Text 1: International Organisations

An international organisation is an organisation with an international membership, scope or presence. International organisations are classified into two main categories:

· Non-governmental organisations (NGOs). These may be:

- international non-profit organisations, for example: the World Wide Fund for Nature, the International Committee of the Red Cross, MBAs without borders, the World Youth Alliance;

- international corporations, referred to as multinational corporations, for example: The Coca-Cola Company, Toyota, Microsoft, Adidas, Siemens.

11. Intergovernmental organisations (IGOs). These are organisations that are made up primarily of sovereign states (or member states). Examples include: the European Union (EU), the World Trade Organisation, NATO, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Interpol, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Group of Eight (G-8).

The formation of international organisation was a 20-th century phenomenon. Nowadays there are more than 2,500 international organisations. Among them there are more than 130 intergovernmental unions. The United Nations Organisation is the most notable. Other important organisations are the European Economic Community, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Interpol, Greenpeace and UNESCO. The creation of international organisation on a world-wide scale in the 20-th century was the result of the progress in the technology of communication, transportation, warfare, and the spread of industrialization. These processes gave rise to a sense of independence among the nations of the world, and made people recognise the importance of international cooperation to avoid danger, solve problems, and use the opportunities which face the society of nations on a world-wide scale. Some organisations are concerned only with single and relatively narrow problems while others such as the UN and UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), deal with a great variety of matters.

Let’s take, for example, the United Nations. It’s an organisation to which nearly all the countries of the world belong. Its headquarters are situated in New York. Its central aim is to maintain peace and security in the world and to develop friendly relations among nations.

Greenpeace is an international organisation, which deals with ecological and environmental problems. It was formed in 1971. Now it is a powerful organisation, which works all over the world. There are many serious actions in the list of Greenpeace activities. The national offices exist in 27 countries of the world. In Russia Greenpeace was formed in 1992. It works here in three directions: Wood Campaign, Anti-nuclear Campaign and Campaign for preservation of Lake Baikal. Greenpeace tries to attract public attention to different problems in the world and to find the way out. It is financed by personal voluntarily donations of its supporters.

The results of activity of international organisations are significant. The UN General Assembly passed a number of resolutions and declarations. They are the Nuremberg Principles dealing with crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the right of people and nations to self-determination; denuclearization, and non-intervention. The most important of them is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This general agreement, which stresses that all human beings are titled to some basic liberties, marked the birth of the international and universal recognition of human rights.

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Questions for discussion:

1. Could you give the definition of an international organisation?

2. What types of international organisations do you know?

3. How many international organisations are there nowadays?

4. Why did people create international organisations?

5. What are the most important international organisations that you know?

6. Could you name the most famous ecological and political international organisations?

7. Can you dwell on one of the international organisations?

8. When was Greenpeace created?

9. What problems does Greenpeace deal with?

10. What are the results of activity of international organisations?