International Organisations: What You Need To Know

International Organisations: What You Need To Know

This basic knowledge can be applied to understand both the advantages and short-comings of International Organisations in today's globalized world.

International Organisations_What you

Today, much of what we experience on a day-to-day basis is the result of the exchange of world-views, ideas, products, and cultures that have been made available to us through the process of globalization. The post-war world has been witness to the rise of diverse International Organisations that produce favourable conditions for the process of globalization. At the heart of these International Organisations is the desire for cooperation and global progress. Today, International Organisations are becoming increasingly dominant tools through which governments and non-state actors work together to create and implement legislation, trade regulations, and provide various forms of aid.

However, insufficiencies in contemporary International Organisations are rampant due to the fact that the conditions in the post-War world where these Organisations were founded were extremely different in comparison to the world within which they are presently functioning. The main difference between these two time periods include different forms of conflict, decolonization, and of course a more globalized world economy. Additionally, many International Organisations, although founded on the premise of good intentions, have become platforms for powerful members to exercise their influence over other, less powerful members to push their own agendas.

In order to understand both the benefits and consequences of International Organisations, it’s necessary to know the basics, the different types of International Organisations, and their functions.

Broadly speaking, the term International Organisations can refer to Intergovernmental Organisations (IGOs) and International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs).

Inter-Governmental Organisations are often characterized by a specific set of members, typically, sovereign states or other international organisations with governmental ties. Many IGOs have a legal personality, with the power to create international law that is usually binding for its members. Some IGOs, like the United Nations, are developed to facilitate conflict resolution between states by serving as an arena for discourse and negotiation; developed to fulfil the mutual interests of a set of States or organisations that have collective aims in the preservation of peace through the use of conflict resolution techniques and better international relations; to promote issues such as human rights and the environment; and to encourage social and economic development. Other examples of IGOs besides the United Nations include the European Union (EU), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

International Non-Governmental Organisations have the same intentions as Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), but pursue their activities internationally. INGOs are public organisations, whose members belong to the international community. INGOs can be advocacy-based, operational, or a mix of both. Advocacy-based INGOs focus on influencing policy-making by pressuring governments to act through the use of campaigns that increase public knowledge about prevailing or overlooked issues in society. Amnesty International is one example of an advocacy-based INGO. Adversely, some INGOs are operational, meaning that they place more importance on facilitating aid than on advocacy. Perhaps the main purpose of operational INGOs is to provide services that a state neglects to provide for its people out of inability or unwillingness. INGOs focus on providing relief and developmental aid to those in need of their services, as well as instituting health, education, and social services.

Multi-National Corporations (MNCs), also known as transnational corporations or stateless corporations, have begun to be included under the umbrella term of International Organisations. This is due to the fact that multi-national corporations produce, own, and sell goods in multiple countries – a process that involves coordinated global management. Although MNCs have the ability to create jobs and wealth and improve technology and infrastructure in countries that are in need of such socio-economic development, they can have undue political influence over governments, the ability to exploit jobs to developing nations, and in turn create job losses in their home country.

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