·        Only principal UN organ not located on New York

·        Members of UN automatically becomes the member of ICJ

·        official working languages are English and French

·        Settles legal disputes between Nations only

·        Indian Judge Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected in 2018.

INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC) ·        intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague in the Netherlands.

·        first and only permanent international court with jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes

·        Rome Statute a multilateral treaty which serves as the ICC’s foundational and governing document.

  • States which become party to the Rome Statute, for example by ratifying it, become member states of the ICC.
  • not part of the UN. distinct from the UN
  • There are 124 ICC member states; 42 states have neither signed nor become parties to the Rome Statute.

·        India is not a signatory to the Rome Statute and hence is not a member of the ICC.

·        Limitations

·        no retrospective jurisdiction

·        deal only with crimes committed after 1 July 2002

·        cannot impose a death sentence

·        does not have its own police force or enforcement body

·        no jurisdiction with respect to any person who was under the age of 18 

PERMANENT COURT OF ARBITRATION (PCA) ·        intergovernmental organization located at The Hague in the Netherlands

·        not a court “in the traditional sense” but provides services of arbitral tribunal to resolve disputes that arise out of international agreements between member states, international organizations or private parties

·        Cases span a range of legal issues involving territorial and maritime boundaries, sovereignty, human rights, international investment, and international and regional trade.

·        Constituted through two separate multilateral conventions with a combined membership of 122 states.

·        Not a United Nations agency, but an official United Nations Observer

·        India is member of PCA. India ratified the 1899 convention in 1950.

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM (WEF) ·        not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland

·        membership-based organization, and membership is made up of the world’s largest corporations.

·        It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests.

  • The Annual Meeting is held in Davos, Switzerland.

·        Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) officially launched in Jan 2017 at World Economic Forum (WEF). It is a Global alliance of governments, intergovernmental institutions like WHO, health specialists, and philanthropists to finance and coordinate the development of new vaccine to prevent and contain infectious disease epidemics.

·        It will provide a permanent, sustainable model for epidemic vaccine development through sharing of risk and benefits of vaccine development.

Major Reports:  

·        Global Competitiveness Report 

·        Global Enabling trade Report 

·        Global Gender Gap Index

·        Human Capital Index 

·        Inclusive Development Index

·        Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report

·        Global Risks Perception Survey

·        Energy Transition Index

·        Global Social Mobility Report

EDISON Alliance

·        EDISON stands for Essential Digital Infrastructure and Services Network.

·        An international organization for public-private partnership and WEF will serve as the secretariat and platform for the EDISON Alliance.

·        Alliance aims to work towards ensuring global and equitable access to the digital economy.

·        Prime goal is to ensure an unprecedented level of cross-sectoral collaboration between the technology industry and other critical sectors of the economy

·        World Economic Forum (WEF) serves as the secretariat of Global Smart Cities Alliance

·        The World Economic Forum’s UpLink platform has launched the COVID Social Justice Challenge, a competition to find ideas and solutions that tackle social inequalities and injustices within the COVID response and recovery.

·        COVID Action Platform

·        Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 Secretariat is hosted at the World Economic Forum.

·        India joined the Reskilling Revolution Initiative launched at the World Economic Forum as founding member. The other founding members include US, UAE, Russia, Pakistan, France and Brazil. The initiative aims at providing better education, jobs and skills for more than 1 billion people in the world by 2030.

ORGANIZATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS ·        Independent, autonomous international organization with a working relationship with the UN

·        Implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force in 1997

·        All 193 parties to the Chemical Weapons convention are automatically members of the OPCW

·        Seat in The Hague, Netherlands, and oversees the global endeavour for the permanent and verifiable elimination of chemical weapons

·        Defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law”.

·        OPCW reports on its inspections and other activities to the UN through the office of the Secretary-General.

·        awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013

·        India was also selected as a member of the Executive Council of the OPCW. It is representing Asia Group for another two-year term during the OPCW Conference of State Parties.

·        India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) GC Murmu selected as an external auditor to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). His term will be for 3 years, starting in 2021.

TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS (TPNW) ·        Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty, is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons with the ultimate goal being their total elimination.

·        It was adopted on 7 July 2017, opened for signature on 20 September 2017, and entered into force on 22 January 2021

·        treaty prohibits the development, testing, production, stockpiling, stationing, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, as well as assistance and encouragement to the prohibited activities.

·        Provides for a time-bound framework for negotiations leading to the verified and irreversible elimination of its nuclear weapons programme.

·        Nuclear weapons – unlike chemical weapons, biological weapons, anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions – are not prohibited in a comprehensive and universal manner.

·        The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968 contains only partial prohibitions, and nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties prohibit nuclear weapons only within certain geographical regions.

·        India is neither signed nor ratified the treaty

·        India did not participate in the negotiations on the TPNW.

·        The provisions of the treaty aren’t binding on non-signatories.

·        The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) spearheaded the efforts for the signing of a nuke ban treaty and was awarded the Nobel Prize for peace in 2017.

NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY (NPT) ·        Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

·        International treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament

·        Four UN member states have never accepted the NPT, three of which possess or are thought to possess nuclear weapons: India, Israel, and Pakistan.

Nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ)

·        A nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) is a geographical area declared free of nuclear weapons as described under Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and in the United Nations Guidelines on Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones from 1999. As of 2016, there are five such regional treaties in place in populated areas of the world: Latin-America and the Caribbean, Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific. In addition, the status of Mongolia as a nuclear-free territory has been recognized by the United Nations General Assembly. Antarctica is also considered nuclear-free, and so is outer space.

COMPREHENSIVE NUCLEAR-TEST-BAN TREATY (CTBT) ·        A multilateral treaty that bans all nuclear tests, for both civilian and military purposes, in all environments.

·        Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 September 1996, but has not entered into force, as eight specific nations have not ratified the treaty.

·        Treaty will enter into force after all 44 States listed in Annex 2 to the Treaty will ratify it.

·        The CTBT with its 185 signatories and 170 ratifications is one of the most widely supported arms-control treaties.

·        India-Non-Signatory

·        North Korea and Pakistan have not yet signed the Treaty.



·        A proposed international agreement that would prohibit the production of the two main components of nuclear weapons: highly-enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium.

·        Discussions on this subject have taken place at the UN Conference on Disarmament (CD), a body of 65 member nations established as the sole multilateral negotiating forum on disarmament.

·        The CD operates by consensus and is often stagnant, impeding progress on an FMCT.

·        Those nations that joined the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) as non-weapon states are already prohibited from producing or acquiring fissile material for weapons.

·        An FMCT would provide new restrictions for the five recognized nuclear weapon states (NWS—United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, and China), and for the four nations that are not NPT members (Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea).

CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION ·        An arms control treaty administered by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW),

·        An intergovernmental organization based in The Hague, The Netherlands.

·        Aims to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction by prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons by States.

·        All destruction activities must take place under OPCW verification.

·        Parties, in turn, must take the steps necessary to enforce that prohibition in respect of persons (natural or legal) within their jurisdiction. 

·        India enacted Chemical Weapons Convention Act in 2000.

·        It defines chemical weapons and empowers the Centre to set up a National Authority.

·        It defines chemical weapons as toxic chemicals, including munitions and devices, specifically designed to cause death or other harm. 

·        The definition includes in its ambit “any equipment” specifically designed for employing chemical weapons.

BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION (BWC) ·        Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), is a disarmament treaty that effectively bans biological and toxin weapons by prohibiting their development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use

·        first multilateral disarmament treaty to ban the production of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction

·        unlimited duration

·        183 states have become party to the treaty

·        India signed and ratified the convention

THE PARTIAL TEST BAN TREATY (PTBT) ·        abbreviated name of the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water

·        which prohibited all test detonations of nuclear weapons except for those conducted underground.

·        abbreviated as the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) and Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (NTBT), though the latter may also refer to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which succeeded the PTBT for ratifying parties.

·        Though the PTBT did not halt proliferation or the arms race, its enactment did coincide with a substantial decline in the concentration of radioactive particles in the atmosphere.

·        Today, more than 120 states are party to the LTBT.

·        India has signed and ratified the treaty

·        China is a non-signatory member

NUCLEAR SUPPLIERS GROUP ·        A multilateral export control regime and a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons

·        NSG was founded in response to the Indian nuclear test in May 1974

·        As of 2020, the NSG has 48 participating governments

·        The current guidelines of NSG state that a non-NPT state cannot become a member of NSG which keeps India out of the group.

·        India is not a member country

·        Note:  Negotiated in 1968, the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) granted non-nuclear-weapon states access to nuclear materials and technology for strictly peaceful purposes.

If India becomes a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group:

  • India can contribute to the non-proliferation objectives
  • It will also play a crucial role in the rulemaking process for nuclear commerce
  • It will be able to expand its nuclear program
  • It will be able to increase its access to nuclear material and equipment for the foreign sources
  • It will reduce the risk faced by the foreign nuclear-industry companies that are doing business with India
  • It can build a more advanced version of its fast breeder reactors.
  • It will be able to supply the advanced nuclear technologies to countries that do not have nuclear programmes, leading to improvement in the economic growth and development through the “Make in India”
  • It can achieve its strategic interests.
MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME ·        a multilateral export control regime / voluntary and non-binding agreements

·        an informal political understanding among 35 member states that seek to limit the proliferation of missiles and missile technology

·         regime was formed in 1987 by the G-7 industrialized countries

·        seeks to limit the risks of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by controlling exports of goods and technologies that could make a contribution to delivery systems (other than manned aircraft) for such weapons

·        not a treaty and does not impose any legally binding obligations on Partners (members)

·        places particular focus on rockets and unmanned aerial vehicles capable of delivering a payload of at least 500 kg (1,100 lb) to a range of at least 300 km (190 miles) and on equipment, software, and technology for such systems.

·        India admitted to MTCR in 2016.

·        China is not a member country

·        The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC), formerly known as “The International Code of Conduct” (ICOC), is meant to supplement the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) but its membership is not restricted.



·        informal forum of countries which, through the harmonisation of export controls, seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons.

·        a multilateral export control regime (MECR) 

·        help member countries to identify those exports which need to be controlled so as not to contribute to the spread of chemical and biological weapons

·        With the incorporation of India on January 19, 2018, it now has 43 members

·        The name comes from Australia’s initiative to create the group. Australia manages the secretariat.

·        Note:  India was inducted to the Wassenaar Arrangement on 7 December, 2017 as the 42nd member.

·        India was inducted into the Missile Technology Control Regime in 2016 as the 35th member.

  • India has admitted as the 43rd member of the Australia Group on January 19, 2018

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