Important International Organisations-Part 6

AFRICAN UNION ·        continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent.

·        successor to the Organisation of African Unity

·        objectives of the OAU were to rid the continent of the remaining vestiges of colonisation and apartheid.

·        Headquarters – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

·        Members have signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) for goods and services at the 12th AU Summit

GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL (GCC) ·        regional political and economic alliance of six Gulf States

·        achieve ever closer union between the energy rich Gulf countries

·        Members: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates ( all Arab states of the Persian Gulf except for Iraq)

·        The Peninsula Shield Force is the military arm of the GCC

·        Headquarter – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

·        Solidarity and Stability Agreement

·        41st GCC Summit- Al Ula Declaration

ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC COOPERATION (OIC) ·        second largest organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents.

·        collective voice of the Muslim world.

·        permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union

·        administrative centre is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

·        India is not a member

ARAB LEAGUE ·        A regional organization in the Arab world, which is located in Africa and Western Asia

·        Currently, the League has 22 members, but Syria’s participation has been suspended since November 2011.

·        Political organization which tries to help integrate its members economically, and solve conflicts involving member states without asking for foreign assistance.

·        Each member state has one vote in the League Council, and decisions are binding only for those states that have voted for them.

ARCTIC COUNCIL ·        high-level intergovernmental forum that addresses issues faced by the Arctic governments and the indigenous people of the Arctic.

·        eight countries with sovereignty over the lands within the Arctic Circle constitute Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States.

·        Ottawa Declaration lists the following countries as Members of the Arctic Council – Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States.

·        The Chairmanship of the Arctic Council rotates every two years among the Arctic States.

·        The Arctic Council is a forum; it has no programming budget. All projects or initiatives are sponsored by one or more Arctic States. Some projects also receive support from other entities.

·        The Arctic Council does not and cannot implement or enforce its guidelines, assessments or recommendations. That responsibility belongs to individual Arctic States or international bodies.

·        The Arctic Council’s mandate, as articulated in the Ottawa Declaration, explicitly excludes military security.

·        The Council is not a treaty-based international legal entity. It is much more informal grouping.

·        The Arctic Council does not prohibit the commercial exploitation of resources in the Arctic. It only seeks to ensure that it is done in a sustainable manner without harming the interests of local populations and in conformity with the local environment.

·        Observers – China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and UK. Observers have no voting rights in the Council.

·        India is not a member of the Council. However, In 2019, India has been re-elected as an Observer to the Council.

·        India launched its first scientific expedition to the Arctic Ocean in 2007 and opened a research base named “Himadri” at the International Arctic Research Base at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, Norway in July 2008 for carrying out studies in disciplines like Glaciology, Atmospheric sciences & Biological sciences.

ORGANIZATION OF THE PETROLEUM EXPORTING COUNTRIES (OPEC) ·        an intergovernmental organization of 13 countries

·        Founded on 14 September 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela)

·        headquartered in Vienna, Austria, although Austria is not an OPEC member state

·        13 member countries accounted for an estimated 44 percent of global oil production and 81.5 percent of the world’s “proven” oil reserves

·        The current OPEC members are the following: Algeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia (the de facto leader), the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

·        Former OPEC members are Ecuador, Indonesia and Qatar

  • The non-OPEC countries which export crude oil are termed as OPEC plus countries.

·        OPEC+

·        A group of 24 oil-producing nations, made up of the 14 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and 10 other non-OPEC members, including Russia.

·        The OPEC bloc is nominally led by Saudi Arabia, the group’s largest oil producer, while Russia is the biggest player among the non-OPEC countries.


ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (OECD) ·        An intergovernmental economic organisation with 37 member countries (India is not a member country)

·        comprised 62.2% of global nominal GDP (US$49.6 trillion) and 42.8% of global GDP (Int$54.2 trillion) at purchasing power parity in 2017

·        Forum of countries describing themselves as committed to democracy and the market economy, providing a platform to compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practices and coordinate domestic and international policies of its members

·        Does not have the power to enforce its decisions, which further require a unanimous vote from its members

·        Maintains a “blacklist” of nations that are considered uncooperative tax havens

  • Multilateral Instrument (MLI) is an agreement put out by OECD to prevent base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).

·        India recently became the signatory of the Multilateral Instrument (MLI).

·        Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) refers to tax planning strategies used by multinational companies to exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules.

·        India has been designated the ‘Vice-Chair’ of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) Working Group of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), recognising the contribution of the Indian GLP programme.

·        Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) is a quality system, which has been evolved by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to ensure that safety data generated on various chemicals like industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals (Human and Veterinary), agrochemicals, cosmetic products, food/ feed additives, and medical devices, etc., can be relied upon by regulatory authorities.

·        On March 3, 2011, India became full adherent to the Mutual Acceptance of Data (MAD) in the OECD, which was a historical event. The MAD status has given global recognition to India’s non-clinical safety data by tremendously augmenting its credibility and acceptability across the globe. This has not only boosted the confidence of Indian GLP TFs but also led to removal of technical barriers to trade. The dedicated training of the inspectors and continued capacity building of Indian TFs in emerging areas by the ground team of NGCMA has resulted in upgrading Indian TFs to meet international standards.

·        Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

·        The PISA is a study done to produce comparable data on education policy and outcomes across countries

·        Global standardised test to assess reading, mathematics, and science literacy of students aged 15 years — an age when they are usually near the end of their school years.

·        The PISA test is held every three years

·        On January 28, 2019, India and the OECD formally agreed on India’s participation in PISA 2021.

·        India has participated in the PISA test only once before, in 2009 where students from Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu sat for the test, India ranked 72nd out of 73 countries, outranking only Kyrgistan.

·        India will be represented in PISA 2021 by the Union Territory of Chandigarh and by the Central Government run school systems of Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodya Vidyalayas. 

NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT (NAM) ·        Forum of 120 developing world states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.

·        After the United Nations, it is the largest grouping of states worldwide

·        Drawing on the principles agreed at the Bandung Conference in 1955, the Non-Aligned Movement was established in 1961 in Belgrade, SR Serbia, Yugoslavia

·        The purpose of the organization in his Havana Declaration of 1979 as to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries” in their “struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics

·        There is no permanent guest status

SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION (SCO) ·        Permanent intergovernmental international organisation

·        A Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance

·        Largest regional organisation in the world in terms of geographical coverage and population, covering three-fifths of the Eurasian continent and nearly half of the human population.

·        Account for approximately half of the world’s population, a quarter of the world’s GDP, and about 80% of Eurasia’s landmass

·        Founding Members China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan

·        India and Pakistan joined SCO as full members on 9 June 2017 at a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.

·        Capacity to counterbalance North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), therefore, it is sometimes considered as “alliance of the East”, i.e, the Eastern complementary of NATO

·        Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

·        The official working languages of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation are Chinese and Russian.

  • It is the world’s largest regional organization, covering approximately 60% of the area of Eurasia, 40% of the world population, and more than 30% of global GDP.
  • The SCO is governed by the Heads of State Council (HSC), its supreme decision-making body, which meets once a year.
  • Military exercises are also regularly conducted among members to promote cooperation and coordination against terrorism and other external threats, and to maintain regional peace and stability.

·        The SCO is widely regarded as the “alliance of the East”, due to its growing centrality in Asia-Pacific, and has been the primary security pillar of the region.

·        Iran and Belarus are likely to be the two newest additions to the China and Russia-backed Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) grouping.

·        The city of Varanasi, showcasing India’s culture and traditions over the ages, will be declared the first “Cultural and Tourism Capital” of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. The Beijing-headquartered Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an eight-member economic and security alliance comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. Under this initiative, each year, a city of cultural heritage of a member country, that will take over the rotating Presidency of the organisation, will get the title to highlight its prominence.

BRICS ·        Acronym coined to associate five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa

·        Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC” (or “the BRICs”) before the induction of South Africa in 2010

·        26.656% of the world land surface and 41.53% of the world population. Four out of five members are among the world’s ten largest countries by population and by area, except for South Africa, the twenty-fourth in both & nearly 30% of global GDP.

·        Does not exist in form of organization, but it is an annual summit between the supreme leaders of five nations.

  • At the Fortaleza Summit (2014), in Brazil, important institutions were created: New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA).

·        Partnership on New Industrial Revolution

·        34% of India’s total imports are from the other four BRICS nations

·        9% of India’s export were to the BRICS nation

ASSOCIATION FOR SOUTH EAST ASIAN NATIONS (ASEAN) ·        regional intergovernmental organization comprising ten countries in Southeast Asia

·        ASEAN Secretariat is located at Jakarta, Indonesia

·        motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.

·        ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding fathers

·        Founding Fathers of ASEAN are: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

·        Chairmanship of ASEAN rotates annually, based on the alphabetical order of the English names of Member States.

·        It constitutes 3rd largest population in the world, of which more than half is below thirty years of age.

·        3rd largest market in the world – larger than EU and North American markets.

·        6th largest economy in the world, 3rd in Asia.

·        Free-trade agreements (FTAs) with China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

·        Fourth most popular investment destination globally.

·        Home to more than 600 million people, the region has a larger population than the European Union or North America.

·        It also has the third-largest Labour force in the world, behind China and India.

·        ASEAN is the world’s third largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI).

·        Members: TV CLIP of MBBS

·        T= Thailand V= Vietnam C= Cambodia L=Laos I=Indonesia P=Philippines M= Malaysia B- Burma (Myanmar) B=Brunei S= Singapore

·        India is not a member

Principle of ASEAN-X

·        This means that if all member states are in agreement, a formula for flexible participation may be used so that the members who are ready may go ahead while members who need more time for implementation may apply a flexible timeline.

·        ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF):

·        Launched in 1993, the twenty-seven-member multilateral grouping was developed to facilitate cooperation on political and security issues to contribute to regional confidence-building and preventive diplomacy.

·        ASEAN Plus Three:

·        The consultative group initiated in 1997 brings together ASEAN’s ten members, China, Japan, and South Korea.

·        East Asia Summit (EAS):

·        First held in 2005, the summit seeks to promote security and prosperity in the region and is usually attended by the heads of state from ASEAN, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. ASEAN plays a central role as the agenda-setter.

·        East Asia Summit is regional grouping of 18 participating countries –10 ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the US. India is a founding member of the EAS.

·        The 18 members of the EAS together represent 54% of the world population and account for 58% of the global GDP.

·        India and ASEAN ties the Ministry of Education launched the ASEAN-INDIA Hackathon to solve their common identified challenges under two broad themes of “Blue Economy” and “Education” and thereby provide an opportunity to forward their economic and cultural ties through collaboration in education, science and technology.

SOUTH ASIAN ASSOCIATION FOR REGIONAL COOPERATION (SAARC) ·        regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of states in South Asia.

·        founded in Dhaka on 8 December 1985

·        secretariat is based in Kathmandu, Nepal

·        organization promotes development of economic and regional integration.

·        maintains permanent diplomatic relations at the United Nations as an observer and has developed links with multilateral entities, including the European Union

·        Members: MBBS PAIN

·        Maldives, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Srilanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Nepal

·        SAARC Development Fund (SDF) consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Finance of the Member States.

·        South Asian University (SAU) is an international university, located in India.

·        South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO) has its Secretariat at Dhaka, Bangladesh.

·        SAARC Arbitration Council is an inter-governmental body having its office in Pakistan.

·        The SAARC Secretariat is supported by Regional Centres established in the Member States to promote regional co-operation.

·        SAARC comprises 3% of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 3.8% (US$2.9 trillion) of the global economy.

·        It is the world’s most densely populated region and one of the most fertile areas.

·        SAARC countries have common tradition, dress, food and culture and political aspects thereby synergizing their actions.

·        All the SAARC countries have common problems and issues like poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, natural disasters, internal conflicts, industrial and technological backwardness, low GDP and poor socio-economic condition and uplift their living standards.

·        The member countries have established a Free Trade Area (FTA).

·        South Asia Preferential Trading Agreement came into effect in 1995.

·        SAARC University in India, a food bank and also an energy reserve in Pakistan.

·        SAARC Agreement on Trade in Services (SATIS) following the GATS-plus ‘positive list’ approach for trade in services liberalization.

·        India Constitutes 70 % or more of SAARC area and population.

·        India encompasses more than 75 percent of the region’s GDP.

BAY OF BENGAL INITIATIVE FOR MULTI-SECTORAL TECHNICAL AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION (BIMSTEC) ·        international organisation of seven nations of South Asia and Southeast Asia

·        On 1997, a new sub-regional grouping was formed in Bangkok under the name BIST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand Economic Cooperation).

·        Its members lie in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.

·        BIMSTEC not only connects South and Southeast Asia, but also the ecologies of the Great Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal.

·        It mainly aims to create an enabling environment for rapid economic development; accelerate social progress; and promote collaboration on matters of common interest in the region.

·        This sub-regional organization came into being in 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.

·        Initially, it was formed with four Member States with the acronym ‘BIST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Sri-Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation).

·        It became renamed ‘BIMST-EC’ in 1997, following the inclusion of Myanmar.

·        With the admission of Nepal and Bhutan in 2004, the name of the grouping was changed to ‘Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation’ (BIMSTEC).

·        Members-MBBS NIT

·        Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, SriLanka, Nepal, India, Thailand

·        Platform for intra-regional cooperation between SAARC and ASEAN members.

·        Home to around 1.5 billion people that constitute around 22% of the global population.

·        With a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.7 trillion economy, BIMSTEC Member States have been able to sustain an average 6.5% economic growth trajectory in the last five years.

·        The Bay of Bengal is the route for about 25% of global trade.

·        Important Connectivity Projects:

·        Kaladan Multimodal Project – links India and Myanmar.

·        Asian Trilateral Highway – connecting India and Thailand through Myanmar.

·        Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement – for seamless flow of passenger and cargo traffic.

·        Allows India to pursue three core policies:

·        Neighborhood First – primacy to the country’s immediate periphery;

·        Act East – connect India with Southeast Asia; and

·        Economic development of India’s northeastern states – by linking them to the Bay of Bengal region via Bangladesh and Myanmar.

BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA, INDIA, CHINA (BASIC) ·        bloc of four large newly industrialized countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China

·        committed to act jointly at the Copenhagen climate summit, including a possible united walk-out if their common minimum position was not met by the developed nations

  • Brazil, South Africa, India and China put together has one-third of the world’s geographical area and nearly 40% of the world’s population.
  • One of several groups of nations working together to fight climate change and carry out negotiations within the UNFCCC.
  • These nations have a broadly common position on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and raising the massive funds that are needed to fight climate change.
  • The Accord is however not legally binding.
BANGLADESH, BHUTAN, INDIA, AND NEPAL INITIATIVE (BBIN) ·        a subregional architecture of countries in Eastern South Asia, a subregion of South Asia

·        meets through official representation of member states to formulate, implement and review quadrilateral agreements across areas such as water resources management, connectivity of power, transport, and infrastructure

·        BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement was signed by Transport Ministers of the BBIN in 2015

BANGLADESH CHINA INDIA MYANMAR (BCIM) ·        Proposed corridor connecting India and China through Myanmar and Bangladesh as a corridor.

·        China proposed including the corridor as part of its vision for the Belt and Road Initiative

·        The proposed corridor will cover 1.65 million square kilometres, encompassing an estimated 440 million people in China’s Yunnan province, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and West Bengal in Eastern India through the combination of road, rail, water and air linkages in the region

QUADRILATERAL STRATEGIC DIALOGUE (QUAD) ·        informal strategic dialogue between India, Australia, Japan and the U.S

·        The dialogue was paralleled by joint military exercises of an unprecedented scale, titled Exercise Malabar

·        Set up to counter the growing might of China economically and militarily

·        Quad members described “a shared vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific and a “rules-based maritime order in the East and South China Seas,” which Quad members state are needed to counter Chinese maritime claims.

·        It is often dubbed as an “Asian” or “mini” NATO, and is viewed as a counterbalance to China’s military and economic clout in the Indo-Pacific region.

·        Now known as the quadrilateral framework to indicate it has gone beyond a narrow security dialogue.

·        In 2020, all four QUAD Countries – Japan, India, Australia and the USA took part in the Malabar exercise.

SOUTH ASIA COOPERATIVE ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM (SACEP) ·        Inter-governmental organization, established in 1982 by the governments of South Asia.

·        Promote and support protection, management and enhancement of the environment in the region

  • The Colombo Declaration and the Articles of Association of SACEP constitute the legal base for SACEP.

·        Acts as the Secretariat for the South Asian Seas Programme, which comes under the purview of UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme.

·        Member Nations:

  • Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

·        The South Asia Coral Reef Task Force (SACRTF) was establishment to promote transboundary cooperation and coordinated responses to coastal management challenges

  • The Male Declaration on control and prevention of air pollution and its likely trans boundary effects for South Asia is another significant effort which encourages intergovernmental cooperation to combat the trans boundary air pollution problem
  • Established in 2001, the SASEC program is a project-based partnership to promote regional prosperity by improving cross-border connectivity, boosting trade among member countries and strengthening regional economic cooperation.
  • The seven-member SASEC comprises India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
  • ADB is the secretariat and lead financier of the SASEC program, which has supported around 50 projects in transport, trade facilitation, energy and information and communications technology (ICT).
  • Bringing regional cooperation to a higher level, the SASEC OP plans to extend physical linkages not only within SASEC but also with East and Southeast Asia by the next decade.
  • The Manila, Philippines-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) serves as the Secretariat for the SASEC member countries.

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