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					      Lebanese University
Faculty of Law and Political sciences

            International & Regional

                  Dr Khalil Hussein
              Professor at Lebanese University
                      Faculty of Law

                        Chapter one
                     International Law

      International Law, principles and rules of conduct that
nations regard as binding upon them and, therefore, are expected
to and usually do observe in their relations with one another.
International law is the law of the international community.

Ancient history
      The need for some principles and rules of conduct between
independent states arises whenever such states enter into mutual
relations. Rules governing the treatment of foreign traders,
travelers, and ambassadors, as well as the conclusion and
observance of treaties, developed early in human history. The
oldest known treaty, preserved in an inscription on a stone
monument, is a peace treaty between two Sumerian city-states,
dating from about 3100 bc. A considerable number of treaties
concluded by the empires of the ancient Middle East during the
2nd millennium bc show rudimentary notions of international
law. In later antiquity the Jews, Greeks, and Romans developed
tenets of international law. Jewish law as set forth in the Book
of Deuteronomy contains prescriptions for the mitigation of
warfare, notably prohibitions against the killing of women and
children. The Greek city-states created an elaborate treaty
system governing a multitude of aspects of the relations among
themselves. The conduct of the Olympic Games and the
protection of religious sanctuaries, such as the Temple of
Delphi, were among the subjects of some of these inter-Greek
     Even more than other ancient people, the Romans made
significant contributions to the evolution of international law.
They developed the idea of a jus gentium, a body of laws
designed to govern the treatment of aliens subject to Roman rule
and the relations between Roman citizens and aliens. They were
the first people to recognize in principle the duty of a nation to
refrain from engaging in warfare without a just cause and to
originate the idea of a just war.

The modern system
      Modern international law emerged as the result of the
acceptance of the idea of the sovereign state, and was stimulated
by the interest in Roman law in the 16th century. Building
largely on the work of previous legal writers, especially Spanish
precursors, the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius, sometimes called the
father of modern international law, published his celebrated
treatise De Jure Belli ac Pacis (On the Laws of War and Peace)
in 1625. (Prior to that time he had published his pioneering tract
on freedom of the sea, Mare Liberum,1609.) Grotius based his
system on the law of nature and propounded the view that the
already existing customs governing the relation between nations
had the force of law and were binding unless contrary to natural
justice. His influence on the conduct of international affairs and
the settlement of wars was great. His ideas became the
cornerstone of the international system as established by the
Peace Treaties of Westphalia (1648), which ended the Thirty
Years' War.
      Other scholars and statesmen further developed the basic
rules of international law, among them the Dutch jurist Cornelis
van Bynkershoek and the Swiss diplomat Emmerich de Vattel
whose Le droit des gens (1758; Law of Nations) exercised great
influence on the framers of the U.S. Constitution. By the end of
the second half of the 19th century the literature on the subject
had reached vast proportions. The Institute of International Law,
a private organization for the study of international law
composed of outstanding scholars from various countries, was
established in 1873. One of its founders was the American
David D. Field, who in the same year had authored Outlines of
an International Code.

     International law stems from three main sources: treaties
and international conventions, customs and customary usage,
and the generally accepted principles of law and equity. Judicial
decisions rendered by international tribunals and domestic
courts are important elements of the law-making process of the
international community. United Nations resolutions now may
also have a great impact on the growth of the so-called
customary international law that is synonymous with general
principles of international law.

      The present system of international law is based on the
sovereign state concept. It is within the discretion of each state,
therefore, to participate in the negotiation of, or to sign or ratify,
any international treaty. Likewise, each member state of an
international agency such as the UN is free to ratify any
convention adopted by that agency.

      Treaties and conventions were, at first, restricted in their
effects to those countries that ratified them. They are particular,
not general, international law; yet regulations and procedures
contained in treaties and conventions have often developed into
general customary usage, that is, have come to be considered
binding even on those states that did not sign and ratify them.
Customs and customary usages otherwise become part of
international law because of continued acceptance by the great
majority of nations, even if they are not embodied in a written
treaty instrument. ―Generally accepted principles of law and
justice‖ fall into the same category and are, in fact, often
difficult to distinguish from customs.

     Since the beginning of the 19th century, international
conferences have played an important part in the development
of the international system and the law. Noteworthy in that
respect was the Congress of Vienna which, through its Final Act
of 1815, reorganized Europe after the defeat of Napoleon and
also contributed to the body of international law. For example, it
established rules for diplomatic procedure and the treatment of
diplomatic envoys. On the urging of Britain, it included a
general condemnation of the slave trade. Another important step
in the development of international law was the Conference of
Paris (1856), which was convened to terminate the Crimean War
but at the same time adopted the Declaration of Maritime Law
that abolished privateering and letters of marque, modernized
the rights of neutrals during maritime war, and required
blockades to be effective. The Declaration of Paris also initiated
the practice of providing for the subsequent accession by nations
other than the original signatories. In 1864 a conference
convened in Geneva at the invitation of the Swiss Federal
Council approved a convention for the protection of wounded
soldiers in a land war; many nations subsequently acceded to
this convention.

     The avoidance or mitigation of the rigors of war continued
to be the subject of other multilateral treaties. The peace
conferences held in 1899 and 1907 in The Hague, the
Netherlands, resulted in a number of conventions of that type.
The 1899 conference adopted a Convention for the Pacific
Settlement of International Disputes, which created the
Permanent Court of Arbitration. Although it was not a veritable
court with a fixed bench of judges, it served as an important
instrument of arbitration.

      At the end of World War I the League of Nations was
established by the covenant signed in 1919 as part of the Treaty
of Versailles. Pursuant to provisions in this covenant, the
Permanent Court of International Justice was established in
1921. The League of Nations was created as a permanent
organization of independent states for the purpose of
maintaining peace and preventing war. During its existence 63
countries were members of the League at one time or another.
The USSR joined in 1934, but Germany and Japan withdrew in
1933. The U.S. never became a member of the organization,
which was powerless to forestall World War II. Equally
unsuccessful in preventing hostilities was the Pact of Paris for
the Renunciation of War (1928)—the so-called Kellogg-Briand
Pact—although it was ratified by more than 60 nations,
including Germany and Japan. After the termination of World
War II in 1945 the UN Charter created a new organization with
an elaborate machinery for solving disputes among nations and
for the further development of international law.

     Normally, every nation is expected to obey international
law. Some nations, for example the United Kingdom, have
incorporated into their municipal law the provision that
international law shall be made part of the law of the land. The
U.S. Constitution empowers Congress ―to define and punish ...
Offences against the Law of Nations.‖(Article I, Section 8). In
cases involving international law, American courts tend to
interpret American law in conformity with international law;
such an attitude has consistently been urged by the U.S.
Supreme Court.

     If each nation were free to declare unilaterally that it is no
longer bound by international law, the result would be anarchy.
A test was provided in the conduct of Germany under Nazi rule.
The Nürnberg tribunals held that the German government
regulations that ordered, for example, the killing of prisoners of
war in contravention of the generally valid rules of warfare were
null and void and that the persons responsible for issuing and
executing such orders were criminally responsible for violations
of international law.

Impact of the UN on international law
     The UN began its life with a membership of 50 nations. In
the 1990s, because of the growth of newly independent nations,.
The aims and purposes of the organization encompass the
maintenance of peace and security and the suppression of acts of
aggression. The Charter also expressly includes among its
objectives the maintenance of respect for the obligations arising
from treaties and other sources of international law. For that
reason the Charter established the International Court of Justice
as one of the most important UN organs and specifically
charged the General Assembly with the progressive
development and codification of international law. To carry out
this task, the General Assembly has created two subsidiary
organs: the International Law Commission and the Commission
on International Trade Law. The International Law
Commission, on assignment by the General Assembly, has
prepared drafts of treaties codifying and modernizing a number
of important subjects of international law, such as various
aspects of the law of the sea (1958), diplomatic relations,
consular relations, law of treaties between nations, succession of
states in respect to treaties, law of treaties between nations and
international organizations, and immunity of states from the
jurisdiction of other states. Upon acceptance by the General
Assembly, these drafts are submitted to international
conferences convoked by the UN for the negotiation of the
respective conventions.

     In some instances, the UN has convoked conferences to
negotiate treaties without prior proposal by the International
Law Commission. The most important example was the third
UN Conference on the Law of the Sea which terminated its
work in 1982 with the draft of a convention for a comprehensive
regime governing all aspects of the peaceful use of the oceans.
Another example is the text of the convention governing the
activities of nations on the moon and other celestial bodies,
which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1979 and went
into effect in 1984.

      Since the UN Charter bans the use of force against the
territorial integrity or political independence of any state, the
UN has refrained from addressing aspects of the law of war and
neutrality. Nevertheless, the fourth Geneva conventions, in
1949, formulated improved agreements—the so-called Red
Cross Conventions—relative to the amelioration of the
condition of wounded and sick members of the armed forces in
the field and at sea, the treatment of prisoners of war, and the
protection of civilian persons in wartime, thereby instilling new
life into the humanitarian principles of international law.
      International law regulates intercourse among nations in
peacetime and provides methods for the settlement of disputes
by means other than war. Apart from procedures made available
by the UN, these methods include direct negotiation between
disputants under the established rules of diplomacy, the
rendering of good offices by a disinterested third party, and
recourse to the International Court of Justice. Other peacetime
aspects of international law involve the treatment of foreigners
and of foreign investments; the acquisition and loss of
citizenship; and status of stateless persons; the extradition of
fugitives; and the privileges and duties of diplomatic personnel.

Human rights
      Since World War II international law has become
increasingly concerned with the protection of human rights. It
has provided improved procedures for that purpose within the
UN. This new emphasis has also been manifested in the
adoption by the UN of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and the conclusion of the Convention on the Prevention
and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948, the signing
of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination in 1966, and the adoption in 1975 of
the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being
Subjected to Torture or Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment. These measures have been
supplemented by regional conventions, such as the European
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms (1950) and the American Convention on
Human Rights (1969). In 1945 an international convention for
the prosecution of the major war criminals of the European Axis
powers provided for the punishment of crimes against humanity
and established a special International Military Tribunal for that
purpose. See War Crimes Trials
      New threats constantly call for new international responses.
Examples are the conventions against acts of terrorism and the
distribution of drugs. Despite the modern multiplication of
global and regional multilateral treaties, however, customary
international law still maintains a central role in the legal system
of the international community.
             The International Organization

    International Organization, membership group that operates
across national borders for specific purposes. Scholars of
international relations consider international organizations to
have growing importance in world politics. Examples of
international organizations include the United Nations (UN), the
World Bank ,the International Committee of the Red Cross, and
     Most international organizations operate as part of one or
more international regimes. An international regime is a set of
rules, standards, and procedures that govern national behavior in
a particular area. Examples of international regimes include
international arms control, foreign trade, and Antarctic
exploration. International organizations are often central to the
functioning of an international regime, giving structure and
procedures to the ―rules of the game‖ by which nations must
play. For example, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the
European Union (EU) are key organizations that define the
international trade regime.
       International organizations fall into two main categories:
intergovernmental       organizations     and   nongovernmental
organizations. Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) have
national governments as members. Hundreds of IGOs operate in
all parts of the world. Member nations have created each of
these organizations to serve a purpose that those nations find
useful. Membership can range from as few as two member
nations to virtually all nations. The UN and its various agencies
are IGOs. So are most of the world‘s economic coordinating
institutions, such as the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF). The Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) seeks to coordinate the production
and pricing policies of its 12 member states. The International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) seeks to regulate the flow of
nuclear technology to developing nations. The WTO helps
negotiate and monitor agreements among 128 nations to lower
trade barriers. Military alliances, such as the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Southeast Asia Treaty
Organization (SEATO), and political groupings, such as the
Arab League, and the Organization of African Unity are also
IGOs. In general, regional IGOs have experienced more success
than global ones, and those with specific purposes have worked
better than those with broad aims.

     Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are private
organizations whose memberships and activities are
international in scope. NGOs do not possess the legal status of
national governments. However, the UN and other international
forums recognize many NGOs as important political institutions.
Examples of NGOs include the Roman Catholic Church,
Greenpeace, the International Olympic Committee, and the
International Committee of the Red Cross. Although
multinational corporations (MNCs) share many characteristics
of NGOs, they are not international organizations because they
do not coordinate the actions of members for mutual gain.

Historical development of international organization
      Historically, international organizations and regimes have
reflected the interests of the world‘s most powerful nations, or
great powers. Many international organizations and regimes
were established during times of global hegemony—that is,
when one nation has predominated in international power. These
periods have often followed a major war among the great
powers. Today‘s international organizations—such as the UN,
the Organization of American States (OAS), and the World
Bank—were created after World War II ended in 1945, when
the United States was powerful enough to create rules and
institutions that other countries would follow.
      Although rooted in power, international organizations and
regimes generally serve the interests of most participating
nations and usually endure even when hegemony wanes. Most
countries share mutual interests, yet find it hard to coordinate
their actions for mutual benefit because of the lack of a central
authority. Nations also face the temptation to bend the rules in
their own favor. For example, it is in everyone‘s interest to halt
production of chemicals that damage the earth‘s ozone layer.
However, a country can save money by continuing to use those
chemicals. The coordination of efforts to write new rules and
monitor them requires an international organization. For
example, the United Nations Environment Program helped
countries negotiate a treaty to stop producing ozone-destroying
chemicals. Thus, nations find it useful to give international
organizations some power to enforce rules. Most countries
follow the rules most of the time.
     In the 18th century, German philosopher Immanuel Kant
and French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau broadly outlined
the concept of a global federation of countries resembling
today‘s UN. Nations joined the first IGOs in the 19th century.
These were practical organizations through which nations
managed specific issues, such as international mail service and
control of traffic on European rivers. Such organizations
proliferated in the 20th century to cover a wide variety of
specific issues. At the same time, the scope of international
organizations expanded, culminating with the creation of the
League of Nations in 1920.
     The development of European regional organizations after
World War II ended in 1945 mirrored the growth of IGOs
historically, in that narrowly focused organizations preceded
broader and more encompassing international institutions. The
European Coal and Steel Community, predecessor of the
European Union, coordinated coal and steel production. In the
1990s, the European Commission, executive agency of the
European Union, enforces regulations concerning labor, the
environment, and a host of other issues that affect the daily lives
of virtually every citizen in Europe.
     NGOs similarly developed from the need to coordinate
specific, narrowly defined activities across national borders.
Beginning in the 19th century, churches and professional and
scientific occupational groups formed the first NGOs. Some
political parties—notably Communist Parties in the early 20th
century—organized internationally and began to function as
NGOs. In the 20th century, specialized NGOs also sprang up in
such areas as sports, business, tourism, and communication.

     Between 1945 and 1995, the number of IOs increased
fivefold, reaching about 500 IGOs and 5000 NGOs. On average,
a new NGO is created somewhere in the world every few days.
This trend reflects the growing importance of international
coordination for both governmental and private institutions in an
interdependent world.

International organizationik the post-cold war era
       One sign of the important role of international
organizations is how they have endured as international power
relations shift. In 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved and the Cold
War between the Soviet Union and the United States ended. At
this time, one might have expected the NATO military alliance
to Russia and other formerly Communist countries in Eastern
Europe ceased to pose a threat to the capitalist democracies of
Western Europe. One might have expected NATO, which
defended Western European nations, to go out of business, but it
did not. Similarly, the creation of the WTO did not cause
smaller free-trade associations such as NAFTA to end. Instead,
the mosaic of IOs continues to expand, particularly as new
communications and information-processing technologies make
international groups more practical and effective.

     The interdependence of nations in the modern world means
that no single nation can dictate the outcome of international
conflicts. Nor can private groups and individuals rely on
national governments to solve major world problems. Therefore,
both governments and individuals will continue to turn to IOs as
an important way to address these problems and to protect their
own interests.
                International Regional
                Security Organizations

     A dominant feature of post-World War II international
relations has been the increase in number and activities of
groupings of states that share common values or common
historical and cultural experiences and come together for the
purpose of improving their economic and social well-being or
enhancing their national security. Although membership may
not be confined to contiguous states, the fact that each
organization focuses on a particular geographic area suggests
why these groupings are designated "regional" (in contrast to
"global" organizations of which the United Nations is the
principal contemporary example).

     Only those international regional organizations through
which states seek security concern us here. Compelled by the
contemporary scientific and technological revolution to
acknowledge interdependence, states on every continent
endeavor collectively to deter hostile threats to national
existence and prepare collectively to respond to hostile acts
should they occur. Most of the world is now included in a
network of security arrangements, the names of which usually
indicate the regions of principal concern: the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO), Western European Union (WEU),
the Warsaw Pact arrangement in Eastern Europe, the
Organization of American States (OAS), the Southeast Asia
Treaty Organization (SEATO), the Arab League, the Central
Treaty Organization (CENTO), whose name suggests the fact of
some overlap in membership with NATO on the north and
SEATO on the southeast. Youngest is the Organization of
African Unity (OAU), numbering 32 members, whose charter
was signed on May 25, 1963.

Establishment, Membership, Headquarters.
     Oldest of the regional security organizations is the Arab
League, established by a pact initialed on Mar. 22, 1945, by six
states (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria).
Subsequent adherents (Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia,
Kuwait, Algeria) have extended the area of league activities into
North Africa and in the Arabian Peninsula. Headquarters remain
in Cairo. Failure to prevent establishment of Israel in 1946
indicated need for more effective coordination of Arab military
efforts and resulted in signature on June 17, 1950, of a Joint
Defense and Economic Cooperation Treaty, the only developed
collective defense arrangement in which no major power
participates. This will also be true of OAU defense activities
now in the planning stage at Addis Ababa headquarters.

     The United States and United Kingdom have, however,
become involved in the security of an area bordering on the
Arab states, not only through cooperation with Turkey in NATO
and with Pakistan in SEATO, but also through CENTO, which
involves these four states and Iran. The former Baghdad Pact
organization, this group changed its name and headquarters
(now in Ankara) when, after the 1958 revolution, Iraq withdrew
on Mar. 24, 1959, from the founding agreement, concluded on
Feb. 14, 1955. The United States participates as an observer, not
a member, although its support is substantial in terms of military
and economic aid and in civilian and military personnel.

     Pioneers in regional collaboration, the 20 Latin American
republics and the United States had behind them 60 years of
cooperation on Apr. 30, 1948, when they signed the charter
establishing the Organization of American States, through which
most of their joint activities are now conducted. Two other
documents are also basic to inter-American security
arrangements: the Pact of Bogotá, outlining pacific settlement
procedures, signed at the same time as the charter but in effect
among fewer than half the OAS signatories; and the Inter-
American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, signed at Rio de
Janeiro on Sept. 2, 1947, in which inter-American security
commitments are rooted (some are, however, reaffirmed in the
OAS charter). Headquarters of the OAS are in Washington.

      Like CENTO as well as NATO, WEU, and the Warsaw
Pact system, discussed more fully below, SEATO is a product of
the cold-war environment. Established in the Manila Treaty of
Sept. 8, 1954, after the French defeat in Indochina, the
organization is concerned with strengthening the collective
defense capabilities of a wide and disparate area under severe
Communist pressure. Even so, the Western powers—the United
States, United Kingdom, and France—failed to enlist the
participation of key Southeast Asian states, and SEATO is
concerned with the security problems of about one third of the
territory and one fifth of the population of the area. Australia,
New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Thailand are other
members. Headquarters are located in Bangkok. Inasmuch as
membership for South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos is
incompatible with the Geneva armistice agreement of July 21,
1954, they were designated as under the SEATO "protective
umbrella." Laos withdrew, however, with the assent of SEATO
powers, when it was neutralized on June 23, 1962.

     That support of regionalism is a keystone of United States
foreign policy is seen in U.S. participation in organizations
created to enhance the security of members located on all
continents except Africa.

Commitments, Implementation.
     In their commitments for reciprocal assistance, most of the
security arrangements superficially suggest traditional alliances,
a method of seeking security which antedates the modern state
system. In addition to cooperation for defense and security, the
OAS, Arab League, and OAU have economic, social, and
cultural functions. All groups have been influenced by
experiments with global collective security in the League of
Nations and the United Nations.

      These regional organizations by nature take account of the
traditional threat to national security—armed attack by one
government on another. Members pledge individual or
collective assistance, including the use of armed force.
Commitments are qualified, with each state interpreting its own
obligations. The speed with which military action can now be
initiated has, however, forced prior development of a collective
capacity to resist armed attack. In the case of NATO this has
been spectacular: Individual efforts have been reinforced by
mutual aid, and the first substantial international force in
peacetime has been created. Such steps not only enhance the
prospect that treaty pledges will be honored in the event of
attack, but, more importantly, have resulted in creating a
deterrent capability of notable credibility.

     Although NATO alone of the regional defense
organizations has peacetime forces in being, a joint command
has been established for Warsaw Pact forces, and plans for
wartime military integration have gone even further in Eastern
Europe. In January 1964 Arab League members created a
unified military command headquartered in Cairo. The long-
established regional security organizations all have permanent
joint planning staffs, although coordination is less developed in
the inter-American system. The military assistance programs of
the United States and the U.S.S.R. have been a key to improving
the equipment and training of their respective allied forces.

     Postwar conditions have simultaneously compelled the
regional security organizations to face new and subtle security
threats not necessarily entailing the use of force. In varying
degrees the organizational arrangements envisage mutual
assistance in the face of "indirect aggression," i.e., political
activities based in one state which aim at destruction of the
political independence of another. Whereas the military threat
remains and must be countered, an effective response to the
newer forms of threat requires collaboration in a variety of
activities designed to detect and combat subversion by
strengthening political and economic stability. Although
responsibility for dealing with Communist infiltration remains
national, both SEATO and CENTO have elaborate programs to
increase awareness of Communist activities and assist in the
training of personnel to resist them.

     Since 1959, when a Communist regime came to power in
Cuba, the collective capacity of a regional security grouping to
respond to indirect aggression has been severely tested in the
inter-American system. Although OAS members vary in their
assessment of dangers and their will to act responsibly, the
system has thus far proved more effective than the United
Nations in acting to contain Cuban-based subversive activities
elsewhere in Latin America. Among the key developments was
the first exclusion of a member from OAS activities. At Punta
del Este, Uruguay, in January 1962, all other OAS members
declared Cuba's Marxism-Leninism incompatible with the
principles of the inter-American system, and two thirds of the
members (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and
Mexico abstaining) voted to exclude Cuba from participation in
the OAS. On July 26, 1964, in response to 1963-1964 Cuban
efforts to subvert the government of Venezuela, the OAS
foreign ministers voted 15 to 4 for mandatory severance of all
sea transport between OAS states and Cuba as well as the
breaking off of trade, except in food and medicine, and
diplomatic relations. Three opposing states (Bolivia, Chile,
Uruguay) later broke diplomatic relations with Cuba, leaving
Mexico alone in maintaining ties.

     Cuban policy has also led to OAS endorsement of military
sanctions, the first such formal action taken by a regional
security organization. United States quarantine of Cuba in 1962,
in response to the installation of Russian missiles there, was
followed by an OAS appeal to members (Uruguay abstaining) to
take individual and collective measures, "including the use of
armed force," to support the U.S. decision to prevent additional
Soviet arms from reaching the island and achieve dismantling of
missile bases there.

      Unanimity or near unanimity in support of collective
measures for the protection of representative government and
human rights has not been easily achieved among the Latin
American republics. A century's experience with U.S. unilateral
intervention has made them suspicious of collective action—
forceful or not, and for whatever reasons—as threatening
national independence. The Cuban case, however, indicates a
growing realization that collective measures are an approach to
law and order rather than intervention and constitute the only
effective international means of protecting democratic

      The increasing complexity of the security problem has
required establishing permanent international institutions to
facilitate the interpretation of regional no less than global
arrangements. The principal executive organ is usually a council
permanently in session at organizational headquarters; all
members are represented on the council by specially accredited
delegates of ambassadorial rank or by the local heads of
diplomatic missions. Annual or semiannual meetings at the
foreign-minister level rotate from one capital to another.
Unanimity remains generally necessary for agreement, although,
as in the Arab League or WEU, there may be exceptions for
certain types of decisions. In the OAS no member has the power
of veto, but no state is required to use force without consenting.

    Civilian organs have proliferated to carry out the political,
economic, and other nonmilitary functions of these
organizations. Expert preparation in professional secretariats
and sustained study by council committees have been required
for these nonmilitary activities, and the experimentation with
administrative structure of certain regional organizations may be
expected to influence global institutions. At SHAPE (Supreme
Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe), for example,
individuals take part in decision-making on NATO matters as
technical experts and not as spokesmen for governmental
policies. At the WEU Assembly, the only official consultative
assembly of an international security organization, members of
national parliaments sit as individuals and not as government

Relationship to United Nations.
      Regionalism has been viewed as partner and as rival of the
United Nations, and there is a measure of accuracy in both
positions. The security arrangements launched in the western
hemisphere and in the Middle East before the San Francisco
Conference (April 1945) were responsible for UN Charter
provisions establishing a relationship between the United
Nations and regional groupings. Articles 33 and 52 envisage
utilization of regional arrangements for the pacific settlement of
disputes either on the initiative of the states concerned or by
referral from the Security Council, and both methods have been
used. In 1958, for instance, the Arab League considered alleged
U.A.R. intervention in Lebanon before referral to the Security
Council. And in January 1964 the Security Council deferred to
the OAS in the dispute between the United States and Panama.

     On the other hand, with the exception of measures against
former World War II enemy states, all "enforcement action"
under regional organizations requires Security Council
authorization (Article 53). None has yet been authorized, and
Article 53 appears to have been substantially modified in
practice by the March 1962 Security Council support of the
position that OAS nonmilitary sanctions against Cuba did not
require such authorization.
      In light of great-power rivalry, and the consequent
difficulty of securing the unanimity of permanent members that
is required for Security Council substantive decisions, Article 51
of the Charter has assumed unexpected importance. It has
opened the way to the proliferation of regional security
organizations by acknowledging the "inherent right" of
"collective self-defense" against armed attack and has thus
allowed these agencies to act without Security Council
authorization, as in the OAS' military sanctions against Cuba in
1962. The founding documents of the regional security
organizations refer to the Charter, and most of them repeat the
Article 51 stipulation that collective defense measures be
promptly reported to the Security Council and cease when the
council acts to maintain or restore peace and security. Because
of their basis in Article 51 the regional security organizations
are often called "collective defense organizations."

     Chief in importance are the groupings directly concerned
with the national security of the two superpowers. Through
these groups both the United States and the Soviet Union have
undertaken unprecedented commitments to their respective
European allies.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

     Strongest in terms of collective capability, NATO is also
the most highly integrated security arrangement in which the
United States participates. It has evolved from the North
Atlantic Treaty, signed on Apr. 4, 1949, in response to the
consolidation of Russian Communist power in Eastern and
Central Europe. The original signatories (Belgium, Canada,
Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,
Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States)
were joined in 1952 by Greece and Turkey and in 1955 by the
German Federal Republic.
      In order to deter armed attack and prepare to meet it
effectively should it occur in an area of crucial importance,
NATO members have engaged in peacetime defense-planning
unprecedented in extent and depth and have been organizing,
training, and equipping a highly integrated nucleus of forces,
heretofore achieved only under pressure of hostilities. Indirect
aggression is to be met through consultation, which could result
in a collective political or military response.

      These aims have forced a proliferation of organs, although
the treaty specifically envisaged only a permanent council and a
defense committee. The North Atlantic Council, sitting in Paris,
remains top organ in the NATO hierarchy; it is aided by the
civilian Staff-Secretariat, most of whose members are seconded
for a limited period of time from their national civil services.
The chief civilian official, by virtue of his position as head of
the Secretariat and chairman of the council, is the secretary-
general—since Aug. 1, 1964, Italian diplomat Manlio Brosio.
Council committees and working groups are concerned with an
annual review of military plans, defense production, and
infrastructure and also with economic, informational, cultural,
scientific, and political questions. The latter activities have
mounted in importance as the Communist threat has taken on
political, economic, and propaganda aspects. Since the 1956
Suez crisis, members have sought increasingly to concert
nonmilitary policies, with greatest success on questions
involving relations with the Soviet Union. Matters outside the
NATO area also receive growing attention.

     The top military organs, the Military Committee and the
Standing Group, meet in Washington. The chiefs of staff of all
members constitute the Military Committee, principal military
adviser to the North Atlantic Council. Whereas the committee
ordinarily meets only twice annually, representatives of the
chiefs of staff are in permanent session in Washington, as is the
committee's executive agency, the Standing Group, composed of
the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. In
acknowledgment of the growing contribution of other Alliance
members, notably West Germany, a German director was named
to the planning staff of the Standing Group on July 1, 1964, and
two deputy directors are now chosen from nonmembers of the
Standing Group.

     Best known of the three international commands is the
European, extending from Norway to Turkey, with headquarters
near Paris. The Allied Command Atlantic is headquartered at
Norfolk, Va., and the Channel Command at Portsmouth,
England. North American defense plans are in the hands of the
Canada-United States Regional Planning Group, meeting
alternately in Washington and Ottawa. The Supreme Allied
Commander Europe (SACEUR) and the Supreme Allied
Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) have always been U.S.
officers, currently General Lyman L. Lemnitzer and Admiral
Harold Page Smith, respectively. The major commands are, in
turn, subdivided geographically and headed by other NATO-
member nationals. Although only SACEUR has permanently
assigned peacetime forces, members have earmarked forces for
assignment to the other commands for training purposes and in
event of war.

      Despite substantial successes, NATO is wracked by
intricate problems, rooted essentially in the fact that the Alliance
is a cooperative effort among 15 states having different as well
as common interests and varying conspicuously in power and in
global responsibilities. Crucial in resolving the issue of Alliance
unity versus disunity is the current nuclear dilemma over
nuclear proliferation and a NATO nuclear capability whose
control is shared by participating states.

     As principal nuclear powers in the Alliance, the United
States has assigned to NATO European-based tactical weapons
and three Polaris submarines for Mediterranean service, and the
United Kingdom has assigned part of its V-Bomber force.
Assignment brings the weapons under SACEUR's command in
terms of defense planning. Decision as to their use remains
national in each case. France, which seeks to develop a strategic
nuclear force, has indicated the intention of keeping this force
entirely under national control.

     Since 1960 the United States has taken the initiative in
seeking to devise a formula by which NATO would have at its
disposition medium-range ballistic missiles to counter the
substantial number the Soviet Union has deployed against
Western Europe. In response to some European desires for
greater participation in NATO's strategic nuclear deterrence,
control would be shared among Alliance members. The current
proposal is for a multilateral force (MLF) of surface ships
internationally owned, manned, and managed, and committed
without reservation to Alliance defense. Safeguards against any
one participant's obtaining control of MLF weapons are
designed to prevent nuclear proliferation.

     Seven European allies (Britain, West Germany, Italy, the
Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, and Turkey) have indicated
interest by joining the United States in negotiations. West
German interest is notably conspicuous. France is hostile and
threatens to follow MLF establishment by further reducing
French forces committed to NATO. The British Conservative
government's lack of commitment has given way to Labour's
search for an alternative proposal, which was unannounced at
the end of 1964. Although the U.S. scheme in its various phases
has entailed the greatest degree of Alliance nuclear integration
thus far proposed officially, it leaves untouched the principle of
national ownership of non-MLF nuclear forces. Militarily, the
proposal has been the subject of marked controversy, with many
experts urging a combination of systems, surface ships,
submarines, and land vehicles, to augment Allied Command
Europe's nuclear capability. Politically, any proposal would
appear to require considerable NATO reorganization. The
conclusion is inescapable that the weapons revolution is forcing
NATO members to decide between a future genuine community
and continued national rivalry.

Western European Union
    The Western European Union was established on May 6,
1955, to control West German rearmament and facilitate
German entry into NATO; it has important ties with NATO.
WEU gained new importance as the only official link between
the United Kingdom and the Common Market members after
the January 1963 rebuff by General de Gaulle terminated
negotiations for British entry into the European Economic
Community. In WEU they continue to exchange views on their
economic relations and other matters.

      Need for a German military contribution to Western
defense was precipitated by fear of Soviet expansion in Europe
as the Korean conflict mounted. But to be acceptable to Western
Europeans in the light of Nazi successes early in World War II,
this German contribution required control. In August 1954 the
French rejected proposals to establish a European Defense
Community entailing a European army with integrated German
units. WEU then became the vehicle of such control, emerging
from the Oct. 23, 1954, revision of the 1948 Brussels Treaty. In
that revision, Germany and Italy joined the original signatories
(Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the United

     In order to secure limitation on German forces, the other
continental members accepted levels for their forces. These can
be increased only with unanimous agreement and on the basis of
annual NATO review recommendations. All German
contingents are NATO-committed, and SACEUR's inspections
constitute the basis of the WEU Council's check on observance
of limitations. The Agency for the Control of Armaments, which
has developed inspection procedures adaptable to global arms
control, assists the Council in activities designed, among other
objectives, to prevent the manufacture of certain weapons by
Germany (for example, atomic, biological, and chemical
weapons, certain types of missiles, warships over a certain size,
and strategic bombers). With the assent of SACEUR,
restrictions on the production of guided antitank and air defense
missiles have been removed. No opportunity has arisen to use
WEU machinery to enforce the continental members'
maximums, inasmuch as the continuing effort is to build up, not
limit, the European contribution to Atlantic defense.

     Britain participates in control arrangements. The British
troops and arms qualifiedly pledged to the Continent at the time
of revision of the Brussels Treaty are included in WEU
supervision; other British forces are not. SACEUR and the
WEU Council reluctantly approved the withdrawal, for financial
reasons, of some of the pledged forces in 1957 and 1958. The
importance of British participation should not be
underestimated, in view of its overall military strength.

     WEU organs include the Council and Secretariat, in
London. Because of the need to cooperate closely with NATO,
the Agency for the Control of Armaments functions in Paris, as
does the Standing Armaments Committee, created to push arms
standardization and joint production. An important spur to
facing up to the military and political requirements of effective
security has been the WEU Assembly. Created to receive annual
reports from the Council, which it cannot hold accountable but
with which it may disagree in whole or in part, the Assembly
committees' reports and plenary debates have displayed
knowledge and authority on complex military and political
matters in the entire NATO area. Its forward-looking
recommendations have influenced both national governments
and international organs.

Warsaw Pact Security System.
     Initialed on May 14, 1955, the Warsaw Pact consolidated
and to a limited degree institutionalized an East European
security system that was already collective as the result of the 23
bilateral Soviet-satellite and intersatellite alliances concluded
from 1943 to 1949. Embracing all Communist regimes in the
area except Yugoslavia, the pact made East Germany and
Albania allies of the U.S.S.R. for the first time; pro-Chinese
Albania now takes no part in pact activities.

     Originally, the pact appeared to have greater political than
military importance. Faced with West German entrance into
NATO, the U.S.S.R. created a counterpart that it could offer to
abandon, as it first did at the 1955 Geneva conference, in return
for the achievement of a principal foreign policy objective: the
establishment of an all-European security system and a
consequent dissolution of NATO. (The abrogation of the pact
would leave untouched the bilateral East European alliances.)

     Another political function of the pact was the support it
gave to the continued stationing of Soviet troops in Hungary
(where they remain) and Romania (which they left in July
1958), following withdrawal from Austria in September 1955
under the terms of the Austrian State Treaty signed on May 15.
Both the U.S.S.R. and Hungary cited the pact as offering legal
grounds for the movement of additional Soviet troops into
Hungary during the 1956 crisis, the only occasion on which the
pact has been applied. The continued presence of Soviet troops
in East Germany, Hungary, and Poland today rests not on the
Warsaw Pact, however, but on bilateral agreements concluded
with East Germany in September 1955 and with Hungary and
Poland subsequent to the Hungarian revolution.

     Recent evidence suggests that the pact has facilitated
military collaboration as East European armed forces have been
improving, and that it is being taken more seriously, militarily,
by the Soviet Union. The fact that East European military affairs
remain essentially in Soviet hands should not obscure the
importance of formal intergovernmental arrangements as
nationalism erodes monolithic interparty relationships.
     Less is known of the experience of permanent Warsaw Pact
organs than of their NATO counterparts. More has been
disclosed concerning political than military collaboration. The
principal political organ is the Political Consultative Committee,
composed of all treaty signatories and assisted by the permanent
international Secretariat in Moscow. High-level party leaders as
well as government officials attend committee meetings (seven
were held in the period January 1956-July 1963; none has been
reported since). An initial concentration on European security
problems was subsequently broadened to include attention to
other areas and issues, among them the nuclear test-ban treaty.
Until 1961 the Asiatic Communist regimes were associated with
pact activities through attendance at committee sessions as

      In 1955 a Joint Command was established, headed since
July 1960 by Marshal A. A. Grechko of the U.S.S.R., a first
deputy defense minister and commander of all Soviet ground
forces. His pact deputies, who do not serve at headquarters, are
the defense ministers or other military leaders of signatory states
who command their respective assigned national forces, a looser
command arrangement than in NATO. A few non-Soviet
officers serve at Moscow headquarters, probably more for
liaison than for joint planning.

     Periodic reports refer to high-level military meetings and
joint maneuvers. Improved procedures for command, control,
and communications have been evident in recent years, and
attention has been given to meeting a nuclear attack. There has
been no sharing of nuclear weapons. The projected integration
of the forces of all signatories into the Soviet military system in
time of war indicates a degree of military unification that goes
beyond anything envisaged in NATO.
                 The League of Nations
     League of Nations, international alliance for the
preservation of peace. The league existed from 1920 to 1946.
The first meeting was held in Geneva, on November 15, 1920,
with 42 nations represented. The last meeting was held on April
8, 1946; at that time the league was superseded by the United
Nations (UN). During the league's 26 years, a total of 63 nations
belonged at one time or another; 28 were members for the entire
period .
     In 1918, as one of his Fourteen Points summarizing Allied
aims in World War I, United States president Woodrow Wilson
presented a plan for a general association of nations. The plan
formed the basis of the Covenant of the League of Nations, the
26 articles that served as operating rules for the league. The
covenant was formulated as part of the Treaty of Versailles,
which ended World War I, in 1919.
     Although President Wilson was a member of the committee
that drafted the covenant, it was never ratified by the U.S.
Senate because of Article X, which contained the requirement
that all members preserve the territorial independence of all
other members, even to joint action against aggression. During
the next two decades, American diplomats encouraged the
league's activities and attended its meetings unofficially, but the
United States never became a member. The efficacy of the
league was, therefore, considerably lessened.
World involvement
      The league was based on a new concept: collective security
against the ―criminal‖ threat of war. Unfortunately, the league
rarely implemented its available resources, limited though they
were, to achieve this goal.
      One important activity of the league was the disposition of
certain territories that had been colonies of Germany and the
Ottoman Empire before World War I. Supervision of these
territories was awarded to league members in the form of
mandates. Mandated territories were given different degrees of
independence, in accordance with their stage of development,
their geographic situation, and their economic status.
      The league may be credited with certain social
achievements. These include curbing international traffic in
narcotics and prostitution, aiding refugees of World War I, and
surveying and improving health and labor conditions around the
      In the area of preserving peace, the league had some minor
successes, including settlement of disputes between Finland and
Sweden over the Åland Islands in 1921 and between Greece and
Bulgaria over their mutual border in 1925. The Great Powers,
however, preferred to handle their own affairs; France occupied
the Ruhr, and Italy occupied Corfu (Kérkira), both in 1923, in
spite of the league.
      Although Germany joined the league in 1926, the National
Socialist (Nazi) government withdrew in 1933. Japan also
withdrew in 1933, after Japanese attacks on China were
condemned by the league. The league failed to end the war
between Bolivia and Paraguay over the Chaco Boreal between
1932 and 1935 and to stop the Italian conquest of Ethiopia
begun in 1935.
      Finally, the league was powerless to prevent the events in
Europe that led to World War II. The USSR, a member since
1934, was expelled following the Soviet attack on Finland in
1939. In 1940 the secretariat in Geneva was reduced to a
skeleton staff, and several small service units were moved to
Canada and the United States.
      In 1946 the league voted to effect its own dissolution,
whereupon much of its property and organization were
transferred to the UN.
League structure
     The machinery of the league consisted of an assembly, a
council, and a secretariat. Before World War II (1939-1945), the
assembly convened regularly at Geneva in September; it was
composed of three representatives for every member state, each
state having one vote. The council met at least three times each
year to consider political disputes and reduction of armaments;
it was composed of several permanent members—France,
Britain, Italy, Japan, and later Germany and the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics (USSR)—and several nonpermanent
members elected by the assembly. The decisions of the council
had to be unanimous. The secretariat was the administrative
branch of the league and consisted of a secretary general and a
staff of 500 people. Several other bodies were allied with the
league, such as the Permanent Court of International Justice,
called the World Court, and the International Labor

The organisation of the League of Nations
     The League of Nations was to be based in Geneva,
Switzerland. This choice was natural as Switzerland was a
neutral country and had not fought in World War One. No one
could dispute this choice especially as an international
organisation such as the Red Cross was already based in

     If a dispute did occur, the League, under its Covenant,
could do three things - these were known as its sanctions:

- It could call on the states in dispute to sit down and discuss the
problem in an orderly and peaceful manner. This would be done
in the League‘s Assembly - which was essentially the League‘s
parliament which would listen to disputes and come to a
decision on how to proceed. If one nation was seen to be the
offender, the League could introduce verbal sanctions - warning
an aggressor nation that she would need to leave another nation's
territory or face the consequences.

- If the states in dispute failed to listen to the Assembly‘s
decision, the League could introduce economic sanctions. This
would be arranged by the League‘s Council. The purpose of this
sanction was to financially hit the aggressor nation so that she
would have to do as the League required. The logic behind it
was to push an aggressor nation towards bankruptcy, so that the
people in that state would take out their anger on their
government forcing them to accept the League‘s decision. The
League could order League members not to do any trade with an
aggressor nation in an effort to bring that aggressor nation to

- if this failed, the League could introduce physical sanctions.
This meant that military force would be used to put into place
the League‘s decision. However, the League did not have a
military force at its disposal and no member of the League had
to provide one under the terms of joining - unlike the current
United Nations. Therefore, it could not carry out any threats and
any country defying its authority would have been very aware of
this weakness. The only two countries in the League that could
have provided any military might were Britain and France and
both had been severely depleted strength-wise in World War
One and could not provide the League with the backing it
needed. Also both Britain and France were not in a position to
use their finances to pay for an expanded army as both were
financially hit very hard by World War One.

The League also had other weaknesses :

     The country, whose president, Woodrow Wilson, had
dreamt up the idea of the League - America - refused to join it.
As America was the world‘s most powerful nation, this was a
serious blow to the prestige of the League. However, America‘s
refusal to join the League, fitted in with her desire to have an
isolationist policy throughout the world.

     Germany was not allowed to join the League in 1919. As
Germany had started the war, according to the Treaty of
Versailles, one of her punishments was that she was not
considered to be a member of the international community and,
therefore, she was not invited to join. This was a great blow to
Germany but it also meant that the League could not use
whatever strength Germany had to support its campaign against
aggressor nations.
     Russia was also not allowed to join as in 1917, she had a
communist government that generated fear in western Europe,
and in 1918, the Russian royal family - the Romanovs - was
murdered. Such a country could not be allowed to take its place
in the League.

     Therefore, three of the world‘s most powerful nations
(potentially for Russia and Germany) played no part in
supporting the League. The two most powerful members were
Britain and France - both had suffered financially and militarily
during the war - and neither was enthusiastic to get involved in
disputes that did not affect western Europe.

     Therefore, the League had a fine ideal - to end war for
good. However, if an aggressor nation was determined enough
to ignore the League‘s verbal warnings, all the League could do
was enforce economic sanctions and hope that these worked as
it had no chance or enforcing its decisions using military might.

The successes of the League of Nations
     In view of the League‘s desire to end war, the only criteria
that can be used to classify a success, was whether war was
avoided and a peaceful settlement formulated after a crisis
between two nations.

    The League experienced success in:

The Aaland Islands (1921)

      These islands are near enough equal distant between
Finland and Sweden. They had traditionally belonged to Finland
but most of the islanders wanted to be governed by Sweden.
Neither Sweden nor Finland could come to a decision as to who
owned the islands and in 1921 they asked the League to
adjudicate. The League‘s decision was that they should remain
with Finland but that no weapons should ever be kept there.
Both countries accepted the decision and it remains in force to
this day.
Upper Silesia (1921)

     The Treaty of Versailles had given the people of Upper
Silesia the right to have a referendum on whether they wanted to
be part of Germany or part of Poland. In this referendum,
700,000 voted for Germany and 500,000 for Poland. This close
result resulted in rioting between those who expected Silesia to
be made part of Germany and those who wanted to be part of
Poland. The League was asked to settle this dispute. After a six-
week inquiry, the League decided to split Upper Silesia between
Germany and Poland. The League‘s decision was accepted y
both countries and by the people in Upper Silesia.

Memel (1923)

     Memel was/is a port in Lithuania. Most people who lived
in Memel were Lithuanians and, therefore, the government of
Lithuania believed that the port should be governed by it.
However, the Treaty of Versailles had put Memel and the land
surrounding the port under the control of the League. For three
years, a French general acted as a governor of the port but in
1923 the Lithuanians invaded the port. The League intervened
and gave the area surrounding Memel to Lithuania but they
made the port an "international zone". Lithuania agreed to this
decision. Though this can be seen as a League success – as the
issue was settled – a counter argument is that what happened
was the result of the use of force and that the League responded
in a positive manner to those (the Lithuanians) who had used

Turkey (1923)

     The League failed to stop a bloody war in Turkey but it did
respond to the humanitarian crisis caused by this war.1,400,000
refugees had been created by this war with 80% of them being
women and children. Typhoid and cholera were rampant. The
League sent doctors from the Health Organisation to check the
spread of disease and it spent £10 million on building farms,
homes etc for the refugees. Money was also invested in seeds,
wells and digging tools and by 1926, work was found for
600,000 people.A member of the League called this work "the
greatest work of mercy which mankind has undertaken."

Greece and Bulgaria (1925)

     Both these nations have a common border. In 1925,
sentries patrolling this border fired on one another and a Greek
soldier was killed. The Greek army invaded Bulgaria as a result.
The Bulgarians asked the League for help and the League
ordered both armies to stop fighting and that the Greeks should
pull out of Bulgaria. The League then sent experts to the area
and decided that Greece was to blame and fined her £45,000.
Both nations accepted the decision.

The failures of the League of Nations
     Article 11 of the League‘s Covenant stated: Any war of
threat of war is a matter of concern to the whole League and the
League shall take action that may safe guard peace

    Therefore, any conflict between nations which ended in
war and the victor of one over the other must be considered a
League failure.

Italy (1919)

      In 1919, Italian nationalists, angered that the "Big Three"
had, in their opinion, broken promises to Italy at the Treaty of
Versailles, captured the small port of Fiume. This port had been
given to Yugoslavia by the Treaty of Versailles. For 15 months,
Fiume was governed by an Italian nationalist called d‘Annunzio.
The newly created League did nothing. The situation was solved
by the Italian government who could not accept that d‘Annunzio
was seemingly more popular than they were – so they
bombarded the port of Fiume and enforced a surrender. In all
this the League played no part despite the fact that it had just
been set up with the specific task of maintaining peace.
Teschen (1919)

     Teschen was a small town between Poland and
Czechoslovakia. Its main importance was that it had valuable
coal mines there which both the Poles and the Czechs wanted.
As both were newly created nations, both wanted to make their
respective economies as strong as possible and the acquisition of
rich coal mines would certainly help in this respect.

      In January 1919, Polish and Czech troops fought in the
streets of Teschen. Many died. The League was called on to
help and decided that the bulk of the town should go to Poland
while Czechoslovakia should have one of Teschen‘s suburbs.
This suburb contained the most valuable coal mines and the
Poles refused to accept this decision. Though no more wholesale
violence took place, the two countries continued to argue over
the issue for the next twenty years.

Vilna (1920)

     Many years before 1920, Vilna had been taken over by
Russia. Historically, Vilna had been the capital of Lithuania
when the state had existed in the Middle Ages. After World War
One, Lithuania had been re-established and Vilna seemed the
natural choice for its capital.

However, by 1920, 30% of the population was from Poland with
Lithuanians only making up 2% of the city‘s population. In
1920, the Poles seized Vilna. Lithuania asked for League help
but the Poles could not be persuaded to leave the city. Vilna
stayed in Polish hands until the outbreak of World War Two.
The use of force by the Poles had won.

War between Russia and Poland (1920 to 1921)
     In 1920, Poland invaded land held by the Russians. The
Poles quickly overwhelmed the Russian army and made a swift
advance into Russia. By 1921, the Russians had no choice but to
sign the Treaty of Riga which handed over to Poland nearly
80,000 square kilometres of Russian land. This one treaty all but
doubled the size of Poland.

What did the League do about this violation of another country
by Poland?

     The answer is simple – nothing. Russia by 1919 was
communist and this "plague from the East" was greatly feared
by the West. In fact, Britain, France and America sent troops to
attack Russia after the League had been set up. Winston
Churchill, the British War Minister, stated openly that the plan
was to strangle Communist Russia at birth. Once again, to
outsiders, it seemed as if League members were selecting which
countries were acceptable and ones which were not. The Allied
invasion of Russia was a failure and it only served to make
Communist Russia even more antagonistic to the West.

The invasion of the Ruhr (1923)
     The Treaty of Versailles had ordered Weimar Germany to
pay reparations for war damages. These could either be paid in
money or in kind (goods to the value of a set amount) In 1922,
the Germans failed to pay an installment. They claimed that they
simply could not rather than did not want to. The Allies refused
to accept this and the anti-German feeling at this time was still
strong. Both the French and the Belgium‘s believed that some
form of strong action was needed to ‗teach Germany a lesson‘.

     In 1923, contrary to League rules, the French and the
Belgium‘s invaded the Ruhr – Germany‘s most important
industrial zone. Within Europe, France was seen as a senior
League member – like Britain – and the anti-German feeling
that was felt throughout Europe allowed both France and
Belgium to break their own rules as were introduced by the
League. Here were two League members clearly breaking
League rules and nothing was done about it.

     For the League to enforce its will, it needed the support of
its major backers in Europe, Britain and France. Yet France was
one of the invaders and Britain was a major supporter of her. To
other nations, it seemed that if you wanted to break League
rules, you could. Few countries criticised what France and
Belgium did. But the example they set for others in future years
was obvious. The League clearly failed on this occasion,
primarily because it was seen to be involved in breaking its own

Italy and Albania (1923)
     The border between Italy and Albania was far from clear
and the Treaty of Versailles had never really addressed this
issue. It was a constant source of irritation between both nations.

      In 1923, a mixed nationality survey team was sent out to
settle the issue. Whilst travelling to the disputed area, the Italian
section of the survey team, became separated from the main
party. The five Italians were shot by gunmen who had been in

      Italy accused Greece of planning the whole incident and
demanded payment of a large fine. Greece refused to pay up. In
response, the Italians sent its navy to the Greek island of Corfu
and bombarded the coastline. Greece appealed to the League for
help but Italy, lead by Benito Mussolini, persuaded the League
via the Conference of Ambassadors, to fine Greece 50 million

     To follow up this success, Mussolini invited the
Yugoslavian government to discuss ownership of Fiume. The
Treaty of Versailles had given Fiume to Yugoslavia but with the
evidence of a bombarded Corfu, the Yugoslavs handed over the
port to Italy with little argument

The social successes of the League of Nations
      At a social level the League did have success and most of
this is easily forgotten with its failure at a political level. Many
of the groups that work for the United Nations now, grew out of
what was established by the League. Teams were sent to the
Third World to dig fresh water wells, the Health Organisation
started a campaign to wipe out leprosy. This idea - of wiping out
from the world a disease - was taken up by the United Nations
with its smallpox campaign.

     Work was done in the Third World to improve the status of
women there and child slave labour was also targeted. Drug
addiction and drug smuggling were also attacked.

     These problems are still with us in the C21st - so it would
be wrong to criticise the League for failing to eradicate them. If
we cannot do this now, the League had a far more difficult task
then with more limited resources.

     The greatest success the League had involving these social
issues, was simply informing the world at large that these
problems did exist and that they should be tackled. No
organisation had done this before the League. These social
problems may have continued but the fact that they were now
being actively investigated by the League and were then taken
onboard by the United Nations must be viewed as a success.

Transfer of League Assets to United Nations.
      The League agreed to transfer to the United Nations on or
about August 1, 1946 all material assets of the League
amounting to 47,631,518.61 Swiss francs. The transfer of rights
in the League of Nations buildings and other immovable and
movable property was effected on August 1, 1946. In addition,
the United Nations is entitled to receive all original signed texts
of treaties, international agreements, and other instruments
which are deposited with the secretariat of the League of
Nations with the exception of the conventions of the
International Labour Organization. Also, the Assembly of the
League recommended to the members of the League "to
facilitate in every way the assumption without interruption by
the United Nations, or by specialized agencies brought into
relationship with that Organization, of functions and powers
which have been entrusted to the League of Nations, under
international agreements of a technical and non-political
character, and which the United Nations is willing to maintain."
Finally, the Assembly of the League directed the Secretary-
General of the League of Nations to ―afford every facility for
the assumption by the United Nations of such non-political
activities, hitherto performed by the League, as the United
Nations may decide to assume."

Termination of Mandates.
      In references to mandates the League noted that Chapters
XI, XII, and XIII of the charter embody principles
corresponding to those contained in Article 22 of the League
Covenant, and welcomed the termination of the mandated status
of Syria, the Lebanon and Transjordan, which have, since the
last session of the Assembly, become independent members of
the world community.

League Functions Transferred to the United Nations.
     It is to be expected that the United Nations will carry on
through its secretariat, commissions and other appropriate
organs many of the non-political functions of the League. On
November 19, 1946, for instance, the General Assembly of the
United Nations approved the protocol transferring to the United
Nations the powers of the League in the field of narcotic drugs
under existing conventions, agreements and protocols. The exact
scope of the work of the United Nations in its capacity as
successor of the League will presumably be determined in the
course of 1947.

     In reference to the Permanent Court of International
Justice, the last League assembly resolved that the Permanent
Court is "to be regarded as dissolved with effect from the day
following the close of the present session of the Assembly, but
without prejudice to such subsequent measures of liquidation as
may be necessary." Although the League of Nations as a legal
entity has been liquidated as of April 18, 1946, many of its
functions will be carried on by the United Nations, its principal
and subsidiary organs by specialized         and other inter-
governmental agencies.
                  The United Nations

     The name "United Nations", coined by United States
President Franklin Roosevelt, was first used in the "Declaration
by United Nations" of 1 January 1942, during the Second World
War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their
Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis
      States first established international organizations to
cooperate     on    specific   matters.    The      International
Telecommunication Union was founded in 1865 as the
International Telegraph Union, and the Universal Postal Union
was established in 1874. Both are now United Nations
specialized agencies.
     In 1899, the International Peace Conference was held in
The Hague to elaborate instruments for settling crises
peacefully, preventing wars and codifying rules of warfare. It
adopted the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of
International Disputes and established the Permanent Court of
Arbitration, which began work in 1902.

     The forerunner of the United Nations was the League of
Nations, an organization conceived in similar circumstances
during the first World War, and established in 1919 under the
Treaty of Versailles "to promote international cooperation and to
achieve peace and security." The International Labour
Organization was also created under the Treaty of Versailles as
an affiliated agency of the League. The League of Nations
ceased its activities after failing to prevent the Second World

     In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San
Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International
Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. Those
delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by
the representatives of China, the Soviet Union, the United
Kingdom and the United States at Dumbarton Oaks, United
States in August-October 1944. The Charter was signed on 26
June 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. Poland,
which was not represented at the Conference, signed it later and
became one of the original 51 Member States.

     The United Nations officially came into existence on 24
October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China,
France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United
States and by a majority of other signatories. United Nations
Day is celebrated on 24 October each year.

      The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by
51 countries committed to preserving peace through
international cooperation and collective security. Today (2005)
nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership
totals 191 countries.

      When States become Members of the United Nations, they
agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an
international treaty that sets out basic principles of international
relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes: to
maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly
relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international
problems and in promoting respect for human rights; and to be a
centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

     The United Nations is not a world government and it does
not make laws. It does, however, provide the means to help
resolve international conflicts and formulate policies on matters
affecting all of us. At the UN, all the Member States — large
and small, rich and poor, with differing political views and
social systems — have a voice and a vote in this process.

The main organs
     The United Nations has six main organs. Five of them —
the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and
Social Council, the Trusteeship Council and the Secretariat —
are based at UN Headquarters in New York. The sixth, the
International Court of Justice, is located at The Hague in the

The General Assembly
     The General Assembly Is the main deliberative organ of
the United Nations. It is composed of representatives of all
member states, each of which has one vote. Decisions on
important questions, such as those on peace and security,
admission of new members and budgetary matters, require a
two-thirds majority. Decisions on other questions are by simple

Functions and power
    Under the Charter, the functions and powers of the General
Assembly include:

- to consider and make recommendations on the principles of
cooperation in the maintenance of international peace and
security, including the principles governing disarmament and
arms regulation.

- to discuss any question relating to international peace and
security and, except where a dispute or situation is being
discussed by the Security Council, to make recommendations on

 - to discuss and, with the same exception, make
recommendations on any question within the scope of the
Charter or affecting the powers and functions of any organ of
the United Nations.

- to initiate studies and make recommendations to promote
international political cooperation, the development and
codification of international law, the realization of human rights
and fundamental freedoms for all, and international
collaboration in economic, social, cultural, educational and
health fields.

- to make recommendations for the peaceful settlement of any
situation, regardless of origin, which might impair friendly
relations among nations.

- to receive and consider reports from the Security Council and
other United Nations organs.

- to consider and approve the United Nations budget and to
apportion the contributions among members.

- to elect the non-permanent members of the Security Council,
the members of the Economic and Social Council and additional
members of the Trusteeship Council (when necessary); to elect
jointly with the Security Council the Judges of the International
Court of Justice; and, on the recommendation of the Security
Council, to appoint the Secretary-General.

     The General Assembly's regular session usually begins
each year in September. Beginning with its fifty-eighth regular
session (2003-2004), the Assembly opens on Tuesday of the
third week in September, counting from the first week that
contains at least one working day. The election of the President
of the Assembly, as welll as its 21 Vice-Presidents and the
Chairs persons of the Assembly's six main committees, take
place at least three months before the start of the regular session.
To ensure equitable geographical representation, the presidency
of the Assembly rotates each year among five groups of states:
African, Asian, Eastern European, Latin American and Western
European and other states.

     In addition, the Assembly may meet in special sessions at
the request of the Security Council, of a majority of member
states, or of one member if the majority of members concur.
Emergency special sessions may be called within 24 hours of a
request by the Security Council on the vote of any nine Council
members, or by a majority of the United Nations members, or
by one member if the majority of members concur.

     At the beginning of each regular session, the Assembly
holds a general debate, often addressed by heads of state and
government, in which member states express their views on the
most presssing international issues.

 Main committees
Most questions are then discussed in its six main committees:

- First Committee - Disarmament and International Security.

- Second Committee - Economic and Financial

- Third Committee - Social, Humanitarian and Cultural

- Fourth Committee - Special Political and Decolonization

- Fifth Committee - Administrative and Budgetary

- Sixth Committee - Legal

     Some issues are considered only in plenary meetings, while
others are allocated to one of the six main committees. All
issues are voted on through resolutions passed in plenary
meetings, usually towards the end of the regular session, after
the committees have completed their consideration of them and
submitted draft resolutions to the plenary Assembly.

     Voting in Committees is by a simple majority. In plenary
meetings, resolutions may be adopted by acclamation, without
objection or without a vote, or the vote may be recorded or
taken by roll-call. While the decisions of the Assembly have no
legally binding force for governments, they carry the weight of
world opinion, as well as the moral authority of the world
     The work of the United Nations year-round derives largely
from the decisions of the General Assembly - that is to say, the
will of the majority of the members as expressed in resolutions
adopted by the Assembly. That work is carried out:

- by committees and other bodies established by the Assembly
to study and report on specific issues, such as disarmament,
peacekeeping, development and human rights.

- in international conferences called for by the Assembly.

- by the Secretaria of the United Nations - the Secretary-General
and his staff of international civil servants.

Structure and Functions
     The credentials of representatives and the names of
members of the delegation of each Member State are submitted
to the Secretary-General and are issued either by the Head of the
State or Government or by the Minister for Foreign Affairs
(Rule 27 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly).

    A Credentials Committee is appointed at the beginning of
each regular session of the General Assembly. It consists of nine
members, who are appointed by the General Assembly on the
proposal of the President.

     The Committee is mandated to examine the credentials of
representatives of Member States and to report to the General
Assembly thereon (Rule 28 of the Rules of Procedure of the
General Assembly). Special and emergency special sessions of
the General Assembly as well as conferences convened under its
auspices also appoint a Credentials Committee having the same
composition as that of the Credentials Committee at its most
recent regular session.

The Security Council
         one of the six principal organs of the United Nations
(UN). Under the United Nations Charter, the Security Council is
primarily responsible for maintaining international peace and
security. It is so organized as to be able to function
continuously, and a representative of each of its members must
be present at all times at United Nations Headquarters. On 31
January 1992, the first ever Summit Meeting of the Council was
convened at Headquarters, attended by Heads of State and
Government of 13 of its 15 members and by the Ministers for
Foreign Affairs of the remaining two. The Council may meet
elsewhere than at Headquarters; in 1972, it held a session in
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the following year in Panama City
,When a complaint concerning a threat to peace is brought
before it, the Council's first action is usually to recommend to
the parties to try to reach agreement by peaceful means. In some
cases, the Council itself undertakes investigation and mediation.
It may appoint special representatives or request the Secretary-
General to do so or to use his good offices. It may set forth
principles for a peaceful settlement.
      When a dispute leads to fighting, the Council's first concern
is to bring it to an end as soon as possible. On many occasions,
the Council has issued cease-fire directives which have been
instrumental in preventing wider hostilities. It also sends United
Nations peace-keeping forces to help reduce tensions in troubled
areas, keep opposing forces apart and create conditions of calm
in which peaceful settlements may be sought. The Council may
decide on enforcement measures, economic sanctions (such as
trade embargoes) or collective military action.
      A Member State against which preventive or enforcement
action has been taken by the Security Council may be suspended
from the exercise of the rights and privileges of membership by
the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security
Council. A Member State which has persistently violated the
principles of the Charter may be expelled from the United
Nations by the Assembly on the Council's recommendation.

     A State which is a Member of the United Nations but not of
the Security Council may participate, without a vote, in its
discussions when the Council considers that that country's
interests are affected. Both Members of the United Nations and
non-members, if they are parties to a dispute being considered
by the Council, are invited to take part, without a vote, in the
Council's discussions; the Council sets the conditions for
participation by a non-member State. The Presidency of the
Council rotates monthly, according to the English alphabetical
listing of its member States.

the functions and powers
  Under the Charter, the functions and powers of the Security
Council are :

- to maintain international peace and security in accordance with
the principles and purposes of the United Nations.

- to investigate any dispute or situation which might lead to
international friction.

- to recommend methods of adjusting such disputes or the terms
of settlement.

- to formulate plans for the establishment of a system to regulate

- to determine the existence of a threat to the peace or act of
aggression and to recommend what action should be taken.

- to call on Members to apply economic sanctions and other
measures not involving the use of force to prevent or stop

- to take military action against an aggressor.

- to recommend the admission of new Members.

- to exercise the trusteeship functions of the United Nations in
"strategic areas".

- to recommend to the General Assembly the appointment of
the Secretary-General and, together with the Assembly, to elect
the Judges of the International Court of Justice
     Standing Committees -- There are two committees at
present, and each includes representatives of all Security
Council member States.

- Committee of Experts on Rules of Procedure (studies and
advises on rules of procedure and other technical matters)

- Committee on Admission of New Members

    Ad Hoc Committees -- They are established as needed,
comprise all Council members and meet in closed session.

- Security Council Committee on Council meeting away from

- Governing Council of the United Nations Compensation
Commission established by Security Council resolution 692

- Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1373 (2001)
concerning Counter-Terrorism.

Working Group on General Issues on Sanctions
    Sanctions Committees, an Overview :

- Security Council Committee established by resolution 661
(1990) concerning the situation between Iraq and Kuwait.

- Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution
748 (1992) concerning the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya .

- Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution
751 (1992) concerning Somalia.

- Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution
864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola .
- Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution
918 (1994) concerning Rwanda.

- Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution
985 (1995) concerning Liberia .

- Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution
1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone.

- Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution
1160 (1998) .

- Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution
1267 (1999) .

- Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution
1298 (2000) concerning the situation between Eritrea and

- Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution
1343 (2001) concerning Liberia.

Peace-keeping Operations
    Between June 1948 and August 2000, there have been 53
United Nations peace-keeping operations.

International Tribunals
- International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons
Responsible for Serious Violations of International
Humanitarian Law in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia -
established by S/RES/808(1993) - International Criminal
Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY);

- International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons
Responsible for Serious Violations of International
Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Rwanda and
Rwandan Citizens Responsible for such Violations Committed
in the Territory of Neighbouring States - established at 1994.
     The Security Council is primarily responsible for
maintaining international peace and security. Under Chapter VII
of the charter, the Security Council is the only UN organ that
can order enforcement action if a case of aggression or breach of
peace has been established. Enforcement action can range from
economic sanctions to military measures. Disputes and breaches
of peace may be brought before the Security Council by any UN
member nation. Countries that are not members of the council, if
affected by the issue at question, may be invited to participate in
the discussion without a vote.

    The Security Council has 15 members, of which 5 are
permanent: the United States, Russia, Great Britain, France, and
China. The other members are elected by the General Assembly
to serve nonconsecutive two-year terms. Every year five new
countries are elected to these seats, which rotate on a
geographical basis: five from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East;
two from Western countries; two from Latin America; and one
from Eastern Europe. The presidency of the council is held for a
month at a time by each of the members.

     Nine affirmative votes are required to pass a resolution. In
procedural decisions, any nine votes suffice. On all substantive
matters, however, all five permanent members must support the
resolution. A negative vote from any of the five permanent
members prevents the adoption of any resolution, even if all
other members vote in favor. This negative vote is known as the
veto right of the great powers and has been a point of
controversy since the establishment of the UN. The frequent use
of the veto by the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
(USSR), especially, had given rise to repeated complaints in the
UN. In 1950 this USSR use of the veto led to the adoption of the
United for Peace resolution, which provides that the General
Assembly may continue to consider a problem if the council is
blocked from further consideration by veto. The United States
cast its first veto on March 17, 1970, against a resolution that
condemned Great Britain for not using force when the minority
government in Rhodesia proclaimed itself a republic. The
United States did support another resolution that placed
sanctions against Rhodesia.

     The Security Council also recommends to the assembly
admission of new UN members and appointment of a new
secretary general; it participates equally with the General
Assembly in electing judges to the International Court of
Justice. The council has two standing committees and a Military
Staff Committee, which is not currently functioning; the council
may also establish ad hoc bodies.

Council's Voting Procedure.
The issue of the so-called veto of the five permanent members
of the Security Council, though widely discussed within the
United Nations, has been widely misunderstood by the general
public. Article 27 of the Charter of the United Nations provides:

(1) Each member of the Security Council shall have one vote.
(2) Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters
shall be made by an affirmative vote of seven members. (3)
Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be
made by an affirmative vote of seven members including the
concurring votes of the permanent members; provided that in
decisions under Chapter VI, and under paragraph 3 of Article
52, a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting."

     In other words, decisions of the Security Council on
matters other than "procedural matters" require unanimity
among the five permanent members of the Security Council as
well as express consent of two non-permanent Council

     The Charter provides for the following exception to the
unanimity requirement on substantive matters: Whenever a
member of the United Nations is a party to a dispute, the
continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of
international peace and security, that member shall abstain from
voting on decisions arising under Chapter VI of the Charter
(Pacific Settlement of Disputes). This exception has been
explained on the ground that nobody shall be judge in his own

     In addition, Rule 40 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure
adopted by the Security Council contains the following rule on
voting: "Voting in the Security Council shall be in accordance
with the relevant articles of the Charter and of the Statute of the
International Court of Justice." The Report of the Security
Council to the General Assembly comments on this rule as
follows: "There was a full and free exchange of views on this
subject in the Committee [of experts]. It was the view of certain
of its members that the Chapter on voting should contain
detailed provisions covering both the mechanics of the vote and
the majorities by which the various decisions of the Council
should be taken. But since the Committee was not able to draft
additional rules of procedure on this subject, it was decided to
defer further consideration of the problem to a later date."

Veto Procedure Reviewed.
     The General Assembly, in the course of the second part of
the First Session, took up the so-called veto procedure. Its
discussion centered on two resolutions. The delegation for Cuba
to the General Assembly proposed "to convene in conformity
with Article 109 of the Charter a General Conference of the
Members of the United Nations for the purpose of reviewing the
present Charter of the Organization. This Conference should be
held at the same place as the Second Session of the General
Assembly in 1947 and should begin work immediately after the
conclusion of the Assembly." The Cuban proposal, though
couched in very general terms, aimed undoubtedly at
amendments that would make the United Nations a more
effective instrument to maintain world peace and security.
Nevertheless, it was generally understood that the primary
purpose of the proposed Cuban resolution was to modify the
"veto" procedure. Another draft resolution concerning the
method of voting in the Security Council was submitted to the
General Assembly by the Australian Delegation. It furnished the
basis of the Assembly Resolution of December 13, 1946,
recommending to the Security Council "the early adoption of
practices and procedure consistent with the Charter, to assist in
reducing the difficulties in the application of Article 27 and to
ensure the prompt and effective exercise by the Security Council
of its functions ..." Thirty-six members voted in favor of the
resolution; six members voted against it (Byelorussian Soviet
Socialist Republic, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Ukranian Soviet
Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and
Yugoslavia); nine abstained (Chile, China, Denmark, Ethiopia,
France, Haiti, Iceland, India, and Norway), and three were
absent (Costa Rica, Panama, and Sweden).

     The Assembly Resolution of November 19, 1946, tends to
reconcile two conflicting principles of the Charter, namely, the
voting privileges of the permanent members of the Security
Council and the principle of the "sovereign equality" of all
members of the United Nations.

Abstention from Voting.
      Apart from the principle of unanimity and its corollary, the
so-called veto, the question of abstention from voting has to be
faced. There can be no doubt that the permanent members of the
Security Council are authorized to abstain from voting on
strictly procedural matters. Whether abstention from voting will
be considered permissible on other matters remains to be seen.

Peace and Security.
     Several questions were taken up by the Security Council
under its responsibility for the maintenance of peace and
security. These questions are usually referred to as the Iranian
Question, the Greek Question, the Indonesian Question, the
Syrian and Lebanese Question, the Spanish Question. Two of
these issues were declared closed by the Security Council,
namely, the question of the presence of British troops in Greece
(February 6, 1946) and the Indonesian Question (February 13,
1946). The Syrian and Lebanese questions involving the
presence of French and British troops in this area was brought to
the attention of the Council on February 4, 1946. The Syrian
Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs confirmed by
telegram, dated May 19, 1946, that foreign troops had evacuated
Syrian territory during the first two weeks of April 1946. The
Lebanese Minister for Foreign Affairs informed the Security
Council by letter dated May 9, 1946, about an agreement with
the French Foreign Minister concerning the evacuation of
French troops from Lebanon. Consequently, the Syrian and
Lebanese questions were taken off the agenda of the Security
Council. By contrast, the Iranian Question and the Spanish
Question have been kept on the agenda by Council resolution of
May 22, 1946, and of June 26, 1946, respectively. Hence,
pending further action, the Council remains seized of these

Organizational Functions of the Council.
     In addition to its primary function of maintaining peace and
security, the Security Council is charged with several
organizational functions, such as designating United Nations
officers. Pursuant to Article 97 of the Charter, the Security
Council recommended Trygve Lie, formerly Minister of Foreign
Affairs of Norway, as Secretary-General of the United Nations
on January 30, 1946. Upon this recommendation, the General
Assembly appointed Lie as Secretary-General on February 1,

     The judges of the International Court of Justice are elected
by the General Assembly and the Security Council. On February
6, the Security Council in conjunction with the General
Assembly elected the following sixteen outstanding
international lawyers as judges of the Court: José Gustavo
Guerrero (President, El Salvador), Alejandro Alvarez (Chile),
Abdel Hamid Badawj Pasha (Egypt), José Philadelpho de
Barros e Azevedo (Brazil), Jules Basdevant (France), Isidro
Fabela (Mexico), Green Haywood Hackworth (U.S.A.), Hsu Mo
(China), Helge Klaestad (Norway), Sergey B. Krylov
(U.S.S.R.), Sir Arnold Duncan McNair (England), John Erskine
Read (Canada), Charles de Visscher (Belgium), Bohdan
Winiarski (Poland), Milovan Zoricic (Yugoslavia), Registrar,
Edvard Hambro, Jr.

Military Staff Committee.
      A Military Staff Committee, to advise and assist the
Security Council on all questions relating to the Security
Council's military requirements for the maintenance of
international peace and security, the employment and command
of forces placed at its disposal, the regulation of armaments, and
possible disarmament has been set up under Article 47 of the
Charter. The committee is composed of the Chiefs of Staff, or
their representatives, of the five permanent members of the
Security Council. The Committee met in London from February
3 to 14, 1946, and, after March 25, held meetings in New York.
The committee submitted to the Security Council a Draft Statute
and Draft Rules of Procedure. On February 16, 1946, the
Security Council directed the Military Staff Committee to
consider Article 43 of the Charter from the military point of
view. Article 43 provides for agreements designed to make
available to the Security Council armed forces, assistance and
facilities. It should be noted that in the absence of such special
agreements there is no United Nations military force in
existence. It is hoped, however, that by special agreements
military contingents will in the future be put at the disposal of
the Security Council.

The Economic and Social Council
      The Economic and Social Council coordinates the work of
the 14 UN specialized agencies, 10 functional commissions and
five regional commissions; receives reports from 11 UN funds
and programme); and issues policy recommendations to the UN
system and to Member States. Under the UN Charter , ECOSOC
is responsible for promoting higher standards of living, full
employment, and economic and social progress; identifying
solutions to international economic, social and health problems;
facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation;
and encouraging universal respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms. ECOSOC's purview extends to over 70
per cent of the human and financial resources of the entire UN

    The ultimate objective of the Economic and Social Council
is the creation of conditions of stability and well-being
necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations. To
this end, the Economic and Social Council is authorized to make
or initiate studies and reports on international economic, social,
cultural, and educational problems, public health, and other
related matters, and to make recommendations on such matters
to the General Assembly, to the members of the United Nations,
and to the specialized agencies concerned. Moreover, the
Council may prepare draft conventions and call international
conferences on matters within its jurisdiction.

     In carrying out its mandate, ECOSOC consults with
academics, business sector representatives and more than 2,100
registered non-governmental organizations. The Council holds a
four-week substantive session each July, alternating between
New York and Geneva. The session includes a high-level
segment, at which national cabinet ministers and chiefs of
international agencies and other high officials focus their
attention on a selected theme of global significance. This year,
the high-level segment will cover "Resources mobilization and
enabling environment for poverty eradication in the context of
the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least
Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010". The Council
will adopt a Ministerial Declaration, providing policy guidance
and recommendations for action.
Policy leadership

     ECOSOC has taken a lead role in key policy areas in recent
years. Its 1999 high-level segment issued a "Manifesto on
Poverty", which in many respects anticipated the formulation of
the Millennium Development Goals that were approved at the
UN Millennium Summit in New York. The Ministerial
Declaration of the high-level segment in 2000 proposed specific
actions to address the digital divide, leading directly to the
formation in 2001 of the ICT [Information and Communication
Technologies] Task Force. Last year, ECOSOC's consideration
of African development resulted in the first formal international
endorsement of the New Partnership for Africa's Development.

     Outside of the substantive sessions, ECOSOC initiated in
1998 a tradition of meeting each April with finance ministers
heading key committees of the Bretton Woods institutions -- the
World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. These
consultations initiated inter-institutional cooperation that paved
the way for the success of the International Conference on
Financing for Development, held in March 2002 in Monterrey,
Mexico. At that conference, ECOSOC was assigned a primary
role in monitoring and assessing follow-up to the Monterrey


     The Council's 54 member Governments are elected by the
General Assembly for overlapping three-year terms. Seats on
the Council are allotted based on geographical representation
with fourteen allocated to African States, eleven to Asian States,
six to Eastern European States, ten to Latin American and
Caribbean States, and thirteen to Western European and other

     The Bureau of the Economic and Social Council is elected
by the Council at large at the beginning of each annual session.
The Bureau's main functions are to propose the agenda, draw up
a programme of work and organize the session with the support
of the United Nations Secretariat.


    To realize its objective the Economic and Social Council
may establish commissions in the economic and social fields.

      At its first session the Council set up five "nuclear"
commissions, each composed of nine persons appointed in their
individual capacities: Commission on Human Rights, with a
Sub-Commission on the Status of Women; Economic and
Employment Commission; Statistical Commission; Temporary
Social Commission; Temporary Transport and Communications
Commission. The definitive character of the commissions was
left to the decision of the second session of the Economic and
Social Council, which determined that commissions, in general,
should be composed of fifteen members; that the Human Rights
and the Social Commission should include 18 members; while
the Statistical Commission should be composed of 11 members.
After considerable debate it was decided that the representatives
from members of the United Nations should serve in an official
capacity, subject to instructions from their governments. To
secure a balanced representation in the various fields, it was
further decided that the Secretary-General should consult with
the governments designated to participate in these Commissions
before the nomination of representatives or their confirmation
by the Council.

     In the course of the second session the Sub-Commission on
the Status of Women was raised to the rank of Commission. At
the third session the Council determined the terms of reference
of the Fiscal and Population Commission. The full commission
on Narcotic Drugs and its States Members was designated by
the First Session of the Council.
     It should be recalled that the scope and functions of several
commissions of the Economic and Social Council correspond to
the related functions of former League of Nations commissions.
This holds true of the Fiscal Commission, the Narcotic Drugs
Commission, the Population Commission, the Statistical
Commission, the Social Commission, the Transport and
Communications Commission.

     As concerning the other commissions, it is noteworthy that
the Economic and Employment Commission shall advise the
Economic and Social Council on all matters designed to
promote higher living standards, on the prevention of wide
fluctuations in economic activity and on co-ordination of full
employment policies. Moreover, the Commission is authorized
to establish a Sub-Commission on Employment and Economic
Stability and a Sub-Commission on Economic Developments.

     The Commission on Human Rights shall assist the Council
in the performance of its obligation to promote universal respect
for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
It has been authorized to establish sub-commissions on freedom
of information, protection of minorities and prevention of
discrimination. The members of the United Nations have been
invited to consider the desirability of establishing information
groups or local human rights committees within their respective
countries to further the work of the Commission on Human

      The functions of the Commission on the Status of Women
shall be to prepare recommendations and reports to the
Economic and Social Council on promoting women's rights in
political, economic, social and educational fields. The
Commission shall also make recommendations to the Council
on urgent problems requiring immediate attention in the field of
women's rights.

     With the exception of the Narcotics Commission, only the
nuclear commissions met in 1946. The nuclear commissions,
meeting in New York during April and May, reported
recommendations to the Council concerning the future activities
of the full Commissions. The Commission on Narcotic Drugs
met from November 27 to December 11, 1946 at Lake Success;
it adopted, among others, a resolution transferring to the United
Nations powers and functions in the field of Narcotic Drugs
control formerly exercised by the League of Nations.

Sub-Commission on Devastated Areas.

     he General Assembly adopted on February 2, 1946, a
Resolution on the Economic Reconstruction of Devastated
Areas, requesting the Economic and Social Council to place this
subject on its agenda. On June 21, the Council established a
temporary sub-commission to ascertain the nature and scope of
the economic reconstruction problems in war devastated areas,
except Germany and Japan, and to advise the Council on
international measures to facilitate and accelerate reconstruction
in these countries.

      The sub-commission was composed of twenty members. It
met for the first time in London on July 29, 1946 and concluded
its session on September 13, 1946. Within the sub-commission
one working group for Europe and Africa, and one for Asia and
the Far East was set up. The group for Europe and Africa made
on-the-spot surveys in Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France,
Greece, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Poland and Yugoslavia.
Both groups prepared elaborate reports on their findings to the
Council. Although a proposal to establish an economic
commission for Europe was not adopted by the third session of
the Economic and Social Council, a resolution was approved
indicating some major problems of economic reconstruction in
the areas.

Coordination of Specialized Agencies

     The Charter authorizes the Economic and Social Council,
established by inter-governmental agreement and having wide
international responsibilities, to "coordinate the activities of
specialized agencies."

      By special agreement four of these agencies have been
brought into relationship with the United Nations. The
International Labor Organization, the Food and Agriculture
Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization, and the Provisional International Civil
Aviation Organization, on behalf of its permanent successor the
International Civil Aviation Organization, have negotiated and
initialed such agreements with the Economic and Social
Council. On December 14, 1946 these agreements were
approved by the General Assembly, subject to several changes.
In reference to the International Civil Aviation Organization, for
instance, a clause was inserted requiring the organization to
"comply with any decision of the General Assembly regarding
Franco Spain."

     These agreements provide for reciprocal representation of
the United Nations and each specialized agency; proposal of
agenda items; membership in the specialized agency; exchange
of information and documents; assistance to the Security and
Trusteeship Councils; personnel arrangements; budgetary and
financial arrangements; financing of special services; relations
to the International Court of Justice; Public Information;

      A standing committee of administrative officers,
consisting of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and
the corresponding officers of the specialized agencies that have
been brought into relationship with the United Nations, was
instituted by an Economic and Social Council resolution of
September 21, 1946, to insure the fullest and most effective
implementation of the agreements entered into between the
United Nations and the specialized agencies.

                         TRUSTEESHIP COUNCIL
Basic Objectives.
     The Trusteeship Council is one of the principal organs of
the United Nations. Its basic objectives are to promote the
political, economic, social and educational advancement of the
inhabitants of the trust territories; to encourage respect for
human rights and fundamental freedoms; and to advance self-
government in, or the independence of, trust territories as may
be appropriate; to ensure equal treatment in social, economic,
and commercial matters to all members of the United Nations.

Early Functioning Not Possible

    It was not possible to establish the Trusteeship Council
during the first part of the first session of the General Assembly.
No trusteeship agreements were submitted to the London
meeting of the General Assembly. The mandates system of the
League of Nations — with certain notable exceptions, for
instance, Syria and Lebanon — was still considered in force
until April 18, 1946 when the last Assembly of the League of
Nations, meeting in Geneva, recognized by resolution that, on
the termination of the League's existence, its functions with
respect to the mandated territories would end.

Trust Territories.

     It should be noted that by the end of 1946 only former
mandated territories had been declared trust territories by virtue
of the following trusteeship agreements: draft trusteeship
agreement for New Guinea submitted by the Government of
Australia; for Ruanda-Urundi submitted by the Government of
Belgium; for the Cameroons under French mandate submitted
by the Government of France; for Togoland under French
mandate submitted by the Government of France; for Western
Samoa submitted by the Government of New Zealand; for
Tanganyika submitted by the Government of the United
Kingdom; for the Cameroons under British mandate submitted
by the Government of the United Kingdom; for Togoland under
British mandate submitted by the Government of the United
     Through approval of these eight trusteeship agreements on
December 13, 1946 the General Assembly rendered the
international trusteeship system of the Charter applicable to the
foregoing trust territories.

Soviet Proposal Rejected.

     The delegation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
considered the draft trusteeship agreements incompatible with
Art. 76, 79, and 83 of the Charter. A draft resolution to this
effect, proposed by the Soviet delegation, was rejected by thirty-
four votes to six with eleven abstentions.

Composition of Trusteeship Council.

     The Trusteeship Council, as established by Assembly
Resolution of December 14, 1946, is composed of ten members:
Australia, Belgium, France, New Zealand and the United
Kingdom are members of the Trusteeship Council in their
capacity as administering authorities of trust territories; China,
the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the United States of
America participate in the Trusteeship Council in their capacity
as permanent members of the Security Council; Mexico and Iraq
were elected to the Trusteeship Council by the General
Assembly on December 14, 1946 for a term of three years to
ensure that the total number of members of the Trusteeship
Council is equally divided between members of the United
Nations which administer trust territories and those which do

    The Secretary General has been directed to convoke the first
session of the trusteeship Council not later than March 15, 1947,
and to communicate the provisional agenda for the session to
each member of the Council at least thirty days in advance.

Membership of Trusteeship Council.

    In contrast to the membership in the Security Council and
the Economic and Social Council, the maximum number of
members of the Trusteeship Council has not been defined by the
Charter once and for all. Pursuant to Art. 86 of the Charter the
Trusteeship Council may be enlarged or decreased in the future.

Main Functions.

      The main functions of the Trusteeship Council, under the
authority of the General Assembly, are: to consider reports
submitted by the administering authority; to accept petitions and
to examine them in consultation with the administering
authority; to undertake periodic visits to the respective trust
territories at times agreed upon with the administering authority;
and to take other actions in conformity with the pertinent
trusteeship agreements.

                    THE SECRETARIAT
Secretary General

     On February 1, 1946 Mr. Trygve Lie, formerly Minister of
Foreign Affairs of Norway, was elected the first Secretary-
General of the United Nations for a term of five years; at the end
of that period the appointment may be extended for another five-
year term. In addition to his regular functions as Chief
Administrative Officer of the organization, the Secretary-
General has also a tremendous political responsibility. In
particular, he is authorized under Article 99 of the Charter to
bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which
in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international
peace and security.

Administrative Structure

     The United Nations Charter does not specify the
administrative structure of the Secretariat. On February 13,
1946, the General Assembly designated by Resolution the
principal eight departments of the Secretariat and authorized the
Secretary-General to appoint Assistant Secretaries-General in
charge of these administrative units. The Secretariat includes the
following departments: Department of Security Council Affairs
(Assistant Secretary-General; Department of Economic Affair;
Department of Social Affairs (Assis; Department of Trusteeship
and Information from Non-Self Governing Territories;
Department of Public Information ; Legal Department ;
Department of Conference and General Service ; Department of
Administrative and Financial Services/

Selection of Personnel

     Men and women are equally eligible for all posts in the
Secretariat. In selection of the staff the principle of wide
geographic distribution is observed. The officers of the
Secretariat are selected with a view to securing the highest
standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity.

Function of Secretariat

     The Secretariat services the meetings of the principal and
subsidiary organs of the United Nations, produces the required
documentation, and will presumably carry on several of the
research functions previously exercised by the Secretariat of the
League. The Department of Public Information, in cooperation
with interested specialized agencies, is designed to promote to
the greatest possible extent an informed understanding of the
work and purposes of the United Nations among the peoples of
the world.

           The International Court of Justice
     The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial
organ of the United Nations. Its seat is at the Peace Palace
in The Hague (Netherlands). It began work in 1946, when it
replaced the Permanent Court of International Justice which had
functioned in the Peace Palace since 1922. It operates under a
Statute largely similar to that of its predecessor, which is an
integral part of the Charter of the United Nations.

Functions of the Court
     The Court has a dual role: to settle in accordance with
international law the legal disputes submitted to it by States, and
to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly
authorized international organs and agencies.


     The Court is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year
terms of office by the United Nations General Assembly and
Security Council sitting independently of each other. It may not
include more than one judge of any nationality. Elections are held
every three years for one-third of the seats, and retiring judges
may be re-elected. The Members of the Court do not represent
their governments but are independent magistrates.

     The judges must possess the qualifications required in their
respective countries for appointment to the highest judicial
offices, or be jurists of recognized competence in international
law. The composition of the Court has also to reflect the main
forms of civilization and the principal legal systems of the world.

     When the Court does not include a judge possessing the
nationality of a State party to a case, that State may appoint
a person to sit as a judge ad hoc for the purpose of the case.

The Parties

Only States may apply to and appear before the Court. The
Member States of the United Nations (at present numbering 191)
are so entitled.


        The Court is competent to entertain a dispute only if the
States concerned have accepted its jurisdiction in one or more
of the following ways:

- by the conclusion between them of a special agreement to
submit the dispute to the Court;
- by virtue of a jurisdictional clause, i.e., typically, when they are
parties to a treaty containing a provision whereby, in the event of
a disagreement over its interpretation or application, one of them
may refer the dispute to the Court. Several hundred treaties or
conventions contain a clause to such effect;

- through the reciprocal effect of declarations made by them
under the Statute whereby each has accepted the jurisdiction of
the Court as compulsory in the event of a dispute with another
State having made a similar declaration. The declarations
of 65 States are at present in force, a number of them having been
made subject to the exclusion of certain categories of dispute.

- In cases of doubt as to whether the Court has jurisdiction, it is
the Court itself which decides.


      The procedure followed by the Court in contentious cases is
defined in its Statute, and in the Rules of Court adopted by it
under the Statute. The latest version of the Rules dates from 5
December 2000. The proceedings include a written phase, in
which the parties file and exchange pleadings, and an oral phase
consisting of public hearings at which agents and counsel address
the Court. As the Court has two official languages (English and
French) everything written or said in one language is translated
into the other.

      After the oral proceedings the Court deliberates in camera
and then delivers its judgment at a public sitting. The judgment
is final and without appeal. Should one of the States involved
fail to comply with it, the other party may have recourse
to the Security Council of the United Nations.

    The Court discharges its duties as a full court but, at the
request of the parties, it may also establish a special chamber.
The Court constituted such a chamber in 1982 for the first time,
formed a second one in 1985, constituted two in 1987 and two
more in 2002. A Chamber of Summary Procedure is elected
every year by the Court in accordance with its Statute. In
July 1993 the Court also established a seven-member Chamber to
deal with any environmental cases faSince 1946 the Court has
delivered 89 Judgments on disputes concerning inter alia land
frontiers and maritime boundaries, territorial sovereignty, the
non-use of force, non-interference in the internal affairs of States,
diplomatic relations, hostage-taking, the right of asylum,
nationality, guardianship, rights of passage and economic rights.

Sources of applicable law

     The Court decides in accordance with international treaties
and conventions in force, international custom, the general
principles of law and, as subsidiary means, judicial decisions and
the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists.

Advisory Opinions

     The advisory procedure of the Court is open solely to
international organizations. The only bodies at present
authorized to request advisory opinions of the Court are five
organs of the United Nations and 16 specialized agencies of the
United Nations family.

     On receiving a request, the Court decides which States and
organizations might provide useful information and gives them
an opportunity of presenting written or oral statements. The
Court's advisory procedure is otherwise modelled on that for
contentious proceedings, and the sources of applicable law are
the same. In principle the Court's advisory opinions are
consultative in character and are therefore not binding as such on
the requesting bodies. Certain instruments or regulations can,
however, provide in advance that the advisory opinion shall be

    Since 1946 the Court has given 25 Advisory Opinions,
concerning inter alia the legal consequences of the construction
of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territory, admission to
United Nations membership, reparation for injuries suffered in
the service of the United Nations, territorial status of South-West
Africa (Namibia) and Western Sahara, judgments rendered by
international administrative tribunals, expenses of certain
United Nations operations, applicability of the United Nations
Headquarters Agreement, the status of human rights rapporteurs,
and the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons.

Pending cases

     Twelve cases are currently pending:

  - Application of the Convention on the Prevention and
  Punishment of the Crime of Genocide(Bosnia and
  Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro)

  - Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros Project (Hungary/Slovakia)

  - Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic
  Republic of Congo)

  - Armed activities on the territory of the Congo (Democratic
  Republic of Congo v. Uganda)

   - Application of the Convention on the Prevention and
  Punishment of the Crime of Genocide    (Croatia v. Serbia
  and Montenegro)

  - Maritime Delimitation between Nicaragua and Honduras in
  the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Honduras)

   - Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia)

  - Frontier Dispute (Benin/Niger)

  - Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (New
  Application : 2002) (Democratic Republic of the Congo v.

  - Certain Criminal Proceedings in France (Republic of the
  Congo v. France)
  -   Sovereignty    over    Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh,
  Middle Rocks and South Ledge(Malaysia/Singapore)

  - Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v.

      The United Nations and its problems
     From 1945 to the 1970‘s, the United Nations looked to be a
strong successor to the failed League of Nations. Success of
sorts in Korea and the Congo had boosted its international
image. However, many of the problems from the Cold War it
could not stem. The effective occupation of Eastern Europe by
Russia made a mockery of the promises made at Yalta and other
war meetings. The treatment of Hungary in 1956 could not be
stopped by the United Nations. Likewise, America‘s
involvement in Vietnam could not be stopped.

      By the end of the 1970‘s the United Nations had lost some
of its prestige. It was clear that the two superpowers, America
and Russia, would follow the foreign policy that they wanted to
regardless of what the UN wanted.

      The whole issue of the relationship between America and
the UN weakened the UN. Since 1945, America had been the
dominant force in the UN. America provided the UN with 25%
of its annual budget and expected to have a big say in final UN
decisions - an influence that matched the hundred of millions of
dollars America has paid into the UN‘s budget. Likewise, some
major international problems were dealt with by America
flexing her diplomatic muscles (such as in Suez and especially
in the Middle East) rather than the UN solving them.

     As more and more Asian and African nations gained their
independence and joined the UN, power blocs within the
General Assembly have developed. These have challenged the
belief that the old order of western nations should dominate the
UN simply by using their financial clout and their historic
connections. Seven blocs have been identified:
- the Developing Nations which consists of 125 states

- the Non-Aligned Movement which consists of 99 states
(mostly Asian and African who avoid joining military alliances)

- the Islamic Conference which consists of 41 states

- the African group of 50 states

- the Latin American group of 33 states

- the Western European group of 25 states

- the Arab group of 22 states

     Within the General Assembly, all nations regardless of
wealth, military power etc., have one vote. The same is true in
the specialist agencies - one nation one vote. However, much of
the important UN work is done in the Security Council and the
five nations of Russia, America, Britain, France and China still
have the right to veto a decision of the Security Council. This
system has been challenged by the newer members of the UN
who want one nation one vote in the Security Council as well.
The five permanent members of the Security Council have
fought to keep the system as it is claiming that as the five
permanent members invest far more money into the UN‘s
budget and, as a result, should have more sway than nations that
pay far less into the UN‘s budget.

      In 1985, this theme was even taken up by America‘s
Congress which declared that: In 1985, America provided the
UN with 25% of its budget; the USSR provided 10.5%; Angola
0.01% and Saudi Arabia 0.86%. America claimed that such an
investment should have its rewards. If the ‗Big Five‘ withdrew
their financial support or reduced it to the level of other nations
in the UN, then the UN itself would face near bankruptcy. There
was little the UN could do if members failed to pay their
contribution. After the Congo crisis from 1960 to 1964, Russia,
France and Belgium refused to contribute to the $400 million it
had cost the UN to bring peace to the Congo.

     Throughout the 1960‘s, 1970‘s and 1980‘s, the UN run up
debts nearly totalling $1 billion. In 1986, America refused to
pay 50% of its annual contribution in protest at the influence
newly emerging nations had or were attempting to get. America
pointed out that 85% of the UN‘s budget was paid by just 20
nations yet many smaller nations were trying to reform the way
the UN was run (especially its voting system) without making
the same financial commitment to the UN.

      Towards the end of the 1980‘s the UN appeared to have
split in two: the richer old established nations that essentially
funded the UN on one side and the newly established but poorer
nations on the other side. These nations claimed that they were
only poor because so much of their annual wealth was taken up
in paying off debts to the world‘s richest nations. The world‘s
richest nations have responded to this charge. They claim that
internal corruption within these newer nations is responsible for
their poverty - not the debts they owe for money borrowed.

     Within just 60 years of its birth, the UN stood at a
crossroads. If it divides into rich and poor nations, where does
this leave the whole concept of all nations working for one
common goal?

       The United Nations and the Middle East
         The United Nations has been involved in various problems in the Middle East
since 1947. Whereas the Korean War and the Congo issue were settled in the sense
that there was no further outbreak of hostilities, the United Nations has not managed
to do the same in the Middle East. Wars have broken out in 1948, 1956, 1967 and
1973 and severe problems exist to this day.

     After World War One, Britain had governed Palestine as a
League of Nations mandate. Britain got more and more
embroiled in the area and in 1947 asked the United Nations to
take over the duty of running the area. The Palestinians and the
Jews in the area may have detested and fought one another but
both fought the British troops who were stationed there. By
1947, Britain had had enough.

      The United Nations took over the area and set up an
eleven-man commission to examine the problem. Their solution
was to divide Palestine in half with one part for the Jews and the
other for the Palestinians. The Arab nations that surrounded
Palestine made it clear that this plan would not be acceptable.
Regardless of this – and aware of world sympathy for the Jews
in the aftermath of World War Two - the United Nations went
ahead with its plan. The General Assembly approved the
partition in November 1947.

     The United Nations plan came to nothing. The British left
Palestine in May 1948 and the Jews set up Israel almost
immediately using territory given to them in the United Nations
plan. The Arab nations that surrounded Israel immediately
attacked with the intention of destroying the new state.

     The United Nations, now with a war to deal with, arranged
for a four-week truce. However, the end of the truce saw the
start of hostilities again. A major problem for the United
Nations was the murder of their chief negotiator in the area –
Count Bernadotte. His successor was Ralph Bunche and he
managed to arrange for another cease-fire in 1949. This was
signed by Israel and all but one of the Arab nations that had
attacked Israel in 1948. However, for many it was a truce and a
renewal of war was only a matter of time. The Middle East was
to present to the United Nations its most difficult question.

     During the 1948 conflict, 800,000 Palestinians had fled
from what was now Israel and lived in refugee camps along the
border of Israel and the Arab nations that surrounded Israel.
Their lifestyle was poor and the humanitarian side of the United
Nations was needed to improve the lot of people who felt that
they had been dispossessed of their homeland. The United
Nations responded to this problem by setting up the United
Nations Relief and Welfare Agency (UNRWA). It was the task
of UNRWA to deal with the refugee camps – provide clean
water, decent tents etc. – until a political solution could be found
for the refugees which would entail them returning to Israel or
being accommodated by a nearby Arab nation.

     These refugee camps became homes to Fedayeen – men
who were willing to make raids on Israel in cross-border attacks.
Fedayeen means ‗self-sacrificer‘. A round of tit-for-tat attacks
occurred. Fedayeen men would attack the Israelis which lead to
an Israeli counter-raid against the refugee settlements.

     The United Nations also set-up the CCP – Conciliation
Commission for Palestine. This body held talks in neutral
Switzerland. The main issue that had to be addressed was the
border Israel held between itself and its Arab neighbours. In
1948, Israel had taken much of the land from the Palestinians
that had been scheduled under the United Nations plan to be
given to them.

     In 1956, a full-scale war broke out when Israel attacked the
Sinai – Egypt east of the Suez Canal.Egypt, lead by Nasser, had
nationalised the Suez Canal. Up to 1956, this had been co-
owned by Britain and France with both countries benefiting
from the profits this canal made. Now, Nasser believed that
these profits should go to Egypt.

     As a result of this, Britain and France had helped Israel
plan out its October attack on Egypt. Their plan was simple –
Israel would attack the Sinai (Egypt east of the Suez Canal)
while Britain and France would attack and occupy the Suez
Canal zone.

     When the Security Council voted on a resolution for Israel
to withdraw from the Sinai, Britain and France vetoed it. The
Security Council transferred its power to the General Assembly
using the ‗Uniting For Peace‘ principle and the General
Assembly of the United Nations called for a cease-fire and on
November 5th 1956, it created a United Nations Emergency
Force (UNEF). The role of the UNEF was to act as a buffer
between the Israelis and the Egyptians thus ensuring that a
cease-fire was maintained.

     Just one day later the British and French launched their
attack on the Suez. The United Nations was powerless to stop
this attack. However, America, lead by Eisenhower, expressed
its severe reservations regarding this attack and threatened to
stop oil supplies to both Britain and France. The Suez Canal
could not be used to gain oil as it had been shut. Therefore,
unless Britain and France did what America wanted, they would
be starved out of oil. They had to pull out of the Suez.

     On November 16th 1956. 6000 United Nations troops
arrived in the Sinai to keep both Israel and Egypt apart. The
United Nations troops came from Finland, Canada, Yugoslavia,
Denmark, Norway, Brazil, India and Columbia. They carried
only light weapons and were ordered only to use them in self-
defence. The UNEF remained in the Sinai as a buffer until told
to leave by Nasser in 1967. During the time they were there, 89
UNEF troops had been killed. The mission also cost the United
Nations over $200 million.

      The UNEF left the Sinai in 1967 because it had agreed that
if told to leave it would do so. To many observers, the order by
Nasser for the UNEF to withdraw meant that trouble was
brewing. Israel feared that she would be attacked and before
waiting to be attack, Israel launched attacks on Egypt, Syria,
Jordan and Iraq. This war lasted only six days and the fighting
only stopped when the Security Council ordered a cease-fire. It
also drew up Resolution 242 which they believed would restore
peace to the Middle East. Resolution 242 called for:

- The withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Arab land they had

- A solution to the Palestinian refugee problem

- The right of every state concerned in the Middle East to live in
- Free navigation of international waterways

- Secure boundaries between each nation in the Middle East.

     All the involved nations signed 242 except Syria. However,
it was not long before it became clear that each side – Arabs and
Jews – interpreted each point differently. Each side also put a
different emphasis on each point. What was important to the
Arabs had much less importance to Israel. As an example, Israel
declared its intention of staying in Arab land that they
considered to be of strategic importance to the survival of Israel.
The Arab nations viewed the withdrawal of Israeli forces from
occupied Arab land as not open to interpretation. With such
distrust, it was clear that some form of warfare would occur
again. This happened in 1973 and once again the United Nations
could do nothing to prevent it.

     In 1973, Egypt had a new leader – Anwar Sadat. He
announced that any future peace for the Middle East could only
be settled once and for all by the use of military force. On
Israel‘s most holy of days, Yom Kippur, Egypt attacked
catching the usually vigilant Israeli forces off guard.

      The United Nations called for a cease-fire and passed
Resolution 338. A United Nations conference in Geneva was
called but produced no result. This was an obvious rebuff for the
United Nations and all future peace negotiations were taken on
by the USA – not the United Nations. As a result of America‘s
Secretary of State, Henry Kissenger, and his use of ‗shuttle
diplomacy‘ a Disengagement Agreement was signed in January
1974. This allowed for a new UNEF to be sent to the Middle
East. This new force was made up of 7000 men and was again
stationed between Egypt and Israel. A United Nations Observer
Force was sent to monitor the border between Israel and Syria.

     Between 1973 and the 1978 Camp David agreement, most
of the work done at a diplomatic level regarding the Middle East
was centred on an American input. However, in 1975, the
United Nations did criticise Israel regarding its treatment of
those Palestinians who continued to live outside of Israel‘s
borders in refugee camps and who wished to return to live in
what they would refer to as Palestine. In 1977, the United
Nations also criticised Israel‘s policy of building settlements on
land they occupied as a result of military victories.
              The specialized agencies
               of the United Nations

 Coordination of Specialized Agencies.
     The Charter authorizes the Economic and Social Council,
established by inter-governmental agreement and having wide
international responsibilities, to "coordinate the activities of
specialized agencies."

     By special agreement many of these agencies have been
brought into relationship with the United Nations.These
agreements provide for reciprocal representation of the United
Nations and each specialized agency; proposal of agenda items;
membership in the specialized agency; exchange of information
and documents; assistance to the Security and Trusteeship
Councils; personnel arrangements; budgetary and financial
arrangements; financing of special services; relations to the
International Court of Justice; Public Information; Liaison.

      A standing committee of administrative officers, consisting
of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the
corresponding officers of the specialized agencies that have
been brought into relationship with the United Nations, was
instituted by an Economic and Social Council resolution of
September 21, 1946, to insure the fullest and most effective
implementation of the agreements entered into between the
United Nations and the specialized agencies.

         International Labour Organization
    The International Labour Organization was created in
1919, at the end of the First World War, at the time of the Peace
Conference which convened first in Paris, then at Versailles.
The need for such an organization had been advocated in the
nineteenth century by two industrialists, Robert Owen (1771-
1853) of Wales and Daniel Legrand (1783-1859) of France.
      After having been put to the test within the International
Association for Labour Legislation, founded in Basel in 1901,
their ideas were incorporated into the Constitution of the
International Labour Organization, adopted by the Peace
Conference in April of 1919.
     The initial motivation was humanitarian. The condition of
workers, more and more numerous and exploited with no
consideration for their health, their family lives and their
advancement, was less and less acceptable. This preoccupation
appears clearly in the Preamble of the Constitution of the ILO,
where it is stated, "conditions of labour exist involving ...
injustice, hardship and privation to large numbers of people. "
      The second motivation was political. Without an
improvement in their condition, the workers, whose numbers
were ever increasing as a result of industrialization, would
create social unrest, even revolution. The Preamble notes that
injustice produces "unrest so great that the peace and harmony
of the world are imperilled."
     The third motivation was economic. Because of its
inevitable effect on the cost of production, any industry or
country adopting social reform would find itself at a
disadvantage vis-à-vis its competitors. The Preamble states that
"the failure of any nation to adopt humane conditions of labour
is an obstacle in the way of other nations which desire to
improve the conditions in their own countries."
     Another reason for the creation of the International Labour
Organization was added by the participants of the Peace
Conference, linked to the end of the war to which workers had
contributed significantly both on the battlefield and in industry.
This idea appears at the very beginning of the Constitution:
"universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based
upon social justice."
     The ILO Constitution was written between January and
April, 1919, by the Labour Commission set up by the Peace
Conference. The Commission was composed of representatives
from nine countries, Belgium, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France,
Italy, Japan, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States,
under the chairmanship of Samuel Gompers, head of the
American Federation of Labour (AFL). It resulted in a tripartite
organization, the only one of its kind bringing together
representatives of governments, employers and workers in its
executive bodies. The ILO Constitution became Part XIII of the
Treaty of Versailles
Structure of the ILO
       The ILO accomplishes its work through three main bodies,
all of which encompass the unique feature of the Organization:
its tripartite structure (government, employers, workers).
 - International Labour Conference: The member States of the
ILO meet at the International Labour Conference in June of each
year, in Geneva. Each member State is represented by two
government delegates, an employer delegate and a worker
delegate. They are accompanied by technical advisors. It is
generally the Cabinet Ministers responsible for labour affairs in
their own countries who head the delegations, take the floor and
present their governments' points of view.
 -Employer and worker delegates can express themselves and
vote according to instructions received from their organizations.
They sometimes vote against each other or even against their
government representatives.
       The Conference plays a very important role. It establishes
and adopts international labour standards. It acts as a forum
where social and labour questions of importance to the entire
world are discussed. The Conference also adopts the budget of
the Organization and elects the Governing Body.
 - The Governing Body is the executive council of the ILO and
meets three times a year in Geneva. It takes decisions on ILO's
policy. It establishes the programme and the budget which it
then submits to the Conference for adoption. It also elects the
       It is composed of 28 government members, 14 employer
members and 14 worker members. Ten of the government seats
are permanently held by States of chief industrial importance.
Representatives of other member countries are elected at the
Conference every three years, taking into account geographical
distribution. The employers and workers elect their own
representatives respectively.

3. The International Labour Office is the permanent secretariat
of the International Labour Organization and focal point for the
overall activities that it prepares under the scrutiny of the
Governing Body and under the leadership of a Director-General,
who is elected for a five-year renewable term. The Office
employs some 1,900 officials of over 110 nationalities at the
Geneva headquarters and in 40 field offices around the world. In
addition, some 600 experts undertake missions in all regions of
the world under the programme of technical cooperation. The
Office also constitutes a research and documentation centre and
a printing house issuing a broad range of specialized studies,
reports and periodicals
The Strategic Objectives of the ILO
        "In an uncertain world, an organization must have a clear
sense of its objectives and strategies. Tactics and specific
activities may have to be adjusted quickly to meet changing
circumstances, but this should be done with a clear sense of
purpose. The organizing theme for the period 2002-05 is putting
the decent work agenda into practice."

 - Promote and realize standards and fundamental principles and
rights at work.
- Create greater opportunities for women and men to secure
decent employment and income.
- Enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for
- Strengthen tripartism and social dialogue.
- Cross-cutting activities.

             World Health Organization
World Health Organization (WHO), specialized agency of the
United Nations, with headquarters in Geneva. WHO was
established in 1948. According to its constitution it is ―the
directing and coordinating authority on international health
work‖ and is responsible for helping all peoples to attain ―the
highest possible levels of health.‖
     The services of the agency may be either advisory or
technical. Advisory services include aid in training medical
personnel and in disseminating knowledge of diseases such as
influenza, malaria, smallpox, tuberculosis, venereal diseases,
and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); maternal
and child health; nutrition; population planning; and
environmental sanitation. The agency maintains health-
demonstration areas for sustained application of modern
techniques to improve general health conditions and to combat
specific diseases interfering with agricultural productivity and
overall economic development. The technical services include
biological standardization and unification of pharmacopoeias,
collection and dissemination of epidemiological information,
special international research projects on parasitic and viral
diseases, and publication of a series of technical and scientific
     The central structure of WHO includes the policymaking
body called the World Health Assembly, which consists of
delegates of all member nations and meets yearly; an executive
board of 31 individuals elected by the assembly; and a
secretariat, consisting of a director-general and a technical and
administrative staff. The agency maintains regional
organizations for Southeast Asia, the eastern Mediterranean
area, Europe, Africa, the Americas, and the western Pacific area.
     The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-
making body for WHO. It generally meets in Geneva in May
each year, and is attended by delegations from all 192 Member
States. Its main function is to determine the policies of the
Organization. The Health Assembly appoints the Director-
General, supervises the financial policies of the Organization,
and reviews and approves the Proposed programme budget. It
similarly considers reports of the Executive Board, which it
instructs in regard to matters upon which further action, study,
investigation or report may be required.
     The Executive Board is composed of 32 members
technically qualified in the field of health. Members are elected
for three-year terms. The main Board meeting, at which the
agenda for the forthcoming Health Assembly is agreed upon and
resolutions for forwarding to the Health Assembly are adopted,
is held in January, with a second shorter meeting in May,
immediately after the Health Assembly, for more administrative
matters. The main functions of the Board are to give effect to
the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it
and generally to facilitate its work.
     The Secretariat of WHO is staffed by some 3500 health and
other experts and support staff on fixed-term appointments,
working at headquarters, in the six regional offices, and in
     The Organization is headed by the Director-General, who
is appointed by the Health Assembly on the nomination of the
Executive Board. The current Director-General is LEE Jong-

         Industrial Development Organization
     international agency established by the General Assembly
of the United Nations (UN) in 1966 to help developing nations
build strong economies by creating a solid industrial base. The
organization offers technical assistance, fosters international
industrial partnerships, and funds projects that aid the efforts of
emerging nations to achieve long-term prosperity. UNIDO
projects include initiatives to privatize ownership of businesses
in developing nations and to assist efforts by former Communist
countries in Eastern Europe to reduce industrial pollution.
UNIDO has headquarters in New York City and Geneva,
Switzerland. It receives contributions from 168 member nations.
     Like many other international aid and development
organizations, UNIDO experienced pressure to reform its
operations in the 1990s. From 1993 to 1996, UNIDO cut its staff
from 1250 employees to 800. The organization reduced its
budget from $131 million in 1995 to $90 million in 1996. Most
of the cuts occurred in administration, rather than in field
programs. As a consequence of the reform effort, UNIDO now
places special emphasis on the world‘s very poorest nations,
especially those in Africa. It also focuses on industries related to
agriculture, food, clothing, and shelter.
     Despite UNIDO‘s reform efforts, the United States
withdrew from the organization at the end of 1996, citing
federal cutbacks in foreign aid expenditures and a lack of
commitment to the agency from some members of the U.S.
Congress. In 1996, Britain and Australia also announced plans
to withdraw from UNIDO. Critics in the United States and
Britain concede that UNIDO has made substantial progress in
meeting the reform goals of member nations. The decision of
both countries to withdraw from the organization instead reflects
domestic political considerations and the desire to send a
message to the UN about the need for further reform of its
operations. Critics also argue that at least two other UN
organizations—the United Nations Development Program
(UNDP) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development (UNCTAD) — focus on development in
impoverished nations. Because the United States and Britain
contributed one-third of the organization‘s budget, their
withdrawals have raised questions about UNIDO‘s ability to

         Food and Agriculture Organization
     United Nations (FAO), is a specialized United Nations
agency whose main goal is to afford freedom from hunger on a
world scale. According to its constitution, the specific objectives
are ―raising levels of nutrition and standards of living ...and
securing improvements in the efficiency of the production and
distribution of all food and agricultural products ....‖
      The FAO originated at a conference called by President
Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hot Springs, Virginia, in May 1943.
The 34 nations represented established the UN Interim
Commission on Food and Agriculture. In October 1945 the first
session of the FAO was held in Québec.
     At present the organization has 161 members; it is headed
by a director general. Each member nation has one vote in the
general conference, the policymaking body that convenes once
every two years to approve programs, budgets, and rules of
procedure, as well as to make recommendations on agricultural
questions. The 49-member FAO council meets between
conference sessions to monitor the world food situation and
suggest necessary action. The council's committees deal with
problems on agriculture, commodities, forestry, and fisheries.
The third organ, the secretariat, is responsible for implementing
FAO programs. Main headquarters is in Rome.
      Functions of the FAO include collecting, analyzing, and
distributing information about nutrition, food, and agriculture;
fostering conservation of natural resources; and promoting both
adequate national and international agricultural-credit policies
and international agricultural-commodity arrangements. Among
its projects are the development of basic soil and water
resources; the international exchange of new types of plants; the
control of animal and plant diseases; and the provision to needy
member nations of technical assistance in such fields as
nutrition, food preservation, irrigation, soil conservation, and
reforestation. In recent years, the FAO has worked to develop
new plant mutations by using radioactive materials, to aid
developing nations in cultivating fast-growing varieties of crops
such as rice and wheat, and to establish monitoring networks to
warn of possible food shortages (such as the current potential for
widespread starvation in Africa).
     In 1974 the FAO helped organize the World Food
Conference, held in Rome, which considered the critical
problem of maintaining adequate food supplies. On the
recommendation of the conference, the FAO expanded its
information-gathering services to facilitate improved worldwide
food security.

International Fund for Agricultural Development
    International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD),
specialized United Nations agency, formally established in
December 1977. The agreement creating IFAD was an
outgrowth of the World Food Conference held in Rome in 1974.
IFAD's major function is to lend money to help developing
nations improve their food production, reduce malnutrition, and
provide agricultural employment. Resources are channeled to
the poorest rural populations. In 2001 the fund had 162
members. It is directed by a governing council, on which all
members are represented, and administered by an 18-member
executive board. IFAD headquarters is in Rome.
     The International Fund for Agricultural Development
(IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was
established as an international financial institution in 1977 as
one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference.
The Conference was organized in response to the food crises of
the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries of
Africa. The Conference resolved that "an International Fund for
Agricultural Development should be established immediately to
finance agricultural development projects primarily for food
production in the developing countries". One of the most
important insights emerging from the Conference was that the
causes of food insecurity and famine were not so much failures
in food production, but structural problems relating to poverty
and to the fact that the majority of the developing world‘s poor
populations were concentrated in rural areas.
      IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in
developing countries. Seventy-five per cent of the world‘s
poorest people – 900 million women, children and men – live in
rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for
their livelihoods.
      Working with rural poor people, governments, donors, non-
governmental organizations and many other partners, IFAD
focuses on country-specific solutions, which can involve
increasing rural poor peoples‘ access to financial services,
markets, technology, land and other natural resources.
IFAD Strategic
      IFAD‘s activities are guided by the Strategi Enabling the
Rural Poor to Overcome Their Poverty. The framework‘s three
strategic objectives are to:
- strengthen the capacity of the rural poor and their
- improve equitable access to productive natural resources and
- increase access by the poor to financial services and markets
      Underlying these strategic objectives is IFAD‘s belief that
rural poor people must be empowered to lead their own
development if poverty is to be eradicated. Poor people must be
able to develop and strengthen their own organizations, so they
can advance their own interests and dismantle the obstacles that
prevent many of them from creating better lives for themselves.
They must be able to have a say in the decisions and policies
that affect their lives, and they need to strengthen their
bargaining power in the marketplace.
      All of IFAD‘s decisions – on regional, country and
thematic strategies, poverty reduction strategies, policy dialogue
and development partners – are made with these principles and
objectives in mind. As reflected in the strategic framework,
IFAD is committed to achieving the Millennium Development
Goals, in particular the target to halve the proportion of hungry
and extremely poor people by 2015.

Working in partnership to eradicate rural poverty
      Through low-interest loans and grants, IFAD works with
governments to develop and finance programmes and projects
that enable rural poor people to overcome poverty themselves.
      There are close to 200 ongoing IFAD-supported rural
poverty eradication programmes and projects, totaling US$ 6.5
billion. IFAD has invested almost US$ 3 billion in these
initiatives. At full development, these programmes will help
more than 100 million rural poor women and men to achieve
better lives for themselves and their families. Since starting
operations in 1978, IFAD has invested more than US$ 8.5
billion in 676 projects and programmes that have reached more
than 250 million poor rural people.
       But this represents only part of the total investment in
IFAD projects and programmes. In the past 26 years, a further
US$ 15.2 billion in cofinancing was contributed by partners.
Governments and other financing sources in recipient countries
have contributed more than US$ 8.4 billion, while another US$
6.8 billion has been contributed by external cofinanciers,
including from bilateral and multilateral donors. This represents
a total investment of about US$ 23.7 billion, and means that for
every dollar IFAD invested, it was able to mobilize almost two
dollars in additional resources.
      IFAD tackles poverty not only as a lender, but also as an
advocate for rural poor people. Its multilateral base provides a
natural global platform to discuss important policy issues that
influence the lives of rural poor people, as well as to draw
attention to the centrality of rural development to meeting the
Millennium Development Goals.
IFAD Membership
      Membership in IFAD is open to any state that is a member
of the United Nations or its specialized agencies or the
International Atomic Energy Agency. The Governing Council is
IFAD‘s highest decision-making authority, with 164 Member
States represented by Governors, Alternate Governors and any
other designated advisers. The Council meets annually. The
Executive Board, responsible for overseeing the general
operations of IFAD and approving loans and grants, is
composed of 18 members and 18 alternate members. The
President, who serves for a four-year term (renewable once), is
IFAD‘s chief executive officer and chair of the Executive
Board. The current President of IFAD is Mr Lennart Båge, who
is serving his first four-year term.

      International Telecommunication Union
       International    Telecommunication          Union      (ITU),
specialized United Nations agency, originally formed in Paris in
1865 as the International Telegraph Union. In 1934 the ITU was
established to succeed all previous agencies in the
telecommunications field, and in 1947 it became affiliated with
the UN. The ITU has no permanent constitution, but its
existence is renewed periodically by agreement among the
     The objectives of the ITU are to maintain and extend
international cooperation for the improvement and rational use
of telecommunications of all kinds; to promote the development
and efficient operation of technical facilities in order to improve
telecommunication services, increase their usefulness, and make
them generally available to the public; and to coordinate the
actions of nations so they may attain these goals. Special
concerns include the problems and opportunities arising from
space telecommunications and the improvement of
telecommunications in developing member nations.
     The ITU is composed of 162 member states and has its
headquarters in Geneva. The principal organ of the union is the
plenipotentiary conference, which normally meets once every
five years. The conference elects a 41-member administrative
council that meets once a year to approve the ITU budget and to
coordinate the work of the other organs of the union. These
organs are the General Secretariat, the International Frequency
Registration Board, the International Telegraph and Telephone
Consultative Committee, and the International Radio
Consultative Committee. World and regional administrative
conferences are held occasionally to deal with technical
      Every time someone, somewhere, picks up a telephone and
dials a number, answers a call on a mobile phone, sends a fax or
receives an e-mail, takes a plane or a ship, listens to the radio,
watches a favourite television programme or helps a small child
master the latest radio-controlled toy, they benefit from the work
of the International Telecommunication Union.
      The Union was established last century as an impartial,
international organization within which governments and the
private sector could work together to coordinate the operation of
telecommunication networks and services and advance the
development of communications technology. Whilst the
organization remains relatively unknown to the general public,
ITU‘s work over more than one hundred years has helped create
a global communications network which now integrates a huge
range of technologies, yet remains one of the most reliable man-
made systems ever developed.
      As the use of telecommunication technology and radioc
ommunication - based systems spreads to encompass an ever-
wider range of activities, the vital work carried out by ITU is
taking on growing importance in the day-to-day lives of people
all around the world.
      The Union‘s standardization activities, which have already
helped foster the growth of new technologies such as mobile
telephony and the Internet, are now being put to use in defining
the building blocks of the emerging global information
infrastructure, and designing advanced multimedia systems
which deftly handle a mix of voice, data, audio and video
      Meanwhile, ITU‘s continuing role in managing the radio-
frequency spectrum ensures that radio-based systems like
cellular phones and pagers, aircraft and maritime navigation
systems, scientific research stations, satellite communication
systems and radio and television broadcasting all continue to
function smoothly and provide reliable wireless services to the
world‘s inhabitants.
      Finally, ITU‘s increasingly important role as a catalyst for
forging development partnerships between government and
private industry is helping bring about rapid improvements in
telecommunication infrastructure in the world‘s under-
developed economies.
      Whether in telecommunication development, standards-
setting or spectrum sharing, ITU‘s consensus-building approach
helps governments and the telecommunication industry confront
and deal with a broad range of issues which would be difficult to
resolve bilaterally.
      The result is real-life, workable agreements which benefit
not only the telecommunication industry as a whole but,
ultimately, telecommunication users everywhere.
      Under      the    Constitution    of     the    International
Telecommunication Union, the purposes of ITU are:
- To maintain and extend international cooperation between all
its Member States for the improvement and rational use of
telecommunications of all kinds
- To promote and enhance participation of entities and
organizations in the activities of the Union, and to foster fruitful
cooperation and partnership between them and Member States
for the fulfilment of the overall objectives embodied in the
purposes of the Union
- To promote and offer technical assistance to developing
countries in the field of telecommunications, and also to
promote the mobilization of the material, human and financial
resources needed to improve access to telecommunications
services in such countries
- To promote the development of technical facilities and their
most efficient operation, with a view to improving the efficiency
of telecommunication services, increasing their usefulness and
making them, so far as possible, generally available to the public
- To promote the extension of the benefits of new
telecommunication technologies to all the world‘s inhabitants
- To promote the use of telecommunication services with the
objective of facilitating peaceful relations
- To harmonize the actions of Member States and promote
fruitful and constructive cooperation and partnership between
Member States and Sector Members in the attainment of those
- To promote, at the international level, the adoption of a
broader approach to the issues of telecommunications in the
global information economy and society, by cooperating with
other world and regional intergovernmental organizations and
those non-governmental organizations concerned with

            the Universal Postal Union's
      The postal service forms part of the daily life of people all
over the world. Even in the digital age, the Post remains, for
millions of people, the most accessible means of communication
and message delivery available.
     The postal services of the Universal Postal Union's 190
member countries form the largest physical distribution network
in the world. More than six million postal employees work in
over 700 000 postal outlets to ensure that some 430 billion mail
items are processed and delivered each year to all corners of the
     Keeping pace with the changing communications market,
Posts are increasingly using new communication and
information technologies to move beyond what is traditionally
regarded as their core postal business They are meeting higher
customer expectations with an expanded range of products and
value-added services.
     Established in 1874, the Universal Postal Union (UPU)
with its Headquarters in the Swiss capital Bern, is the second
oldest international organisation after the International
Telecommunications Union.
      With 190 member countries, the UPU is the primary forum
for cooperation between postal services and helps to ensure a
truly universal network of up-to-date products and services. In
this way, the organisation fulfils an advisory, mediating and
liaison role, and renders technical assistance where needed. It
sets the rules for international mail exchanges and makes
recommendations to stimulate growth in mail volumes and to
improve the quality of service for customers.
      However, as a non-political organisation, it does not
interfere in matters that fall within the domestic domain of
national postal services. For example, Posts set their own
postage rates, decide which and how many postage stamps to
issue, and how to manage their postal operations and staff.
      By virtue of its mission to develop social, cultural and
commercial communication between people through the
efficient operation of the postal service, the UPU is called upon
to play an important leadership role in promoting the continued
revitalisation of postal services.
 The UPU today and tomorrow
      The same forces affecting the world's Posts - globalization,
growing customer expectations, increased competition and
progress in communications technologies - have also caused the
UPU to review its own mission and role. Although its
fundamental mission of developing social, cultural and
commercial communication among the people of the world has
remained remarkably constant throughout its history, the UPU
has seen the need to reshape its structures in order better meet
the needs and expectations of its members.
      The UPU will continue to work toward the goal of ensuring
that all people have affordable and reliable access to postal
services. One of its future roles will be to develop and monitor
standards for the provision of universal postal service, including
such features as access to service, efficiency, customer
satisfaction, security and reasonable pricing.
      The UPU will also continue to provide technical assistance,
training and consultant services in order to improve the quality
of the postal service and help implement new systems in
developing countries.
     The future role of the UPU will be one that is more
inclusive of external stakeholders, ensuring that the changing
needs of postal customers are addressed effectively. The UPU
will therefore increasingly provide a global forum for its
members and external partners. In this way, it will remain a vital
force in the continued development of postal services.
 UPU Mission statement
     The mission of the Universal Postal Union is to foster the
sustainable development of quality universal, efficient
accessible postal services in order to facilitate communication
among the people of the world by:
- Guaranteeing the free circulation of postal items through an
interconnected single postal territory
- Promoting the adoption of fair and common standards and the
application of technology
- Cooperation and interaction among stakeholders
- Facilitating the effective provision of technical cooperation
- Ensuring that the changing needs of customers are addressed

    The International Civil Aviation Organization

       International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),
specialized technical agency of the United Nations, created as a
permanent body on April 4, 1947, for the purpose of promoting
the safe and orderly development of civil aviation throughout
the world. The agency sets international standards and
regulations necessary for the safety, efficiency, and regularity of
air transport. The ICAO also serves as a medium for cooperation
in all fields of civil aviation among its member nations, and it
provides technical assistance to countries who need help
maintaining civil aviation facilities or meeting the global
standards set by the ICAO. The ICAO also produces technical
publications and special studies.
      The agency has been instrumental in improving
meteorological services, air traffic control, air-to-ground
communications, search and rescue operations, and other
measures for safe international flight. It also has done much to
simplify customs and immigration procedures and public health
regulations related to international air travel. The fight against
airplane hijacking and other terrorist attacks and the effects of
aircraft noise on the environment also have been of special
concern to the ICAO.
      The ICAO is composed of 180 member nations that meet
once every three years at an assembly. Its executive body in the
interim is a council consisting of representatives from 33
member nations who are elected by the assembly on the basis of
their relative importance in international air transport and of
geographical distribution. The ICAO has its own secretariat,
headed by a secretary general appointed by the council, and
several permanent technical committees. The agency
headquarters is in Montréal.

          International Maritime Organization
      The International Maritime Organization is a specialized agency of the United
Nations which is responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of
international shipping and to prevent marine pollution from ships. It also is involved
in legal matters, including liability and compensation issues and the facilitation of
international maritime traffic. It was established by means of a Convention adopted
under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva on 17 March 1948 and met for the
first time in January 1959. It currently has 164 Member States. IMO's governing body
is the Assembly which is made up of all 164 Member States and meets normally once
every two years. It adopts the budget for the next biennium together with technical
resolutions and recommendations prepared by subsidiary bodies during the previous
two years. The Council acts as governing body in between Assembly sessions. It
prepares the budget and work programme for the Assembly. The main technical work
is carried out by the Maritime Safety, Marine Environment Protection, Legal,
Technical Co-operation and Facilitation Committees and a number of sub-

What does IMO do?
     When IMO first began operations its chief concern was to
develop international treaties and other legislation concerning
safety and marine pollution prevention.

     By the late 1970s, however, this work had been largely
completed, though a number of important instruments were
adopted in more recent years. IMO is now concentrating on
keeping legislation up to date and ensuring that it is ratified by
as many countries as possible. This has been so successful that
many Conventions now apply to more than 98% of world
merchant shipping tonnage. Currently the emphasis is on trying
to ensure that these conventions and other treaties are properly
implemented by the countries that have accepted them. The texts
of conventions, codes and other instruments adopted by IMO
can be found in the section dealing with Publications.
     The Organization consists of an Assembly, a Council and
four main Committees: the Maritime Safety Committee; the
Marine Environment Protection Committee; the Legal
Committee; and the Technical Co-operation Committee. There
is also a Facilitation Committee and a number of Sub-
Committees support the work of the main technical committees.
     This is the highest Governing Body of the Organization. It
consists of all Member States and it meets once every two years
in regular sessions, but may also meet in an extraordinary
session if necessary. The Assembly is responsible for approving
the work programme, voting the budget and determining the
financial arrangements of the Organization. The Assembly also
elects the Council.
     The Council is elected by the Assembly for two-year terms
beginning after each regular session of the Assembly.The
Council is the Executive Organ of IMO and is responsible,
under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the
Organization. Between sessions of the Assembly the Council
performs all the functions of the Assembly, except the function
of making recommendations to Governments on maritime safety
and pollution prevention which is reserved for the Assembly by
Article 15(j) of the Convention.
      Other functions of the Council are to:
- co-ordinate the activities of the organs of the Organization;
- consider the draft work programme and budget estimates of the
Organization and submit them to the Assembly;
- receive reports and proposals of the Committees and other
organs and submit them to the Assembly and Member States,
with comments and recommendations as appropriate;
- appoint the Secretary-General, subject to the approval of the
- enter into agreements or arrangements concerning the
relationship of the Organization with other organizations,
subject to approval by the Assembly.
Council members
     The IMO Convention provides that in electing the
Members of the Council the Assembly shall observe the
following criteria:
- ten shall be States with the largest interest in providing
international shipping services;
- ten shall be other States with the largest interest in
international seaborne trade; and
- twenty shall be States not elected under (a) or (b) above which
have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and
whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of
all major geographic areas of the world.
     The Members of the Council elected by the 23rd Assembly
for 2004 and 2005 are as follows:
Maritime Safety Committee (MSC)
     The MSC is the highest technical body of the Organization.
It consists of all Member States. The functions of the Maritime
Safety Committee are to ―consider any matter within the scope
of the Organization concerned with aids to navigation,
construction and equipment of vessels, manning from a safety
standpoint, rules for the prevention of collisions, handling of
dangerous cargoes, maritime safety procedures and
requirements, hydrographic information, log-books and
navigational records, marine casualty investigations, salvage and
rescue and any other matters directly affecting maritime safety‖.
     The Committee is also required to provide machinery for
performing any duties assigned to it by the IMO Convention or
any duty within its cope of work which may be assigned to it by
or under any international instrument and accepted by the
Organization. It also has the responsibility for considering and
submitting recommendations and guidelines on safety for
possible adoption by the Assembly.
     The ―expanded MSC‖ adopts amendments to conventions
such as SOLAS and includes all Member States as well as those
countries which are Party to conventions such as SOLAS even if
they are not IMO Member States.

   The Marine Environment Protection Committee

     The MEPC, which consists of all Member States, is
empowered to consider any matter within the scope of the
Organization concerned with prevention and control of pollution
from ships. In particular it is concerned with the adoption and
amendment of conventions and other regulations and measures
to ensure their enforcement.The MEPC was first established as a
subsidiary body of the Assembly and raised to full constitutional
status in 1985.
     The MSC and MEPC are assisted in their work by nine
sub-committees which are also open to all Member States. They
deal with the following subjects:
 Bulk Liquids and Gases (BLG),Carriage of Dangerous Goods,
Solid Cargoes and Containers(DSC),Fire Protection (FP),Radio-
communications and Search and Rescue (COMSAR),Safety of
Navigation (NAV), Ship Design and Equipment (DE), Stability
and Load Lines and Fishing Vessels Safety (SLF),Standards of
Training and Watch keeping(STW), Flag State Implementation
Legal Committee
     The Legal Committee is empowered to deal with any legal
matters within the scope of the Organization. The Committee
consists of all Member States of IMO.
     It was established in 1967 as a subsidiary body to deal with
legal questions which arose in the aftermath of the Torrey
Canyon disaster.The Legal Committee is also empowered to
perform any duties within its scope which may be assigned by
or under any other international instrument and accepted by the
Technical Co-operation Committee
     The Technical Co-operation Committee is required to
consider any matter within the scope of the Organization
concerned with the implementation of technical co-operation
projects for which the Organization acts as the executing or co-
operating agency and any other matters related to the
Organization‘s activities in the technical co-operation field.
     The Technical Co-operation Committee consists of all
Member States of IMO, was established in 1969 as a subsidiary
body of the Council, and was institutionalized by means of an
amendment to the IMO Convention which entered into force in
Facilitation Committee
     The Facilitation Committee is a subsidiary body of the
Council. It was established in May 1972 and deals with IMO‘s
work in eliminating unnecessary formalities and ―red tape‖ in
international shipping. Participation in the Facilitation
Committee is open to all Member States of IMO.
     The 1991 amendments to the IMO Convention, when they
come into force, will institutionalise the Facilitation Committee,
putting it on the same standing as the other Committees.
However, these amendments have not yet received enough
acceptances to come into force.
    The Secretariat of IMO consists of the Secretary-General
and nearly 300 personnel based at the headquarters of the
Organization in London.
Regional Co-ordination
    IMO has appointed three regional co-ordinators in Africa.

      The World Meteorological Organization
      The UN system‘s authoritative voice on the state and
behaviour of the Earth‘s atmosphere, its interaction with the
oceans, the climate it produces and the resulting distribution of
water resources.
      The World Meteorological Organization is an
intergovernmental organization with a membership of 187
Member States and Territories. It originated from the
International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was
founded in 1873. Established in 1950, WMO became the
specialized agency of the United Nations for meteorology
(weather and climate), operational hydrology and related
geophysical sciences.
      Since its establishment, WMO has played a unique and
powerful role in contributing to the welfare of humanity. Under
WMO leadership and within the framework of WMO
programmes, National Meteorological and Hydrological
Services have contributed substantially to the protection of life
and property against natural disasters, to safeguarding the
environment and to enhancing the economic and social well-
being of all sectors of society in areas such as food security,
water resources and transport. It has a unique role within the UN
system it facilitates the free and unrestricted exchange of data
and information, products and services in real- or near-real time
on matters relating to safety and security of society, economic
well being and the prevention of the environment.
      As weather and climate know no national boundaries,
international cooperation at a global scale is essential for the
development of meteorology and operational hydrology as well
as to reap the benefits from their applications. WMO provides
the framework for such international cooperation.
     WMO is playing a leading role in international efforts to
monitor and protect the environment through its Programmes,
such as the World Weather Watch Programme, World Climate
Programme, the Atmospheric Research and Environment
Programme, and the Hydrology and Water Resources
Programme. For instance, in collaboration with the UN agencies
and the NMHSs of Members, WMO continues to support the
implementation of relevant conventions such as the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change, the International
Convention to Combat Desertification, and the Vienna
Convention on the Protection of Ozone Layer and its Protocols
and Amendments. WMO is instrumental in providing advice
and assessments to governments on matters relating to the above
Conventions. These activities contribute towards ensuring the
sustainable development and well-being of nations.
     In the specific case of weather natural disasters which
account for nearly three-quarters of all are such events, WMO‘s
programmes provide the vital information for the advance
warnings that save many lives and reduce damage to property
and the environment. Human induced disasters chemistry,
nuclear and forest fire . Numerous studies have shown that,
apart from the incalculable benefit to human well-being, every
dollar invested in meteorological and hydrological services
produces an economic return many times greater, often ten times
or more.
     The vision of the WMO for the Sixth Long-term Plan
(2004-2011) is to provide world leadership in expertise and
international cooperation in weather, climate, hydrology and
water resources, and related environmental issues, and thereby
to contribute to the safety and well being of people throughout
the world and to the economic benefit of all nations.
WMO Purposes
   To facilitate world-wide cooperation in the establishment of
networks of stations for the making of meteorological as well as
hydrological and other geophysical observations related to
meteorology, and to promote the establishment and maintenance
of centres charged with the provision of meteorological and
related services;

- To promote the establishment and maintenance of systems for
the rapid exchange of meteorological and related information;
- To promote the standardization of meteorological and related
observations and to ensure the uniform publication of
observations and statistics;

-Tofurther the application of meteorology to aviation, shipping,
water problems, agriculture and other human activities;

- To promote activities in operational hydrology and to further
close co-operation between Meteorological and Hydrological

- To encourage research and training in meteorology and, as
appropriate, in related fields and to assist in coordinating the
international aspects of such research and training

WMO Structure
     The World Meteorological Congress, the supreme body of
the Organization, brings together the delegates of Members once
every four years to determine general policies for the fulfilment
of the purposes of the Organization, to approve long-term plans,
to authorize maxi-mum expenditures for the following financial
period, to adopt Technical Regulations relating to international
meteorological and operational hydrological practice, to elect
the President and Vice-Presidents of the Organization and
members of the Executive Council and to appoint the Secretary-
     The Executive Council, the executive body of the
Organization and is responsible to Congress for the coordination
of the programmes of the organization and of the utilization of
its budgetary resources in accordance with the decision of
Congress. composed of 37 directors of National Meteorological
or Hydrometeorological Services, meets at least once a year to
review the activities of the Organization and to implement the
programmes approved by Congress.
     The six regional associations (Africa, Asia, South America,
North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South-West
Pacific and Europe), composed of Members, coordinate
meteorological and related activities within their respective
     The eight technical commissions, composed of experts
designated by Members, study matters within their specific
areas of competence (technical commissions have been
established for basic systems, instruments and methods of
observation, atmospheric sciences, aeronautical meteorology,
agricultural    meteorology,     oceanography      and     marine
meteorology jointly with IOC of UNESCO, hydrology, and
     The Secretariat, headed by the Secretary-General, serves as
the administrative, documentation and information centre of the
Organization. It prepares, edits, produces and distributes the
publications of the Organization, carries out the duties specified
in the Convention and other Basic Documents and provides
secretariat support to the work of the constituent bodies of
WMO described above.

    United Nations Educational Scientific &
       Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
      United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO), agency of the United Nations
established in 1946 to encourage collaboration among nations in
the areas of education, science, culture, and communication.
Through such cooperative endeavors, UNESCO hopes to
encourage universal respect for justice, laws, human rights, and
fundamental freedoms. The organization‘s founding statement
declares that ―peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to
fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind.‖
      More than 180 nations belong to UNESCO. The agency
has its headquarters in Paris, France, and operates educational,
scientific, and cultural programs and exchanges from 60 field
offices worldwide. Projects sponsored by UNESCO include
international science programs; literacy, technical, and teacher-
training programs; regional and cultural history projects; and
international cooperation agreements to secure the world‘s
cultural and natural heritage and to preserve human rights.
Withdrawlal of the United States and the United
      In 1984 the United States withdrew from UNESCO. the
United Kingdom left the organization in 1985. Together, these
two nations accounted for 30 percent of the UNESCO budget.
Their decisions to withdraw resulted from concerns about
corruption and waste within the agency and a perception of anti-
Western bias in its statements and activities.
      Criticism of UNESCO in the early 1980s centered on the
autocratic management style of the agency‘s general director,
Amadou-Mahtar M‘Bow of Senegal. Excessive spending on
consultants, social functions, and projects of dubious merit
characterized M‘Bow‘s tenure. M‘Bow also shifted resources
from field offices into the Paris headquarters. By 1984 six
employees worked in the Paris office for every worker in the
field, and 80 percent of the agency‘s budget supported
administrative expenses in Paris.
      At the same time, controversy surrounded UNESCO‘s
willingness to support efforts by non-Western governments to
establish a New World Information and Communications Order
(NWICO). Advocates of the NWICO argued that journalists
from Western, industrialized nations both dominated and
distorted press coverage in developing nations. NWICO reform
proposals included requirements that journalists be licensed by
national governments and that balance in news coverage be
guaranteed. The U.S. government, along with many American
journalists, opposed the NWICO. They argued these proposals
would result in government control of the press and would
destroy international standards of press freedom.
Reform efforts
      In the years since the United States and the United
Kingdom withdrew from UNESCO the agency has tried to lure
these countries back by reforming its operations. In 1987
Spanish biochemist Federico Mayor succeeded M‘Bow as
director general. Since then, UNESCO has slashed payroll levels
by nearly 50 percent and implemented new procedures to
control spending and to evaluate programs and personnel.
UNESCO has refocused on educational and scientific field
projects. The agency has also abandoned its efforts to create a
new information order linked to government control of the
press. Although the United States and the United Kingdom have
not committed to rejoining UNESCO, the prospects for their
return have improved significantly since the late 1980s.
A unifying theme
     UNESCO contributing to peace and human development in
an era of globalization through education, the sciences, culture
and communication.
Three main strategic thrusts
- Developing and promoting universal principles and norms,
based on shared values, in order to meet emerging challenges in
education, science, culture and communication and to protect
and strengthen the ―common public good‖ ;
- Promoting pluralism, through recognition and safeguarding of
diversity together with the observance of human rights;
- Promoting empowerment and participation in the emerging
knowledge society through equitable access, capacity-building
and sharing of knowledge.
Twelve strategic objectives
- Promoting education as a fundamental right in accordance with
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- Improving the quality of education through the diversification
of contents and methods and the promotion of universally
shared values ;
- Promoting experimentation, innovation and the diffusion and
sharing of information and best practices as well as policy
dialogue                      in                      education.
- Promoting principles and ethical norms to guide scientific and
technological development and social transformation ;
- Improving human security by better management of the
environment and social change
- Enhancing scientific, technical and human capacities to
participate in the emerging.
knowledge societies
- Promoting the drafting and implementation of standard-setting
instruments in the cultural field ;
- Safeguarding cultural diversity and encouraging dialogue
among cultures and civilizations ;
- Enhancing the linkages between culture and development,
through capacity-building and sharing of knowledge.
Communication and Information
- Promoting the free flow of ideas and universal access to
information ;
- Promoting the expression of pluralism and cultural diversity in
the media and world information networks ;
- Access for all to information and communication technologies,
especially in the public domain.

    World Intellectual Property Organization
     1. Every fourth year, the Director General is required to
present a "plan for the medium term" covering four years
following the biennial period for which he presents, at the same
time, a draft program and budget. The last such plan was
presented to Member States in 1999.
     2. The current document presents a Medium-term Plan for
WIPO programs and activities highlighting the vision and
strategic direction of WIPO for the four-year period from 2006
to 2009 following the 2004-2005 biennium.
       3. The main objectives of the Medium-term Plan, as
expressed in the past remain constant: maintenance and further
development of the respect for intellectual property throughout
the world. This means that any erosion of the existing protection
should be prevented, and that both the acquisition of the
protection and, once acquired, its enforcement, should be
simpler, cheaper and more secure.
       4. The objectives mentioned above are mandated by the
Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property
Organization, Article 3 of which clearly states:
'(i) to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout
the world through cooperation among States and, where
appropriate, in collaboration with any other international
'(ii) to ensure administrative cooperation among the Unions.'
       5. The 21st Century is a century of many challenges-
including bridging the widening knowledge divide, the
reduction of poverty, and the attainment of prosperity for all.
The success of a country in meeting these challenges will
depend upon its ability to develop, utilize and protect its
national creativity and innovation. An effective intellectual
property (IP) system allied to pro-active policy-making and
focused strategic planning, will help such a nation promote and
protect its intellectual assets, driving economic growth and
wealth creation.
       6. In this context, there is a widely recognized need to
enhance and develop the objectives stated in the WIPO
Convention in order to enable the Organization to better assist
Member States in meeting the challenges of the changing world.
       7. Thus, WIPO's objective for the new century is the
promotion of the effective protection and use of intellectual
property throughout the world through cooperation with and
among Member States and all other stakeholders. This is to be
achieved by creating an environment and infrastructure
conducive to an enhanced understanding of the contribution of
IP to human life through economic, social and cultural
development, and, in particular, by assisting developing
countries in their capacity building for greater access to, and use
of, the IP system. WIPO seeks to continually enhance its role as
the leading international organization, and the UN specialized
agency, responsible for initiatives in respect of effective
international cooperation in the area of IP.
      8. It is recalled that, in September 1999, Member States
noted with satisfaction the content of document A/34/3 "Vision
and Strategic Direction of WIPO," which contained a Medium-
term Plan for the period from 2002 to 2005. It is further recalled
that the plan listed several priority areas identified by the
Organization as being of key importance in responding to the
challenges      facing    Member      States.    They      included
demystification, empowerment, collective leadership, synergies,
promotion of creative and innovative activity, progressive
development and codification of international IP law, global
protection systems and services and the global cooperation
system. In order to strengthen its effectiveness in responding to
the needs of Member States in these and other areas, WIPO has
modernized its infrastructure and improved its management, and
has also, over the last four years, introduced several new
initiatives to deal with the dynamic and rapid evolution of the
IP-related environment. Much progress has been made, for
example, the demystification campaign, in particular, has
heightened understanding among leaders and policy-makers
worldwide of the importance of IP as a policy tool for the
economic, social and cultural development of all countries.
      9. Against this backdrop and to consolidate what has been
achieved, it is proposed that the next medium-term plan, for
2006 to 2009, should continue to reflect "the central role of IP as
an important tool for social development, economic growth and
wealth creation" (document A/38/3). It will also seek to enhance
global understanding of IP as "the foundation of human
existence and co-existence," [which] "is foreign to no culture
and native to all nations" (document A/38/3). Therefore, WIPO's
major objective can be said to be making IP "closer to people
recognizing the diversity of cultures, origins and systems"
Policy Framework
      10. To realize the above, a policy framework will be
established on the basis of the principles developed during the
current Medium-term Plan. These are:
(a) IP is an important factor in fostering creativity and invention,
which are the driving forces in a knowledge-based economy.
(b) Every country should be encouraged to develop an IP culture
appropriate to its needs, including a focused national IP strategy,
the most suitable national IP system, and the fostering of a
nation-wide perception of IP (both at the policy planning and
grass-roots levels) as a powerful tool for economic, social and
cultural development.
(c) The IP system, including its legal and institutional
infrastructure and human resources capacity, should meet
national policy objectives. It should also be effective, affordable
and easily accessible to all stakeholders, including individuals
and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
(d) The IP system should maintain a balance between the
interests of the holders of intellectual property rights (IPRs) and
those of the public at large. While being mindful of national
policy objectives, it should also be consistent with international
IP laws and international agreements.
(e) WIPO's global protection systems and services (i.e., the
PCT, Madrid, Hague and Lisbon systems) as well as the services
of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, should continue
to be effective, of high quality, and geared to meeting the needs
of users, including innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs,
particularly SMEs, and academic institutions.
(f) As the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible
for IP, WIPO's activities include leadership initiatives in that
field with a view to increasing cooperation with other UN
bodies and heightening awareness among them as well as
among the general public and policy-makers, of the role of IP
within the framework of the UN Millennium Development
(g) WIPO's cooperation with governments and the private sector
should be reinforced to enhance technical assistance in favor of
developing countries and countries in transition to a market
economy. This includes the necessary support in capacity
building and the development of appropriate infrastructures, as
well as the strengthening of human resources.
(h) Modernization of program, budget and accounting practices
will ensure greater openness, transparency and efficiency in the
management and implementation of activities.
Strategic Goals
      11. In transforming WIPO's vision into reality, strategic
goals are set out as follows:
(a) Promotion of an IP culture; on the one hand, to encourage
creators and innovators to obtain, use and license IP rights and
assets, and, on the other hand, to seek greater respect by the
public for IP rights and assets. This will include making
resources and expertise available to assist Member States in
their own efforts to develop an IP culture through cooperation
with governments, intergovernmental organizations and partners
in private sectors.
(b) Development of balanced international IP laws which are:
responsive to emerging needs; effective in encouraging
innovation and creation; and sufficiently flexible to
accommodate national policy objectives.
(c) Provision of consistent and customized assistance to Member
States in developing national/regional IP systems, including
legal infrastructure, institutional framework and human
(d) Enhancement of global protection systems to make them
more easily accessible and affordable to all stakeholders, in
(e) Further streamlining of the management and administrative
processes within WIPO to intensify efforts to achieve greater
efficiency as well as the initiation of improved monitoring and
evaluation systems to examine the achievement of expected
Operational Principles for the Implementation of Programs
      12. In each program area, specific priority-setting
guidelines will be provided, based on the following operational
- Program priorities will be established according to WIPO's
strategic goals and the needs identified by Member States, as
well as WIPO's expertise in delivering such program activities;
- Each program will be designed to ensure sufficient flexibility
to respond to the evolving needs of Member States.
- Program activities should be cost-effective and with concrete
- Programs will be individually tailored, wherever possible, in
consultation with Member States, so as to promote sustainability
of the results;
- Cooperation with other institutions will be encouraged, as
much as possible, to achieve the greatest cost effectiveness.
Indicators for Program Evaluation
      13. Performance indicators included in the draft Program
and Budget for the 2004-2005 biennium in respect of all
program activities (document WO/PBC/7/2) take into
consideration one or more of the following broad indicators,
which will be utilized in evaluating the success of WIPO's
programs. These concern the impact of the activity on:
- IP policy of Member States;
- integration of IP policy into the cultural-socio-economic
policies of Member States;
- enhancement and development, in quantity and quality, of IP
rights and assets obtained by nationals in Member States;
- the number of accessions or ratifications, the geographical
coverage and the effective use of treaties administered by
- number and range of users of WIPO's global protection
- status and functions of IP-related institutions (effective IP
offices and copyright collective management societies,
competent courts and customs offices for IP enforcement, etc.);
- number of people who benefited under WIPO programs,
including government officials, innovators, academic
researchers, IP practitioners, etc.
Strategic Deliverables
     14. As briefly outlined in the speech made by the Director
General on his re-appointment by Member States in May 2003
(document A/38/3), WIPO's activities will be grouped into five
areas, each with specific deliverables, as indicated below.
(a) Modernization of Management
- Enhancement of program and budget process and efficient
implementation of program activities;
- Consolidation and leveraging of IT-based tools;
- Enhanced efficiency in PCT, Madrid and Hague systems
(b) IP Outreach and Support
- Better understanding of the cultural and social dimension of
IP-related issues;
- Development of tools/guidelines to assist in building greater
public awareness and understanding of IP and its role and more
wide-spread respect for IPRs;
- Enhanced use of IP by SMEs.
(c) Cooperation for Development
- Strengthening of IP's role in the development of national
policy (supported with analyses of the economic impact of IP);
- Strengthening of national human resource capabilities,
including training of IP professionals (e.g., training of trainers);
- Deployment of online tools for small IP Offices via
- Further development of customized regional/national action
- Continuing assistance in IP Office automation.
(d) IP Issues and Progressive Development and Codification of
International IP Law
- Better accessibility to the patent system through the WIPO
Patent Agenda, including ongoing work on the draft Substantive
Patent Law Treaty;
- Further development of harmonized principles and procedural
and substantive aspects of the law of trademarks and industrial
- Responses to new technologies, particularly the
implementation of the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT);
- Continuation of consultations on broadcasting rights and of
negotiations to establish an international instrument for the
protection of audiovisual performers;
- Continuation of the Intergovernmental Committee on
Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional
Knowledge and Folklore with a view to strengthening the
framework of protection;
- Use, where necessary, of "soft-law" solutions for certain
(e) Global IP Protection Systems and Services
- Progressive reform of the PCT and implementation of the
- Expansion of the Madrid and Hague systems;
- Expansion of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center's
services to include a wider range of IP disputes.
15. The draft program and budget for the 2004-2005 biennium
(document WO/PBC/7/2) proposes, in detail, activities which
are expected to contribute to the realization of such deliverables
and the process to be taken to implement them. Political
imagination, goodwill and collaboration among Member States,
the private sector and the Secretariat are key elements in the
success of WIPO's mission and realization of its vision.

       International Atomic Energy Agency
     On Dec. 8, 1953, President Eisenhower, speaking to the
UN General Assembly, called for the creation of a world
organization to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In
1954 interested nations began to work on a preliminary
constitution for the Agency which was submitted to a
conference convened in New York in September 1956. To it all
member states of the United Nations and of the Specialized
Agencies were invited; 81 attended and after considering many
proposals for amendment approved unanimously the Statute of
the IAEA on Oct. 26, 1956. In the period allowed for signature,
80 governments signed. The Statute was to come into force
upon the deposit of ratifications by 18 states including at least
three from the following: Canada, France, the Soviet Union, the
United Kingdom, and the United States. A preparatory
commission was set up to make arrangements for the first
General Conference. Vienna was chosen as the Agency's
headquarters. The Statute entered into force on July 29, 1957.
      The object of the Agency is "to accelerate and enlarge the
contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity
throughout the world." To this end it may serve as an
intermediary in securing services or supplying materials,
equipment, or facilities; it may have its own materials and
develop its own services, equipment, and facilities; it may foster
the exchange of information and encourage the training of
experts; it may develop safeguards to ensure that its program is
not used for other than peaceful purposes and may formulate
standards to safeguard health and property. The Agency may
thus have its own program for research and production. It may
serve as a world bank of basic nuclear fuels with storage
facilities so arranged as to prevent extensive stockpiling in any
one area of the world. It may have its own inspectors with
access to all persons, places, and data involved in agency-
assisted projects.
      The Agency has a General Conference and a Board of
Governors. The General Conference is composed of all
members, each with one vote, and meets in regular annual
sessions. The Board is selected by a somewhat complicated
formula based on the division of the world into eight
geographical areas. It will include the five members who are
most advanced in the technology of atomic energy, and the most
advanced member from each of the areas not already
represented among the five; two members chosen by the
outgoing Board from a designated list of producers of source
materials, and one so chosen representing a supplier of technical
assistance; and ten members elected by the General Conference,
five each year for a two-year term, with the requirement that
each of the regions except North America must be represented
in this group. The Board so constituted includes at present 23
members, each with one vote. It controls its own time of
meeting. Decisions in both bodies are by a two-thirds majority
of those present and voting in regard to certain designated
matters, and by a majority of those present and voting in all
other matters including additions to the former category. New
members of the Agency may be admitted by the General
Conference on the recommendation of the Board of Governors
if they are believed able and willing to carry out the obligations
of membership. A permanent staff of qualified personnel
necessary to fulfill the objectives and functions of the Agency is
headed by a Director-General appointed by the Board with the
approval of the General Conference for a term of four years.
      The first General Conference met in Vienna Oct. 1-23,
1957. W. Sterling Cole of the United States was named the first
Director-General. A member of the United States Congress for
23 years, he had been on the Joint Congressional Committee on
Atomic Energy since its establishment. He was a member of the
delegation of the United States to the conference which adopted
the Statute. The United States has made 5,000 kg of fissionable
material available to the Agency with an additional promise to
match contributions of other countries until July 1960. Russian
attempts to obtain some status for the Communist governments
of China and East Germany failed.
International Atomic Energy Agency
     Following nearly four years of effort and planning, the
International Atomic Energy Agency became a reality on July
29, when the required number of ratification documents had
been deposited in Washington. The first annual meeting of the
Agency's General Conference convened in Vienna on October 1,
and among its priority decisions it approved a draft agreement
governing the Agency's relationship with the United Nations.
On November 14, the United Nations General Assembly
unanimously approved this relationship agreement.
     The IAEA, under the aegis of the United Nations, is
responsible for international activities concerned with the
peaceful uses of atomic energy, without prejudice to the rights
and responsibilities of the United Nations in this field under the
Charter. The IAEA undertakes to conduct its activities in
accordance with the purposes and principles of the United
Nations Charter to promote peace and international co-
operation, and in conformity with United Nations policies
furthering the establishment of safeguarded worldwide
disarmament. The agreement specifies that the Agency will keep
the United Nations informed of its activities by annual reports to
the General Assembly and, as appropriate, reports to the
Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. The UN
Secretary-General will report, as appropriate, on the common
activities of the United Nations and the Agency. Each
organization is to make available to the other such information
and special studies as may be requested. The United Nations-
IAEA agreement provides that the Agency may propose items
for consideration by the United Nations, and that the United
Nations may propose items for consideration by the Agency.
Agency and United Nations Secretariat staffs will maintain a
close working relationship in accordance with arrangements to
be agreed upon.

              International Bank for
           Reconstruction and Development
      International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or
World Bank, specialized United Nations agency established at
the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944. A related institution, the
International Monetary Fund (IMF), was created at the same
time. The chief objectives of the bank, as stated in the articles of
agreement, are ―to assist in the reconstruction and development
of territories of members by facilitating the investment of capital
for productive purposes and to promote private foreign
investment by means of guarantees or participation in loans[and
to supplement private investment by providing, on suitable
conditions, finance for productive purposes out of its own
     The bank grants loans only to member nations, for the
purpose of financing specific projects. Before a nation can
secure a loan, advisers and experts representing the bank must
determine that the prospective borrower can meet conditions
stipulated by the bank. Most of these conditions are designed to
ensure that loans will be used productively and that they will be
repaid. The bank requires that the borrower be unable to secure
a loan for the particular project from any other source on
reasonable terms and that the prospective project be technically
feasible and economically sound. To ensure repayment, member
governments must guarantee loans made to private concerns
within their territories. After the loan has been made, the bank
requires periodic reports both from the borrower and from its
own observers on the use of the loan and on the progress of the
     In the early period of the World Bank's existence, loans
were granted chiefly to European countries and were used for
the reconstruction of industries damaged or destroyed during
World War II. Since the late 1960s, however, most loans have
been granted to economically developing countries in Africa,
Asia, and Latin America. In the 1980s the bank gave particular
attention to projects that could directly benefit the poorest
people in developing nations by helping them to raise their
productivity and to gain access to such necessities as safe water
and waste-disposal facilities, health care, family-planning
assistance, nutrition, education, and housing. Direct involvement
of the poorest people in economic activity was being promoted
by providing loans for agriculture and rural development, small-
scale enterprises, and urban development. The bank also was
expanding its assistance to energy development and ecological
Sources of Funds
     Subscriptions to, or purchase of, capital shares are worth
SDR 100,000 (about $120,000) each. The minimum number of
shares that a member nation must purchase varies according to
the relative strength of its national economy. Not all the funds
subscribed are immediately available to the bank; only about 8.5
percent of the capital subscription of each member nation
actually is paid into the bank (a total of $7.3 billion in mid-
1987). The remainder is to be deposited only if, and to the extent
that, the bank calls for the money in order to pay its own
obligations to creditors. There has never been a need to call in
capital. The bank's working funds are derived from sales of its
interest-bearing bonds and notes in capital markets of the world,
from repayment of earlier loans, and from profits on its own
operations. It has earned profits every year since 1947.
     All powers of the bank are vested in a board of governors,
comprising one governor appointed by each member nation. The
board meets at least once annually. The governors delegate most
of their powers to 24 executive directors, who meet regularly at
the central headquarters of the bank in Washington, D.C. Five of
the executive directors are appointed by the five member states
that hold the largest number of capital shares in the bank. The
remaining 19 directors are elected by the governors from the
other member nations and serve 2-year terms. The executive
directors are headed by the president of the World Bank, whom
they elect for a 5-year term, and who must be neither a governor
nor a director. The bank currently has 183 members.
     The bank has two affiliates: the International Finance
Corporation (IFC), established in 1956; and the International
Development Association (IDA), established in 1960.
Membership in the bank is a prerequisite for membership in
either the IFC or the IDA. All three institutions share the same
president and boards of governors and executive directors.
     IDA is the bank's concessionary lending affiliate, designed
to provide development finance for those countries that do not
qualify for loans at market-based interest rates. IDA soft loans,
or ―credits,‖ are longer term than those of the bank and bear no
interest; only an annual service charge of 0.75 percent is made.
The IDA depends for its funds on subscriptions from its most
prosperous members and on transfers of income from the bank.
The IDA had 161 members in 2001.
     All three institutions are legally and financially separate,
but the bank and IDA share the same staff; IFC, with 174
members, has its own operating and legal staff, but uses
administrative and other services of the bank. Membership in
the International Monetary Fund is a prerequisite for
membership in the World Bank and its affiliates.

           The International Monetary Fund
     The International Monetary Fund was established by
international treaty in 1945 to help promote the health of the
world economy. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., it is
governed by its almost global membership of 184 countries.
The IMF is the central institution of the international monetary
system—the system of international payments and exchange
rates among national currencies that enables business to take
place between countries.It aims to prevent crises in the system
by encouraging countries to adopt sound economic policies; it is
also—as its name suggests—a fund that can be tapped by
members needing temporary financing to address balance of
payments problems.

The IMF works for global prosperity by promoting

- the balanced expansion of world trade,

- stability of exchange rates,

- avoidance of competitive devaluations, and orderly correction
of balance of payments problems
     The IMF's statutory purposes include promoting the
balanced expansion of world trade, the stability of exchange
rates, the avoidance of competitive currency devaluations, and
the orderly correction of a country's balance of payments
problems. To serve these purposes, the IMF:

- monitors economic and financial developments and policies,
in member countries and at the global level, and gives policy
advice to its members based on its more than fifty years of

- lends to member countries with balance of payments
problems, not just to provide temporary financing but to support
adjustment and reform policies aimed at correcting the
underlying problems.

- provides the governments and central banks of its member
countries with technical assistance and training in its areas of

     As the only international agency whose mandated activities
involve active dialogue with virtually every country on
economic policies, the IMF is the principal forum for discussing
not only national economic policies in a global context, but also
issues important to the stability of the international monetary
and financial system. These include countries' choice of
exchange rate arrangements, the avoidance of destabilizing
international capital flows, and the design of internationally
recognized standards and codes for policies and institutions.

     By working to strengthen the international financial system
and to accelerate progress toward reducing poverty, as well as
promoting sound economic policies among all its member
countries, the IMF is helping to make globalization work for the
benefit of all.

The Origins of the IMF
    The IMF was conceived in July 1944 at an international
conference held at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, U.S.A.,
when delegates from 44 governments agreed on a framework for
economic cooperation partly designed to avoid a repetition of
the disastrous economic policies that had contributed to the
Great Depression of the 1930s.

     During that decade, as economic activity in the major
industrial countries weakened, countries attempted to defend
their economies by increasing restrictions on imports; but this
just worsened the downward spiral in world trade, output, and
employment. To conserve dwindling reserves of gold and
foreign exchange, some countries curtailed their citizens'
freedom to buy abroad, some devalued their currencies, and
some introduced complicated restrictions on their citizens'
freedom to hold foreign exchange. These fixes, however, also
proved self-defeating, and no country was able to maintain its
competitive edge for long. Such "beggar-thy-neighbor" policies
devastated the international economy; world trade declined
sharply, as did employment and living standards in many

      As World War II came to a close, the leading allied
countries considered various plans to restore order to
international monetary relations, and at the Bretton Woods
conference the IMF emerged. The country representatives drew
up the charter (or Articles of Agreement) of an international
institution to oversee the international monetary system and to
promote both the elimination of exchange restrictions relating to
trade in goods and services, and the stability of exchange
rates.The IMF came into existence in December 1945, when the
first 29 countries signed its Articles of Agreement.

     The statutory purposes of the IMF today are the same as
when they were formulated in 1944 Since then, the world has
experienced unprecedented growth in real incomes. And
although the benefits of growth have not flowed equally to all—
either within or among nations—most countries have seen
increases in prosperity that contrast starkly with the interwar
period, in particular. Part of the explanation lies in
improvements in the conduct of economic policy, including
policies that have encouraged the growth of international trade
and helped smooth the economic cycle of boom and bust. The
IMF is proud to have contributed to these developments.

     In the decades since World War II, apart from rising
prosperity, the world economy and monetary system have
undergone other major changes-changes that have increased the
importance and relevance of the purposes served by the IMF,
but that have also required the IMF to adapt and reform. Rapid
advances in technology and communications have contributed to
the increasing international integration of markets and to closer
linkages among national economies. As a result, financial crises,
when they erupt, now tend to spread more rapidly among

      The IMF's purposes have also become more important
simply because of the expansion of its membership. The number
of IMF member countries has more than quadrupled from the 44
states involved in its establishment, reflecting in particular the
attainment of political independence by many developing
countries and more recently the collapse of the Soviet bloc.

The IMF's Purposes
     The purposes of the International Monetary Fund are:

- To promote international monetary cooperation through a
permanent institution which provides the machinery for
consultation and collaboration on international monetary

- To facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of
international trade, and to contribute thereby to the promotion
and maintenance of high levels of employment and real income
and to the development of the productive resources of all
members as primary objectives of economic policy.
- To promote exchange stability, to maintain orderly exchange
arrangements among members, and to avoid competitive
exchange depreciation.

- To assist in the establishment of a multilateral system of
payments in respect of current transactions between members
and in the elimination of foreign exchange restrictions which
hamper the growth of world trade.

- To give confidence to members by making the general
resources of the Fund temporarily available to them under
adequate safeguards, thus providing them with opportunity to
correct maladjustments in their balance of payments without
resorting to measures destructive of national or international

- In accordance with the above, to shorten the duration and
lessen the degree of disequilibrium in the international balances
of payments of members.

     IMF members have been free to choose any form of
exchange arrangement they wish (except pegging their currency
to gold): some now allow their currency to float freely, some
peg their currency to another currency or a group of currencies,
some have adopted the currency of another country as their own,
and some participate in currency blocs.

     At the same time as the IMF was created, the International
Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), more
commonly known as the World Bank, was set up to promote
long-term economic development, including through the
financing of infrastructure projects, such as road-building and
improving water supply.

     The IMF and the World Bank Group—which includes the
International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the International
Development Association (IDA)—complement each other's
work. While the IMF's focus is chiefly on macroeconomic
performance, and on macroeconomic and financial sector
policies, the World Bank is concerned mainly with longer-term
development and poverty reduction issues. Its activities include
lending to developing countries and countries in transition to
finance infrastructure projects, the reform of particular sectors
of the economy, and broader structural reforms. The IMF, in
contrast, provides financing not for particular sectors or projects
but for general support of a country's balance of payments and
international reserves while the country takes policy action to
address its difficulties.

     When the IMF and World Bank were established, an
organization to promote world trade liberalization was also
contemplated, but it was not until 1995 that the World Trade
Organization was set up. In the intervening years, trade issues
were tackled through the General Agreement on Tariffs and
Trade (GATT).

Decisions at the IMF
     The IMF is accountable to its member countries, and this
accountability is essential to its effectiveness. The day-today
work of the IMF is carried out by an Executive Board,
representing the IMF's 184 members, and an internationally
recruited staff under the leadership of a Managing Director and
three Deputy Managing Directors—each member of this
management team being drawn from a different region of the
world. The powers of the Executive Board to conduct the
business of the IMF are delegated to it by the Board of
Governors, which is where ultimate oversight rests.

     The Board of Governors, on which all member countries
are represented, is the highest authority governing the IMF. It
usually meets once a year, at the Annual Meetings of the IMF
and the World Bank. Each member country appoints a
Governor—usually the country's minister of finance or the
governor of its central bank—and an Alternate Governor. The
Board of Governors decides on major policy issues but has
delegated day-to-day decision-making to the Executive Board.
     Key policy issues relating to the international monetary
system are considered twice-yearly in a committee of Governors
called the International Monetary and Financial Committee,
or IMFC (until September 1999 known as the Interim
Committee). A joint committee of the Boards of Governors of
the IMF and World Bank called the Development Committee
advises and reports to the Governors on development policy and
other matters of concern to developing countries.

     The Executive Board consists of 24 Executive Directors,
with the Managing Director as chairman. The Executive Board
usually meets three times a week, in full-day sessions, and more
often if needed, at the organization's headquarters in
Washington, D.C. The IMF's five largest shareholders —the
United States, Japan, Germany, France, and the United
Kingdom—along with China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, have
their own seats on the Board. The other 16 Executive Directors
are elected for two-year terms by groups of countries, known as

      The Executive Board selects the Managing Director, who
besides serving as the chairman of the Board, is the chief of the
IMF staff and conducts the business of the IMF under the
direction of the Executive Board. Appointed for a renewable
five-year term, the Managing Director is assisted by a First
Deputy Managing Director and two other Deputy Managing

     IMF employees are international civil servants whose
responsibility is to the IMF, not to national authorities. The
organization has about 2,800 employees recruited from 141
countries. About two-thirds of its professional staff are
economists. The IMF's 26 departments and offices are headed
by directors, who report to the Managing Director. Most staff
work in Washington, although about 90 resident representatives
are posted in member countries to help advise on economic
policy. The IMF maintains offices in Paris and Tokyo for liaison
with other international and regional institutions, and with
organizations of civil society; it also has offices in New York
and Geneva, mainly for liaison with other institutions in the UN

Where Does the IMF Get Its Money?
     The IMF's resources come mainly from the quota (or
capital) subscriptions that countries pay when they join the IMF,
or following periodic reviews in which quotas are increased.
Countries pay 25 percent of their quota subscriptions in Special
Drawing Rights or major currencies, such as U.S. dollars or
Japanese yen; the IMF can call on the remainder, payable in the
member's own currency, to be made available for lending as
needed. Quotas determine not only a country's subscription
payments, but also the amount of financing that it can receive
from the IMF, and its share in SDR allocations. Quotas also are
the main determinant of countries' voting power in the IMF.

     Quotas are intended broadly to reflect members' relative
size in the world economy: the larger a country's economy in
terms of output, and the larger and more variable its trade, the
higher its quota tends to be. The United States of America, the
world's largest economy, contributes most to the IMF, 17.5
percent of total quotas; Palau, the world's smallest, contributes
0.001 percent.

     If necessary, the IMF may borrow to supplement the
resources available from its quotas. The IMF has two sets of
standing arrangements to borrow if needed to cope with any
threat to the international monetary system:

- the General Arrangements to Borrow (GAB), set up in 1962,
which has 11 participants (the governments or central banks of
the Group of Ten industrialized countries and Switzerland)

- the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB), introduced in 1997,
with 25 participating countries and institutions. Under the two
arrangements combined, the IMF has up to SDR 34 billion
(about $50 billion) available to borrow
     Countries that joined the IMF between 1945 and 1971
agreed to keep their exchange rates (in effect, the value of their
currencies in terms of the U.S. dollar, and in the case of the
United States, the value of the U.S. dollar in terms of gold)
pegged at rates that could be adjusted, but only to correct a
"fundamental disequilibrium" in the balance of payments and
with the IMF's concurrence. This so-called Bretton Woods
system of exchange rates prevailed until 1971 when the U.S.
government suspended the convertibility of the U.S. dollar (and
dollar reserves held by other governments) into gold.

     Since then, IMF members have been free to choose any
form of exchange arrangement they wish (except pegging their
currency to gold): some now allow their currency to float freely,
some peg their currency to another currency or a group of
currencies, some have adopted the currency of another country
as their own, and some participate in currency blocs.

     The IMF and the World Bank Group—which includes the
International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the International
Development Association (IDA)—complement each other's
work. While the IMF's focus is chiefly on macroeconomic
performance, and on macroeconomic and financial sector
policies, the World Bank is concerned mainly with longer-term
development and poverty reduction issues. Its activities include
lending to developing countries and countries in transition to
finance infrastructure projects, the reform of particular sectors
of the economy, and broader structural reforms. The IMF, in
contrast, provides financing not for particular sectors or projects
but for general support of a country's balance of payments and
international reserves while the country takes policy action to
address its difficulties.

     When the IMF and World Bank were established, an
organization to promote world trade liberalization was also
contemplated, but it was not until 1995 that the World Trade
Organization was set up. In the intervening years, trade issues
were tackled through the General Agreement on Tariffs and
Trade (GATT).

What Is an IMF-Supported Program?
     When a country approaches the IMF for financing, it may
be in a state of economic crisis or near-crisis, with its currency
under attack in foreign exchange markets and its international
reserves depleted, economic activity stagnant or falling, and
bankruptcies increasing. To return the country's external
payments position to health and to restore the conditions for
sustainable economic growth, some combination of economic
adjustment and official and/or private financing will be needed.

    The IMF provides the country's authorities with advice on
the economic policies that may be expected to address the
problems most effectively. For the IMF also to provide
financing, it must agree with the authorities on a program of
policies aimed at meeting specific, quantified goals regarding
external viability, monetary and financial stability, and
sustainable growth. Details of the program are spelled out in a
"letter of intent" from the government to the Managing
Director of the IMF.

     A program supported by IMF financing is designed by the
national authorities in close cooperation with IMF staff, and is
tailored to the special needs and circumstances of the country.
This is essential for the program's effectiveness and for the
government to win national support for the program. Such
support—or "local ownership"—of the program is critical to its

     Each program is also designed flexibly, so that, during its
implementation, it may be reassessed and revised if
circumstances change. Many programs are, in fact, revised
during implementation.

Technical Assistance and Training
The IMF is probably best known for its policy advice and its
policy-based lending to countries in times of economic crisis.
But the IMF also shares its expertise with member countries on
a regular basis by providing technical assistance and training in
a wide range of areas, such as central banking, monetary and
exchange rate policy, tax policy and administration, and official
statistics. The objective is to help strengthen the design and
implementation of members' economic policies, including by
strengthening skills in the institutions responsible, such as
finance ministries and central banks. Technical assistance
complements the IMF's policy advice and financial assistance to
member countries and accounts for some 20 percent of the
IMF's administrative costs.

     The IMF provides technical assistance and training mainly
in four areas:

- strengthening monetary and financial sectors through advice
on banking system regulation, supervision, and restructuring,
foreign exchange management and operations, clearing and
settlement systems for payments, and the structure and
development of central banks;

- supporting strong fiscal policies and management through
advice on tax and customs policies and administration, budget
formulation, expenditure management, design of social safety
nets, and the management of internal and external debt;

- compiling, managing, and disseminating statistical data and
improving data quality; and

- drafting and reviewing economic and financial legislation.

     The IMF offers training courses for government and central
bank officials of member countries at its headquarters in
Washington and at regional training centers in Brasília,
Singapore, Tunis, and Vienna. In the field, it provides technical
assistance through visits by IMF staff, supplemented by hired
consultants and experts. Supplementary financing for IMF
technical assistance and training is provided by the national
governments of such countries as Japan and Switzerland, and
international agencies such as the European Union, the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the
United Nations Development Program, and the World Bank.

Strengthening the International Monetary and
Financial System
     Globalization has created new challenges for the IMF. Two
of the most important, and most difficult, are how to strengthen
the global financial system—so that it becomes less prone to
financial crises and more able to cope with crises when they
occur—and how to advance the fight against poverty in low-
income countries (see next chapter).

     Globalization has yielded great benefits for many countries
and people around the world. Integration into the world
economy is an essential part of any strategy to enable countries
to achieve higher living standards. But globalization, by
increasing the volume and speed of international capital flows,
has also increased the risk of financial crises. And at the same
time, the risk has arisen that low-income countries, which have
not yet benefited substantially from globalization, will fall
further behind as living standards rise elsewhere.
Building A Stronger Global Financial System
     The financial crises in emerging markets in the mid- and
late 1990s were a reminder of the risks associated with
globalization -even for economies that have benefited
immensely from the process and that, in many respects, are well
managed. The economies hit in the 1997-98 Asian crisis, in
particular, had gained enormously over several decades from
international trade, foreign direct investment, and access to
increasingly integrated international financial markets. The
crises exposed not only policy weaknesses in the crisis countries
themselves, but also flaws in the international financial system,
driving home two facts of life:

- Investors may retreat quickly and massively if they sense
shortcomings in domestic economic policies. Once investors-
domestic or foreign-lose confidence, capital inflows can dry up,
and large net outflows can precipitate a financial crisis.

- A crisis in one country or region can rapidly spill over into
other economies.

     To reduce the risk of future financial crises and to promote
the speedy resolution of those that do occur, the IMF has been
working with its member governments, and with other
international organizations, regulatory bodies, and the private
sector, to strengthen the international monetary and financial

     Reforms under way span the following areas:

Strengthening financial sectors
      A major reason why a country may be vulnerable to
economic crisis is weakness in its financial system, with
institutions that are illiquid or insolvent, or liable to become so
as a result of adverse developments. To make the system more
robust, banks and other financial institutions may need to
improve their internal controls, including their assessment and
management of risk. The authorities may also need to bring their
supervision and regulation of the financial sector up to
international standards.

     The IMF and the World Bank in 1999 began joint
assessments of member countries' financial sectors to help
identify actual and potential weaknesses. IMF and World Bank
teams, generally with the assistance of experts from central
banks and financial regulatory agencies, have been assessing the
strength of financial systems in a number of member countries.
These assessments are presented to the country as a guide to the
measures needed.

     IMF staff are also working with national governments and
other international institutions to:

- strengthen the legal, regulatory, and supervisory frameworks
for banks,

- review minimum capital requirements for banks and financial

- develop a core set of international accounting standards,

- finalize a set of core principles for good corporate governance,

- avoid exchange rate regimes that are vulnerable to attack, and

- ensure a freer flow of timely financial data to markets.

Internationally accepted standards and codes of good
      Countries can reassure the international community about
their policies and practices by following internationally accepted
standards and codes of good practice. For countries that do not
do so, international standards and codes serve as a guide for
strengthening their systems. The IMF has worked to develop
and refine voluntary standards in areas of its responsibility, in
some cases cooperating with other international organizations,
such as the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the
World Bank. These include standards related to a country's
statistical practices; codes of good practice in fiscal, monetary,
and financial policies; and guidelines on strengthening the
financial sector—such as banking system supervision and
regulatory standards.

      Complementing the work of the IMF have been the efforts
of the BIS, World Bank, and other standard-setting agencies,
which have been working on international standards in such
areas as accounting and auditing, bankruptcy, corporate
governance, securities market regulation, and payment and
settlement systems.

     To help countries assess their own compliance, IMF staff,
in conjunction with the respective governments, began in 1999
to prepare experimental country reports on countries' observance
of standards and codes, focusing mainly on areas of direct
operational concern to the IMF. Several countries have chosen
to publish these reports.

Encouraging openness and publication of data
      The publication of up-to-date and reliable data—as well as
information about countries' economic and financial policies,
practices, and decision- making—is needed to help investors
make informed judgments and for markets to operate efficiently
and smoothly. In the wake of the Mexican crisis of 1994-95, the
IMF in 1996 developed a special data dissemination standard
(SDDS) to guide countries that have, or that might seek, access
to international capital markets in the dissemination of economic
and financial data to the public. Subscribing countries agree to
publish detailed national economic and financial data, including
data on international reserves and external debt, on an
announced schedule. A general data dissemination system
(GDDS) was established in 1997 to guide countries that are not
yet in a position to subscribe to the SDDS and need to improve
their statistical systems.
IMF transparency and accountability
     Improved provision of information to the markets and the
broader public is a central element of the reform of the
international financial system. It is also a cornerstone of the
recent and continuing reform of the IMF itself.

Transparency, on the part of IMF member countries and the
IMF, helps foster better economic performance in several ways.
Greater openness by member countries encourages more
widespread and better informed analysis of their policies by the
public; enhances the accountability of policymakers and the
credibility of policies; and informs financial markets so that they
can function in a more orderly and efficient manner. Greater
openness and clarity by the IMF about its own policies, and the
advice it gives members, contribute to a more informed policy
debate and to a better understanding of the IMF's role and
operations. By exposing its advice to public scrutiny and debate,
the IMF can also help raise the level of its analysis.

     Since the mid-1990s, the IMF has vastly increased the
volume of information it publishes—on its own activities and
policies, and on those of its member countries—particularly on
its website. Public Information Notices, for example, which
were released at the conclusion of Article IV consultations with
about 80 percent of member countries in 1999-2000, summarize
the Executive Board discussion and provide background to the
consultation. Letters of intent are also released by the
governments concerned in about 80 percent of program cases. In
April 1999, the Executive Board initiated a pilot project for the
voluntary release of Article IV staff reports, and about 60
countries agreed to such release over the following 18 months.
In November 2000, the pilot was replaced by a publication
policy providing for voluntary release (that is, subject to the
agreement of the country concerned) of both Article IV
consultation papers and papers on members' use of IMF
resources. In July 2004, the policy was revised to introduce the
presumption that these papers would be released on a voluntary

     The accountability of the IMF, to its member governments
and to the broader public, has been enhanced in recent years
through external evaluations by outside experts of its policies
and activities. Published external evaluations include
assessments of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility
(which was replaced in 1999 by the Poverty Reduction and
Growth Facility), its surveillance of members' economies, and
IMF economic research activities. An Independent Evaluation
Office was established in 2001, and released three evaluation
reports during 2002-03.

     While increasing the transparency of the IMF, the
Executive Board is also keenly aware of the need to preserve the
IMF's role as a confidential advisor to its members, which
continues to be an essential part of its role.

Involving the private sector in crisis prevention and
     By far the greater part of international financial flows are
private flows. This points to the importance of the role that the
private sector can play in helping to prevent and resolve
financial crises. Crises may be prevented, and the volatility of
private flows reduced, by improved risk assessment and closer
and more frequent dialogue between countries and private
investors. Such dialogue can also foster greater private sector
involvement in the resolution of crises when they do occur,
including through the restructuring of private debt.

     Both creditors and debtors can benefit from such dialogue.
And the involvement of the private sector in crisis prevention
and resolution should also help to limit "moral hazard"—that is,
the possibility that the private sector may be attracted to engage
in risky lending if it is confident that potential losses will be
limited by official rescue operations, including by the IMF. The
IMF itself is also strengthening its dialogue with market
participants, for example through the establishment of the
Capital Markets Consultative Group, which met for the first
time in September 2000. The Group provides a forum for
regular communication between international capital market
participants and IMF management and senior staff on matters of
common interest, including world economic and market
developments and measures to strengthen the global financial
system. But the Group does not discuss confidential matters
related to particular countries.

     When crises do occur, IMF-supported programs are
expected to be able, in most cases, to restore stability through
their mix of official financing, policy adjustments, and
associated gains in confidence among private investors. In
certain cases, however, such actions as coordinated debt
restructuring by private creditors may be needed. IMF members
have agreed on some principles to guide the involvement of the
private sector in crisis resolution. These principles, however,
require further development, and they will need to be applied
flexibly in individual country cases.

Collaborating with other institutions
     The IMF collaborates actively with the World Bank, the
regional development banks, the World Trade Organization, the
United Nations agencies, and other international bodies. Each of
these institutions has its area of specialization and its particular
contribution to make to the world economy. The IMF's
collaboration with the World Bank on poverty reduction is
especially close because the Bank rather than the IMF has the
expertise to help countries improve their social policies (see
next section).

     Other areas in which the IMF and World Bank are working
closely include assessments of member countries' financial
sectors aimed at pinpointing systemic vulnerabilities, combating
money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the
development of standards and codes, and improving the quality,
availability, and coverage of data on external debt.

     The IMF is also a member of the Financial Stability Forum,
which brings together national authorities responsible for
financial stability in significant international financial centers,
international regulatory and supervisory bodies, committees of
central bank experts, and international financial institutions.

A New Approach to Reducing Poverty in Low-Income
      The IMF is a monetary, not a development, institution, but
it has an important role to play in reducing poverty in its
member countries: sustainable economic growth, which is
essential for cutting poverty, requires sound macroeconomic
policies, and these are at the heart of the IMF's mandate.

     For many years, the IMF has helped low-income countries
implement economic policies that foster growth and raise living
standards through its advice, its technical assistance, and its
financial support. Between 1986 and 1999, 56 countries with
populations totaling 3.2 billion drew on low-interest loans under
the Structural Adjustment Facility (SAF) (1986-87) and its
successor, the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF)
(1987-89) (see page 27), designed to help the IMF's poorest
members in their efforts to achieve stronger economic growth
and a sustained improvement in their balance of payments.

     These facilities made significant contributions to the
development effort in low-income countries, but despite
substantial assistance from the IMF and the broad donor
community, many of these countries did not achieve the gains
needed for lasting poverty reduction.

     This prompted an intense reexamination of development
and debt strategies in recent years by governments, international
organizations, and others. It was agreed that more needed to be
    At the 1999 joint annual meeting of the IMF and the World
Bank, Ministers from member countries endorsed a new
approach. They decided to make country- generated poverty
reduction strategies the basis of all IMF and World Bank
concessional lending and debt relief. This embodied a more
country-driven approach to policy programs than in the past.

The New Approach: a focus on serving the poor
Focused poverty reduction strategies can ensure that the needs
of the poor get first priority in the public policy debate,
especially when there is broad participation—including
elements of civil society—in formulating the strategy.
Moreover, poverty reduction strategies can put countries "in the
driver's seat" of their own development, with a clearly
articulated vision for their future and a systematic plan to
achieve their goals. Underlying the new approach are a number
of principles, which have guided the development of poverty
reduction strategies.These include:

- A comprehensive approach to development and a broad view
of poverty are essential.

- Faster economic growth is critical for sustained poverty
reduction, and greater participation by the poor can increase a
country's growth potential.

- Country "ownership" of the goals, strategy, and direction of
development and poverty reduction is vital.

- The development community must work together closely.

- The focus should be clearly on results.

     A transformation of the magnitude being sought entails
changing institutions so that they are accountable to all,
including the poor, and building each country's capacity to
respond to the needs of its citizens. Results will come only if
there is a long-term commitment by governments and their
partners. To help achieve this, participating countries draw up a
master plan embodied in a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
(PRSP). This overall plan for reducing poverty makes it easier
for the international community-including the IMF-to provide
the most effective support possible.

The Roles of the IMF and World Bank
      The World Bank and IMF make support available to
governments in the development of their strategies, but without
directing the outcome. World Bank and IMF management
realize that this requires a shift in the organizational cultures and
attitude both in these organizations and in partner institutions.
This shift is taking place. By coordinating early and maintaining
open lines of communication with country authorities—
particularly by providing available diagnostic information—the
World Bank and IMF can ensure that they help countries in a
timely and comprehensive way.

     Each institution must focus on its areas of expertise. Thus,
World Bank staff take the lead in advising on the social policies
involved in poverty reduction, including the necessary
diagnostic work. The IMF advises governments in the areas of
its traditional mandate, including promoting prudent
macroeconomic policies. In areas where the World Bank and the
IMF both have expertise—such as fiscal management, budget
execution, budget transparency, and tax and customs
administration—they coordinate closely.

      Because the PRSP provides the context for IMF and World
Bank concessional lending and debt relief, the strategies are
critical for the two institutions. Participating countries send the
final strategy to the Executive Boards of both the IMF and
World Bank for endorsement. The Executive Boards of both
institutions also receive a World Bank-IMF staff assessment,
with an analysis of the strategy and a recommendation on
endorsement. The strategies need not be fully in accordance
with staff recommendations to be endorsed. This process assures
the Executive Boards—and the international community—that
the strategies, while perhaps attracting broad domestic support,
also address difficult or divisive issues in an effective way.

Formulating Poverty Reduction Strategies
      The objective of drawing up a Poverty Reduction Strategy
Paper (PRSP) is to strengthen basic principles of country
ownership, comprehensive development, and broad public
participation. While there is no template for this, there are a
number of core elements that are likely to be common to all

Diagnosing obstacles to poverty reduction and growth: A
poverty reduction strategy could begin by using existing data to
describe who the poor are and where they live, and by
identifying areas where data need to be strengthened. Building
on this description, the poverty reduction strategy could analyze
the macroeconomic, social, and institutional impediments to
faster growth and poverty reduction.

Policies and objectives: In light of a deeper understanding of
poverty and its causes, the PRSP can then identify medium- and
long-term targets for the country's poverty reduction strategy
and set out the macroeconomic, structural, and social policies to
achieve them.

Tracking progress :To understand better the link between
policies and outcomes, a poverty reduction strategy should
include a framework for monitoring progress and mechanisms to
share this information with a country's development partners.

External assistance: A strategy can also improve the
effectiveness and efficiency of external assistance by identifying
the amount of financial and technical support required to
implement the strategy. It could also assess the potential poverty
impact of both higher and lower assistance commitments,
including actual savings from debt relief.
Participatory process: A strategy may describe the format,
frequency, and location of consultations; a summary of the main
issues raised and the views of participants; an account of the
impact of consultations on design of the strategy; and a
discussion of the role of civil society in future monitoring and

Reducing Debt Burdens
     In 1996, the World Bank and the IMF unveiled the HIPC
Initiative to reduce the debt burdens of the world's poorest
countries. This initiative was viewed as a means of helping the
countries concerned achieve economic growth and reduce

    While a number of countries qualified for the initiative—
and debt relief in nominal terms totaling more than $6 billion
had been committed to seven countries by September 1999—
concern grew that the initiative did not go far enough, or fast

Consequently, when the new approach to poverty reduction was
introduced in 1999, the initiative was enhanced to provide:

- broader and deeper debt relief, through lower debt targets. For
example, the number of countries eligible for debt relief under
the enhanced HIPC Initiative is 38, compared with 29 formerly.

- faster debt relief, through financing at an earlier stage of the
policy program to free up resources for poverty-reducing
spending, such as on health and education.
.              The League of Arab States
       By the end of the millennium, the League of Arab States
celebrated its 55th anniversary; which postdated the emergence
of an Arab Regional system, assuming a unique character,
which has then become a distinctive and indispensable
characteristic, namely: the national quality. However, the Arab
League's membership has expanded as from seven Arab
Member States, (forming a total number of independent Arab
countries during the mid - forties) so as to reach 22 Arab
Member States (forming the total number of Member States in
the Arab Regional System). Actually, the LAS has passed
through several stages of development and was
contemporaneous with several numerous attempts for its re-
structuring. These stages and attempts reflect the efforts exerted
to modernize the same Arab Regional Regime.
       Inspite of the call for the Arab unity that has been put
forward, since several centuries, yet still the idea of setting up
an Arab Organization to gather the Arab countries together, did
not crystallize - or in other words - its features were not
elaborated except during the Second World War, due to Arab,
Regional and International changes. On the Arab Level, we can
say that the Arab reality formed the corner stone for this
historical development:
- The atmosphere of war, was absolutely suitable for the growth
of the national movements and the activity of resistance against
the presence of aggression, which was - in turn - reflected on the
independence of an increasing number of Arab countries, while
- at the same time - has generated the need to establish a kind of
balance between the political powers, in which Egypt has played
a very active role.
- The need for unity has been boasted in conjunction with the
awareness of the Zionist movement dangers, the flocking of
Zionist emigrations to Palestine and the impossibility of
disregarding the role played by the mandating country "Britain",
so as to realize the dream of the Jewish State.
- It is due to the educational missions, that the friction with the
West has augmented leading - in turn - to the receptiveness to
new ideas and political trends, which it has been operating, on
top of which is the national idea.
- It seems that there is a considerable volume of commercial
exchange and transfer of individuals between the Arab East
countries, in a way that appeared as if it will ensure the material
spiritual, cultural and tentative basis for unity.
        On the regional level the neighboring countries basically -
Turkey & Iran, have passed through various developments that
helped them to focus on their own domestic affairs and
distracted them from aborting the Arab attempts for unity. As
for Turkey's defeat in the First World War, and its fear from an
establishment of a Communist Regime on its borders and the
signs of change in its relations and alliances within the area
extending from the East to the West, are the most distinctive
basic factors and items adopted in its internal and external
agenda. At a time in which it captured the Iskenderun Region in
Syria, and its failure to cut out Mosul from Iraq, by hoisting the
space separating it from its Arab - Islamic milieu, and acquiring
it an additional greater dimension.
      As for Iran, which was ruled not only by a domineering
Royal Regime but also by Western Imperialism dominating all
its resources, it was threatened - more than Turkey - by the
danger of a powerful communist neighbor, with whom its shares
long borders and who did not hide its imperialistic intentions,
neither in its maritime passage ways nor its petroleum.
      There is a transitional stage, as one of the development
stages of the international system that followed the Second
World War, which - in turn - drew the United States' attention to
the neighboring countries to the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe
and China, while temporarily leaving the Arab area alone, to lie
within the track of interest of Britain and France, with their long
experience in the Arab Affairs. As for Britain, in particular, it is
of vital importance to elaborate two extremely important facts,
while analyzing Britain's stance towards the establishment of the
League of Arab States.
The first fact: Britain played a consolidating role for the
establishment of the League of Arab States, for reasons that
would serve its interests.
The second Fact: The role played by Britain was
complimentary or auxiliary and not originative or imitative. This
is because there is no country whatsoever, and however much
was its degree of political domination during a certain historical
decade, that can give life to an existing idea, or because the
British Political behavior - as will be clear later on - was
antagonistic and hostile to the development of the Arab bonds
and pursuant to competition with it, by administering an
artificial relationship, the most important of which is the Middle
East bonds. There is another saying that: " during the Forties of
the 20th Century, Britain found out that one of the institutional
forms encompassing the independent Arab countries at that
time, has served its interests, from various basic factors, namely:
First: Pursuing the aspirations of the area and handling them in
anew form, in consideration to the international competitions
and the French ones, in particular.
Second: Responding to the independent and liberal expanding
trend, which seemed to be one of the basic features of the post
war international relations.
 Third: This factor is closely connected with related to the
previous item, as well as making use of the Intifadas that were
waged against them, comprising the Iraqi war that was waged
during the times of Rashid Aly Al-Kilany the muting
movements extended against it, in Egypt
  Fourth: Solving the cause of the Jews in Palestine, while being
illusioned with imagination that the foundation of the Jewish
state, can never be accomplished except through a general Arab
framework, capable of presenting concessions to the Jews, as
well as acting as unifier and co- ordinator of the Arabs' opinions,
in this respect.
Fifth: Making use of the Second World War experience that
confirmed the unified economic and strategic nature of the Arab
area, which is well known for being an extremely wealthy
Petroleum reservoir area which equals one third of the well
known international reserve at that time. It is also considered a
crossing point to one of the most important watercourses
(streams), for example the Suez Canal stream. Besides it is the
linking point between the East and the West. Hence, feeling the
need for dealing with this reality, in a way that suits it.
      This was the first time that the idea of establishing the Arab
League, was discussed so clearly. In this context, Sir Anthony
Eden, British Minister of Foreign Affairs has delivered a speech
on 29/5/1941 saying: "The Arab world has made a lot of
progress since the settlement that took place post World War ?.
Beside, a number of Arab ideologist wish the Arab nations, a
greater scope of unity, than what it is up to, now. However, the
Arabs are looking forward to gain our support, in their attempts
towards realizing this goal. We should not disregard our friends'
response to this request. It seems quite natural and right to foster
and enhance cultural, economic and political relations between
Arab countries. Furthermore, His Majesty's Government will
totally support any plan that will gain general consensus".
      After less than 2 years of this date, particularly on
24/2/1943, and in the British House of Commons Sir Eden has
re-affirmed that the British Government sympathizes every
movement carried out by the Arabs, aiming at realizing their
economic, cultural and political unity.
Executive Steps:
     In an investment to the personal factors justifying unity and
to the suitable regional and international circumstances,
executive steps have started to be undertaken so as to put this
target of unity, into action.
     Thereupon, the Egyptian Prime minister Mustafa Al-Nahas,
has taken the initiative, after almost one year of Sir Anthony
Eden's speech. His Excellency cordially invited both: the Syrian
Prime Minister (Gamil Miridin) and the President of the
Lebanese National(Bsharaa Alkhoury to visit Cairo, so as to
negotiate with them, the idea of "establishing an Arab League to
foster the bonds of relations between the Arab countries, that
gained access to the League".
     Accordingly, a series of bilateral negotiations have been
held between Egypt - on the one hand - and representatives of
Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and
Yemen, on the other hand. These negotiations have resulted in
the crystallization of two basic trends for unity, namely:
     The first trend: calls for what may be titled by a "Sub-
Regional Unit or a Subsidiary Unit", under trusteeship of "Great
Syria" or the "Fertile Crescent".
     The Second Trend: calls for a more general and
comprehensive kind of unity, embracing all the independent
Arab countries. This trend is to guarantee two subsidiary
opinions. One of them calls for a Federal or a Confederal unity
between the concerned countries. The second opinion calls for
an intermediate form that would help in accomplishing co-
operation and co-ordination of all aspects, while - at the same
time - maintaining the independence and sovereignty of
     However, when the Preparatory Committee held a meeting
with the representatives of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt
and Yemen (as a Controller) during the period from 25/9 -
7/10/1944. It directly overbalanced the tendency calling for the
unity of the Arab independent countries in a way that would not
affect its unity and sovereignty. Whereas, the committee has
determined to name this tangible kind of unity by "The League
of Arab States". It preferred this naming to "Confederation" and
"Union". The first naming refers to an accidental relation,
whereas the other naming invalidate the specialization agreed
upon to be transferred to the developing Arab Organization.
Thereupon, and in light of all the a /m, the Alexandria Protocol"
has been reached, to be the first document that concerns the
Arab League, stating the following principles:
- The establishment of the "League of Arab States" comprising
independent Arab countries that accept accession to it, while -at
the same time - form a Council in which all the Member States
in the Arab States in the Arab League, will be on equal footing.

- The Arab League Council is entrusted to adhere to the
implementation of inter - member states agreements and
periodical meeting to enhance and foster relations between them
and co-ordinate between its political plans, so as to realize the
required co-operation between them and maintain their
independence and sovereignty, against any aggression, by all
possible political means and generally considering the domestic
affairs of the Arab countries. The resolutions adopted by the
Arab League Council are binding to the assenting parties, except
for cases implying differences between two League Member
States who will thus refer to the Council to settle conflicts
between them. In such cases, the resolutions adopted by the
Arab League Council, will be binding and enforceable
 - It is inpermissible to use power to settle conflicts that may
arise between two League Member States. It is also illegal to
follow a foreign policy that would adversely harm the policy
followed by the League of the Arab States or any of its Member
States' Policy.
- admitting the sovereignty and independence of the organizing
countries and their actual present borders.
        The protocol has also implied two resolutions relating to
the following items, namely:
- Urgent need to respect Lebanon's independence and
 - To consider Palestine as an important element in the Arab
countries set up, without prejudice to the Arab rights and
without causing any damage to peace and independence of Arab
countries. They have to support the cause of Arab Palestinians
by realizing their legitimate rights and maintaining their just
     This protocol has been signed on 7/10/1944 by Heads of
Delegations participating in the Preparatory Committee, with the
exception of Saudi Arabia and Yemen, who have successively
signed the protocol on 3/1/1944 and on 5/2/1945, after being
raised to His Excellency, King Abdul Aziz Al Saud and the
Imam Yehia Hamid.
      As a result of 16 meetings held by the above mentioned
concerned parties at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Headquarters, during the period 17/2 - 3/3/1945, the Charter was
adopted, after being amended, at Al - Zaafaran Palace, in Cairo.
      The Arab League Charter consisted of a preamble, 20
articles, 3 appendices, where the First Appendix dealt with
Palestine within this context. The Arab League Council has
chosen a representative (i.e. for Palestine), so as to take part in
its acts, until it gains independence. The second Appendix
tackled co-operation with the non-independent countries, who -
at the same time- are non Member Sates in the Arab League
Council. The Third and Last Appendix relates to the assignment
of Mr. Abdul Rahman Azzam, in his capacity as Minister
Plenipotentiary in the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to
be the First Secretary General of the League of Arab States, for
a period of 2 years.
     Also the Charter consists the type of organizational and
procedural membership and provisions, the Arab League
Council and the Permanent and Budgetary Committees, the
Arab League Headquarters and its General Secretariat, the
diplomatic privileges, the withdrawal or dismissal from the Arab
League, the Charter amendment and, finally, the ratification
procedures and the group of objective rules relating to the
commitments of Member States towards each other, implying
every country's respect to the ruling system of the other country,
as well as the peaceful settlement of inter-conflicts, and co-
ordinating their foreign policies should be performed in a way
that would not indemnify the interests of any of them, and
enhance their sincere efforts and co-operation not only in
repulsing any aggression on any Arab League Member State,
but also co-operating together in various economic, social and
cultural affairs.
      Charter was ratified on 23/3/1945 by the Arab countries
representatives except for Saudi Arabia and Yemen, who have
later on signed the Charter. However, the Palestinian Parties'
representatives, attended the ratification session. Accordingly,
the League of Arab States designated 22nd March, as an official
date to celebrate the annual anniversary of the Arab League
Charter. In this respect, we can register 3 remarks, namely:
- The Charter was a kind of harmonization between the regional
and national tendencies, which was - in turn - reflected on the
League by considering it an organization based on voluntary co-
operation between the Member States, to be based on equality
and mutual respect so as to realize the major goal of
independence. Besides, it has also been reflected on its situation
as an inter-government organization and not as a superior
authority and being given preference over and above.
 - The Charter has materialized a case of political accord and
general satisfaction (i.e.) The Arab League has not been
established by the rise of a dominating regional power that
imposes its will on others, but was rather a result to a number of
balances between the concerned parties.
- Both principles of sovereignty and equality have become the
basis of unanimous vote, joint security order and peaceful
settlement of conflicts.
      However, the general satisfaction and consensus serving as
a strong base for the establishment of the organization, has
definitely implied positive and negative impacts.
      The positive factor was significant in maintaining the
adherence to order, and insuring its flexibility, while - at the
same time - impeding all attempts exerted by one country or a
limited number of countries, to have a dominant influence over
the Arab League. Whereas, the negative aspect was significant
in the fact that the base of unanimous voting has sometimes led
to a considerable amount of deadlock and formalism in
performance, where the League, moved steadily and effectively
only in case of unanimous voting to its resolutions, and vice -
versa is correct.
      Ever since its establishment, several attempts have been
exerted to develop the Arab League. . Such a step was
considered a kind of reconciliatory solution in a peace making
attempt, so as to attain the required attnement between the
national and regional associations. This of course, was a direct
response to the prompt action undertaken by the League of Arab
States ,Charter in this respect, as not to keep pace with the
enhancement and reinforcement of the association, which the
Arab League has established and materialized. In this context,
the Charter has brought into being two probable mechanisms
that need development, namely:
      First: the instrument of amending the Charter itself, by
reference to article (19) in the Charter, stating the possibility of
amendment, according to the consensus 2/3 of the majority, so
as to create stronger and deeper ties between the Member States
and also establish an Arab Court of Justice.
      Second: The instrument, which it originated for fostering
inter-relations and ties between two or more of its Member
      In pursuance to all the above mentioned, the Arab reality
witnessed attempts for examining the two above mentioned
instruments in various Spheres, namely: political, economic,
strategic, legal and managerial.

     The Political Committee was formed on 30/11/1946, at a
time of the flare up of the conflict going on with the Zionist
Powers and taking place in Palestine. While also the emergence
of the need to activate political negotiations between Member
States and co-ordinating between situations and attitudes in this
respect. Inspite of the fact that the Formation Resolution
stipulated that the membership in the committee should be on
the Ministerial Level. Hence, after 5 years of the committee's
operation, in other words, the League Council issued a
resolution in 1951 stipulating, opening the door of membership
for Heads of Governments and Heads of delegations to the Arab
League, according to its request. However, among the most
important accomplishments realized by the committee, were the
- Crystallizing the Joint Defense and Economic co-operation
Treaty. Further to the co-ordination of Arab situations towards
international causes.

 - Making preparations for the Arab Summit conferences
agenda, as well as raising their reports to the meetings of
Summit Conferences' meetings. This is what has been actually
realized during the first five Summit Conferences.
      On the other hand, the First Arab Conference that was held
in Cairo, on 1964, after Israel's transference to the River Jordan,
adopted a resolution, stating the periodical annual convention of
Summit Conferences. However, post the First Arab Resolution
stating regular convention of sessions, the Cairo Summit held on
October, 2000, adopted a resolution stating the adoption of this
principle, to be inserted to the Charter supplement.

Economically and Strategically:
      The Joint Defense and Economic Co-operation Treaty
signed on 1950 has connected between the economic and
strategic aspects. Actually, it represents a pre-comprehension to
the multi-security dimensions and exceeding the defensive or
security dimension.
      On the other hand, article (6) in the Treaty, provided for the
formation of a Joint Defence Council that can adopt resolutions
binding to all members, with a majority of 2/3. It was thus
considered at that time, a qualitative transition that tackles a
unanimous approval of the majority, or resolutions adopted by
the Arab League.
      However, after the establishment of the Jewish state in
1948, there was a dire need for an Arab agglomeration to
confront the Israeli danger. In this context and in 1948, Syria
presented a suggestion to conclude a political military alliance
treaty between the Arab League Member States. Its suggestion
has been referred to the political committee, which, in turn,
formed a special committee known by "Collective Solidarity
Committee" which received ideas and projects from Lebanon,
Egypt, Iraq, and Syria and has succeeded in ratifying the treaty.
      On the International level: "The Tripartite Declaration"
issued by the United States, France and Britain, has explicitly
expressed the Arab tendency, aiming at subjecting the Arab-
Israeli conflict priorities to the conflict between the Western and
Eastern camps priorities. This was to be realized by
amalgamating Israel with the Arab countries, to function under a
Middle East Organization. Accordingly, these pressures had to
be confronted by crystallizing a strategic national identity for
Arab countries, under cover of a national system to be supported
by a sustained Security characteristic, of a different nature than
the "other" regional system.
      And In this context, an issue of conforming with the United
Nations Charter, focusing on "Collective Security" conception,
as stipulated in articles: 52-53-54, Chapter 2, in the section
relating to "Regional Organizations", has been raised.
      Thereupon, a Joint Defence Treaty has been ratified
focusing on the enhancement of Collective Security, by stating
the peaceful inter - settlement of disputes between the concerned
parties in their relations with other countries. It also stated the
inpermissability of these countries to conclude international
agreements incompatible with the said treaty, and also act in a
disconsonant manner with other countries, to be inconsistent
with the Treaty objectives. It is noteworthy that these principles
have supplemented and enriched the Charter, by laying down a
concept to the machineries that will consolidate the Arab
National Security. Further to the above mentioned Treaty, it has
provided for the establishment of many bodies relating
Collective Security , namely :
- The Joint Defence Council, comprising Ministers of Foreign
Affairs and Defence, in the contracting countries, or whoever
represents them.
- Military Committee, comprising representatives and the
general staff of the contracting countries armies, so as to co-
ordinate the joint defence plans.
- The Military Consultative Board comprising the Chief of Staff
of contracting countries' armies, so as to supervise the united
military committee, to be presided by the country having more
ammunition and army forces, as long as there is no unanimous
Arab governmental approval for choosing another country.
      On the other hand, the Treaty tackled the economic aspect
in the light of which it called for reinforcement and evaluation
of Arab economic relations.
       It is however noteworthy that since its establishment the
League of Arab States has attached great importance to this
economic aspect as one of the Joint Arab Action items as stated
in the Economic and Social Council related resolution, laying
stress on facilitating and developing the Arab commercial
exchange in 1953, while also ratifying the Arab Economic Unity
Agreement in 1957, to be followed by issuing a resolution for
the establishment of the Common Arab Market in 1964.
      Nevertheless, the importance of the "Joint Arab Economic
Action" has augmented, serving as a lever to the Joint Arab
Action at times of critical Arab Political relations. This has
taken place at a time when the Arab Regime has been affected,
as a direct result to the crack in the Egyptian-Arab relations
resulting from disparities with Israel in matters relating to the
settlement policies.
      In pursuance to the Amman Summit held in 1980, that has
adopted the principle of National Planning in directing and
developing the Joint Arab Action. The Summit has also
approved the documents relating to the strategy of the Joint
Arab Economic Venture, the National Economic Action
Charter, Draft Common Development Contract and the Unified
Investment Agreement
      This procedure has recurred following the Second Gulf
Crisis. At a time when the First Summit Conference which was
held in Cairo, after six years of the invasion date in 1966, has
adopted a resolution implying the assignment of the Economic
and Social Council to accelerate in establishing a vast Arab Free
Zone area. Accordingly, the Council has actually laid down a
ten year executive program to establish the zone, starting from
1/1/1998. Furthermore, the Amman Summit/2001- has been
named by "The Economic Summit", being the First Periodical
Summit held in accordance with the Cairo Summit resolution,
adopted in 2000, which adopted the Egyptian initiative relating
to holding the First Arab Economic Conference in
November/2001, under the slogan of: "Promoting the Arab
Economic Performance".

     The project relating to the performance of an "Arab Court
of Justice", is a true expression of the eminent efforts exerted by
the League of Arab States, to develop its institutions, on the
legal level. However, in accordance with the above mentioned,
the Arab League Charter stated the possibility of its amendment,
in 3 cases, namely: One of these , The establishment of "the
Arab Court of Justice", is of vital importance. It will be
responsible to handle the shortage of the necessary means for
the settlement of conflicts. In this context, the "Alexandria
Summit" held in 1964, adopted a resolution stating the
establishment of the Court. The Arab League Council decided
after sixteen years and specifically, in 1980 to form a
Committee, so as to lay down the Court's basic Statutes.
- The Court formation comprises seven closed-door elected
judges, for a period of three years, liable to extension, while
changing three of them to be chosen by lot, every three years.
- The Court is responsible to settle conflicts, referred to it by the
concerned parties, or those, which are provided for, in bilateral
or multilateral agreements, or the countries' declaration of the
Court's custody to these conflicts, without any need for a special
 -The Court passes over its judgement, in accordance with the
Arab League Charter principles and by virtue of the
international law rules, whereas the other sources will be taken
care of, upon approval of the other parties.
 -The machinery depends in its job performance on the
principles of the Arab League Charter, joint Defence Treaty and
the UN Charter.
      However, Tunis has presented this project to the Arab
League Council, session No. 104, that was held during the
period 20-21/9/1995. In this context, it expressed the related
suggestion that was adopted by the Arab Maghreb (North West
African) countries. Thereupon, the Arab League Council has
endorsed this project, on 21/9/1995, while authorizing a
specialized Committee, to make its final drafting. However,
under this drafting, the Committee decided the following:
- A central body will be formed to be a basic structure,
responsible for steering the machinery of the expected conflicts.
It will consist of five representatives of the Member States, on
the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Arab League
Secretary General; to be presided by the Minister of Foreign
Affairs of the country presiding the Arab League Council
Ordinary Session.
- This machinery will assume the responsibility of quick
intervention for the prevention of any disputes or conflicts
between Arab countries. In a further stage, it will manage and
settle these conflicts by using peaceful means. However, in case
of being unable to attain the previous target, by using the Arab
League's potentialities, it is then possible for this machinery to
co-operate with the United Nations to encompass the conflict
and supervise the peace process maintenance in reference to
international legislation

     The administrative development of the Arab League
focuses on developing the status of the General Secretariat. It is
however, noteworthy, that this structural or institutional
dimension is totally related to the cause of Charter amendment,
established as an important item in a number of Arab Summits'
agenda, without meaning the conformity between both parties.
For instance, the Rabat Summit has formed a quadrilateral
Committee in 1974, authorizing it to prepare a study relating to
the League development, to be presented to "the Eight Arab
Summit Conference". Whereas it also asked the Tunis Summit
held in 1979 to re-structure the Arab League, so as to effectively
function and thus move steadily on sound new basis.
      However, the Dar Al-Baidaa Summit held in 1989, has
referred in its final communiqu? to the urgent need to develop
the structural and administrative organization of the League of
Arab States.
      Finally, the Amman Summit held in 2001, has authorized
the Secretary General, Mr. Amre Moussa "to undertake the
necessary steps". It also suggested laying down the suitable
forms necessary for the reformation of the financial,
administrative organizational situations of the Arab League
General Secretariat, for restructuring purposes, as well as for
promoting its working performance techniques, while enabling
it to acknowledge its national requirements and accompany the
latest developments taking place on the regional and
international arenas.
      It goes without saying that developing the Arab League
General Secretariat Body, for which the Secretary General is
totally responsible and devoted, is not a personal request; but
will rather be an instrument that will serve as an introduction to
activate the General Secretariat's performance, for further vital
duties, which it is expected to carry out. In future. What is more
important, is that it is an indispensable basic step towards the
development of the League of Arab States as an entity and as an
organization that crystallizes the Arab Union. It is considered a
step towards the reinforcement of the targeted aspiration and the
expected objective, namely: the pivotal role played by the
Secretary General, within the framework and along the history
of the Arab League.

     The basic structure of the League of Arab States -as stated
in its Charter- consists of 3 main departments, namely: "The
League Council - Permanent Committees and the General
Secretariat". Along with the other established bodies provided
for "Joint Arab Defence Treaty", that was ratified in 1950. In
other words, these bodies have been previously referred to and
which have been established by virtue of resolutions issued by
the League of Arab States Council, on the part of "The
Exploitation of River Jordan and Tributaries Associations" -
"IDCAS" and "The Arab Forestry Institute" etc?
     Furthermore, the Arab League has established or promoted
the establishment of specialized agencies aiming at gathering the
economic and social activities to function on technical basis, as
well as ridding it - in a way or another- from the political
complications. Further to the Ministerial Councils, mainly
concerned with health, tourism, and security.
     However, in accordance with the statements, provided for
in the Arab League Charter, reference will be made to the 3
basic bodies, as stated in the Arab League Charter, to be as

The Arab League Council:
     This Council is considered as the Supreme Authority
functioning within the Arab League. It consists of all the Arab
League Member States representatives, including the Palestine
Liberation Organization. But however much are the number of
representatives, yet still everyone of them will have to vote.
While taking into account, that the Member States have the right
in determining the level of representation, they prefer, which
may be promoted to the level of Heads of States or may be less
in degree. This, of course, will not change the Council's nature.
However, in accordance with the Arab League Charter
the Council will be endeavored to realize the following
objectives, namely:
- Undertaking the necessary measures to set back the actual or
expected aggression, that may befall any Member State.
- Peaceful settlement of conflicts, as for example mediation or
- Laying down the basic internal statute of the Council,
permanent Committees and the General Secretariat.
- Determining and adopting the Member States' quotas in the
Arab League Budget.
- Appointing the Secretary General of the League of Arab
- Determining means of co-operation with International
Organizations so as to maintain international peace and security.
 - Carrying out the agreements ratified by the Member States, in
various fields.

The Permanent Committees:
      The Arab League Charter (Article 4) stipulates the
formation of a number of permanent committees, concerned
with all forms of co-operation between the Member States.
These committees had to be increased in number and
modernized, so as to keep pace with the new developments,
occurring to the Arab-Arab relations, as was the case with the
political Committee, emerging from the practical practice and
was not a direct result as clearly stated in the Charter.
     However, the representation policy designed for the
permanent Committees, will be as follows: "each permanent
Committee will be represented by one single representative
having one single vote for each country, separately".
Accordingly, the Council will appoint one Chairman for each
committee for a period of two years, liable to extension. In this
context, the committees' meetings will issue its resolutions,
according to the Member States majority votes, while taking
into account that the Committees, meetings will not materialize,
except by the presence of the Member States majority.
Furthermore, these committees will enjoy the right of forming
sub-committees, to be concerned with specialized technical
affairs. It will also have the right to recommend for calling upon
the Arab League Member States, to pass over their experience to
these committees vis-?-vis the adjustment of their performance
and whenever needed.
      In pursuance, reference can be made to its role in
accomplishing various draft treaties, ratified by Member States
which are part and parcel of it. This is a part from other treaties,
namely: "joint Defence- Economic Co-operation - Arab Union -
Criminals Delivery and the Protocol of treatment of Palestinians
in Arab Countries".

 General Secretariat:
     The Arab League Charter (Article 12) organizes the status
of the Arab League General Secretariat. It has been referred -in
this respect- that it would consist of a Secretary General -
Assistant Secretaries General with a 2/3 majority of votes and
for a period of 5 years, to be renewed on regular basis.
     However, upon the approval of the Council, the Secretary
General will be responsible for the appointment of the
Secretaries General and the principle employees in the League.
Thereupon, the post of the Secretary General of the League of
Arab States has been in successive rotation for 6 Secretaries,
namely: Mr. Abdul Rahman Azzam, Mr. Mohamed Abdul
Khalek Hassouna, Mr. Mohamed Riyad, Mr. Al-Shazly Al-
Kaleiby, Dr. Esmat Abdul Magiud, and Mr. Amre Moussa, who
has been appointed as Secretary General in 2001. The basic
statute highlight the responsibility of the Secretary General to be
defined as:
Political responsibilities
- The right to attend the Arab League Council, and take part in
discussion of matters, presented to it.
- The right of the Arab League representation in international
- Calling upon the Arab League Council and its related
permanent Committees, to hold meetings.
- The right of drawing the attention of the Council or the Arab
League Member States, to any subject, which the Secretary
General considers important.
- Preparing the Arab League Budget
- Determining the Convention dates of the Arab League Council
- The right to speak on behalf of the Arab League, as well as
present the necessary data to the public opinion.
- Follow-up of resolutions adopted by the Arab League Council
and its Committees.
- The tight to present verbal or written reports or data relating to
any subject discussed by the Council.
- Organizing the related secretarial work.
     It is noteworthy that the political aspect relating to the
Secretary General's activity, has greatly developed along with
the large scale, multi-dimensions and spheres of activities
practiced by the League of Arab States.
 Specilaized Ministerial Councils
     Specilaized ministerial councils are the following
- Council of Arab Ministers for Electricity
- Council of Arab Transportation Ministers
- Council of Arab Ministers for Health
- Council of Arab Ministers for Youth and Sports
 - Council of Arab Housing and Constrcion Ministers
- Council of Arab Justice Ministers
- Council of Arab Ministers for Social Affairs
- Council of Arab Justice Ministers
- Council of Arab Ministers for Communicatios
- Council of Arab Ministers for Environmental Issues
- Council of Arab Ministers for Tourism

Arab Unions
     Arab unions are the following
- General Arab Insurance Federation
- Arab Union Of Land Transport
- Arab Sea Ports Federation
- Arab Federation Of Chambers Of Shipping
- Arab Association of Medical & Drug Equipment Manufactures
- Arab Association of Fish Producers
- Arab Association of Cement and Construction Materials
- Arab Association of Leather Works
- Arab Association of Iron and Steel
- Arab Association of Railroad Authorities
- Arab Association of Food Industries
- Arab Association of Maritime and Port Authorities
- Arab Association of Chemical Furtlizer Producers
- Arab Association of Maritime Carriers
- Arab Association of Textile Industries
- Arab Ouer-Land Transport Association
- Arab Association of Engineering - Industries
- Arab Association of Printing and Paper Industries
- Arab Association of Air Transport
- Association of Arab International Airports

      Along its very rich and successful history, the League of
Arab States was able to play four vital key roles that could be
briefly referred to, as follows:
      Sharing the efforts exerted by the Arab countries to gain
independence. Hence, emerged the role played by the Arab
League, in this respect; as for example, in consolidating the
liberation moves and efforts undertaken by countries, such as
Algiers, Sultanate of Oman, South Yemen (before Yemen
Unity) and the Sudan. Accordingly, such a vital role was the
direct and main season for the enlarged scope of the Arab States
Membership in the Arab League in comparison to the old
Membership. It now comprises 22 Arab countries, whereas, the
total number of signatory states to the Founding Charter, did not
exceed 7 countries.
      Representing the Arab countries in various arenas and
international organizations, as for example the United Nations
and its Specialized Organizations, as well as the Organization of
African Unity (OAU). While -at the same time fostering bonds
of co-opertation with the latter, with the purpose of forming a
sector of common institutions such as: "The Arab Bank For
Development in Africa" "The Arab Fund for Loans", a part from
the important role played by the League of Arab States, as a
basic party in the dialogue with Europe, during the Seventies.
 Promoting the Arab-Arab co-operation between the group of
specialized Organizations, formed on various levels, within and
without the scope of the Arab League.
      In this context, reference should be made to the Arab
Organizations that have been established within the frame work
of the League of Arab States. While taking into account that
scope of activities has extended to focus on matters relating to
manpower, economic and social development, scientific and
cultural affairs, means of communication and information.
However, some Organizations such as "The Arab Labor
Organization" "The Arab Fund for Economic and Social
Development" The Arab League Educational, Cultural and
Scientific Organization (ALESCO)" "The Arab States
Broadcasting Union (ASBU)" and "The Arab Permanent
Telecommunication Committee and the permanent Arab Postal
Committee working within the framework of "The Arab
Telecommunication Council of Ministers (ATCM)" have
developed the means of expressing all these interests and
     The League of Arab States has exerted remarkable
identified efforts in regular and continuous coordination with its
various affiliated bodies, so as to activate the Arab Trade Union
Labor. This has motivated the rise of "Arab lawyers, doctors,
journalists, juries and workers Unions etc?

. - Taking part in the Peaceful settlement of some Arab-Arab
conflicts, as for example: the Egyptian -Sudanese conflict in
1958, the Moroccan - Algerian conflict in 1963 - the Yemeni-
yemeni conflict in 1987.
     It is quite remarkable that the Arab League's capacity, in
this respect, was related to the conflicting parties' degree and
acceptance to the role it is designed to play.
However, the importance of this point lies within the scope of
the well known fact that the Arab League's authority does not
boost that of the Member States. Yet, while speaking about the
Kwaiti-Iraqi conflict 1961, the Arab League has formed a
temporary security force. It has also developed the diplomacy of
the Arab Summit Conference.
                      European Union

      European Union (EU), organization of European countries
dedicated to increasing economic integration and strengthening
cooperation among its members. The European Union
headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.
      The European Union was formally established on
November 1, 1993. It is the most recent in a series of European
cooperative organizations that originated with the European
Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) of 1951, which became the
European Community (EC) in 1967. The members of the EC
were Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland,
Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, the United
Kingdom, and Spain. In 1991 the governments of the 12
member states signed the Treaty on European Union (commonly
called the Maastricht Treaty), which was then ratified by the
national legislatures of all the member countries. The Maastricht
Treaty transformed the EC into the EU. In 1994 Austria,
Finland, and Sweden joined the EU, bringing the total
membership to 15 nations.
      The EU has a number of objectives. Primarily, it works to
promote and expand cooperation among its members in several
areas, including economics and trade, social issues, foreign
policy, security, and judicial matters. Another major goal has
been to implement Economic and Monetary Union (EMU),
which established a single currency for EU members. With the
exception of EMU, which went into effect in 1999, progress
toward these goals has been erratic. The EU‘s ability to achieve
its goals has been limited by disagreements among member
states, external political and economic problems, and pressure
for membership from the new democracies of Eastern Europe.

History of the European Union
      The dream of a united Europe is almost as old as Europe
itself. The early 9th-century empire of Charlemagne covered
much of western Europe. In the early 1800s the French empire
of Napoleon I encompassed almost all of the European
continent. During World War II (1939-1945), Adolf Hitler
nearly succeeded in uniting Europe under Nazi domination. All
these efforts failed because they relied on forcibly subjugating
other nations rather than cooperating with them.
      Attempts to create cooperative organizations fared little
better until after World War II. Until that time, nations had
strongly opposed all attempts to infringe on their powers and
were unwilling to give up any control over their policies. These
early organizations were international or intergovernmental
organizations that depended on the voluntary cooperation of
their members; consequently, they had no direct powers of
coercion to enforce their laws or regulations. Supranational
organizations, on the other hand, require their members to
surrender at least a portion of their control over policy areas and
can compel compliance with their mandates. After World War
II, proposals for some kind of supranational organization in
Europe became increasingly frequent.
A Early Cooperation
      Postwar proposals for a European supranational
organization had both political and economic motives. The
political motive was based on the belief that only a
supranational organization could eliminate the threat of war
between European countries. Some supporters of European
political unity, such as the French statesman Jean Monnet,
further believed that if the nations of Europe were to resume
their dominant role in world affairs, they had to speak with one
voice and have at their command resources comparable to those
of the United States.
      The economic motive rested on the argument that larger
markets would promote increased competition and thus lead to
higher productivity and standards of living. Economic and
political viewpoints merged in the assumptions that economic
strength was the basis of political and military power, and that a
fully integrated European economy would make conflicts
between European nations less likely. Because many countries
were concerned about giving up any control over national
affairs, most of the practical proposals for supranational
organizations assumed that economic integration would precede
political unification.
B Benelux Customs Union
      An early example of a supranational economic organization
was the Benelux Customs Union (now the Benelux Economic
Union), which provided for a free trade area within Belgium,
The Netherlands, and Luxembourg, and for a common tariff
imposed on goods from outside the Union. Formed in 1948, the
union grew from the realization that the economies of the
separate states were individually too small to allow them to be
competitive in the global market. Belgium and Luxembourg
had, in fact, joined in an economic union as early as 1921, and
the governments of Belgium and The Netherlands had agreed in
principle on a customs union during World War II. Political
leaders of these countries have been the warmest advocates of
European cooperation and have continued to work for closer
economic integration of their own countries independently of
broader European developments.
C European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)
      The first major step toward European integration took place
in 1950. At that time French foreign minister Robert Schuman,
advised by Jean Monnet, proposed the integration of the French
and German coal and steel industries and invited other nations to
participate. Schuman‘s motives were as much political as
economic. Many Europeans felt that German industry, which
was reviving rapidly, needed to be monitored in some way. The
ECSC provided an appropriate mechanism since coal and steel
are very important to many modern industries, especially the
armaments industry.
      The Schuman Plan, as it was called, created a supranational
agency to oversee aspects of national coal and steel policy such
as levels of production and prices. Not coincidentally, this
mandate allowed the agency to keep German industry under
surveillance and control. Determined to allay fears of German
militancy, West Germany immediately signed on and was soon
joined by the Benelux nations and Italy. The United Kingdom,
concerned about a potential loss of control over its industry,
declined to join.
      The treaty establishing the ECSC was signed in 1951 and
took effect early the following year. It provided for the
elimination of tariffs and quotas on trade within the community
in iron ore, coal, coke, and steel; a common external tariff on
imports relating to the coal and steel industries from other
nations; and controls on production and sales. To supervise the
operations of the ECSC, the treaty established several
supranational bodies: a high authority with executive powers, a
council of ministers to safeguard the interests of the member
states, a common assembly with advisory authority only, and a
court of justice to settle disputes.
D European Economic Community (EEC)
      In 1957 the participants in the ECSC signed two more
treaties in Rome. These treaties created the European Atomic
Energy Community (Euratom) for the development of peaceful
uses of atomic energy and, most important, the European
Economic Community (EEC, often referred to as the Common

The EEC treaty provided for the gradual elimination of import
duties and quotas on all trade between member nations and for
the institution of a common external tariff. Member nations
agreed to implement common policies regarding transportation,
agriculture, and social insurance, and to permit the free
movement of people and funds within the boundaries of the
community. One of the most important provisions of the treaty
was that it could not be renounced by just one of the members
and that, after a certain amount of time, further community
decisions would be made by a majority vote of the member
states rather than by unanimous action.
     Both the EEC and the Euratom treaties created separate
high commissions to oversee their operations. However, it was
agreed that the ECSC, EEC, and Euratom would be served by a
single council of ministers, representative assembly, and court
of justice.

In the preliminaries to the 1957 treaties of Rome, other nations
were invited to join the EEC. The United Kingdom objected to
the loss of control over national policies implied in European
integration and attempted to persuade European nations to create
a free trade area instead. After the EEC treaty was ratified, the
United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland,
Austria, and Portugal created the European Free Trade
Association (EFTA). The EFTA treaty provided only for the
elimination of tariffs on industrial products among the member
nations. It did not extend to agricultural products, nor did it
provide a common external tariff, and members could withdraw
at any time. Thus the EFTA was a much weaker union than the
Common Market.
     In 1961, with the EEC‘s apparent economic success, the
United Kingdom changed its mind and began negotiations
toward EEC membership. In January 1963, however, French
president Charles de Gaulle vetoed British membership,
primarily because of the United Kingdom‘s close ties to the
United States. De Gaulle vetoed British admittance a second
time in 1967.
E European Community (EC)
     In July 1967 the three organizations (the EEC, the ECSC,
and Euratom) fully merged as the European Community (EC).
The basic economic features of the EEC treaty were gradually
implemented, and in 1968 all tariffs between member states
were eliminated. No progress was made on enlargement of the
EC or on any other new proposals, however, until after De
Gaulle resigned as president of France in May 1969. The next
French president, Georges Pompidou, was more open to new
initiatives within the EC.
      At Pompidou‘s suggestion, a meeting of the leaders of the
member states was held in The Hague, The Netherlands, in
December 1969. This meeting paved the way for the creation of
a permanent financing arrangement for the EC based on
contributions from the member states; the development of a
framework for foreign policy cooperation among the member
nations; and the opening of membership negotiations with the
United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, and Norway.
F Expansion of the EC
      In 1972, after nearly two years of negotiations, it was
agreed that the four applicant countries would be admitted on
January 1, 1973. The United Kingdom, Ireland, and Denmark
joined as scheduled; however, in a national referendum, the
people of Norway voted against membership.
      In the United Kingdom, however, popular opposition to EC
membership remained. This opposition was based primarily on
the amount of British contributions to the EC budget, which
many Britons felt was too high. After the Labour Party regained
power in the United Kingdom in 1974, it carried out its election
promise to renegotiate British membership conditions in the EC,
particularly the financial ones. The renegotiation resulted in
only marginal changes. However, the question of whether the
United Kingdom would withdraw from the EC and doubts in
other countries about the United Kingdom‘s commitment to
Europe added to the existing uncertainty within the community
generated by the economic problems of the 1970s. The Labour
government endorsed continued EC membership and called a
national referendum on the issue for June 1975. Despite strong
opposition from some groups, the British people voted for
continued membership.
G Single European Act (SEA)
      By the 1980s, even though it had existed for more than 30
years, the EC still had not realized the hopes of the most ardent
supporters of European unity: a United States of Europe. In fact,
despite the removal of internal tariffs, it had not even succeeded
in ending all restrictions on trade within the EC, nor in
eliminating internal customs frontiers. The admission of the
less-developed Mediterranean countries—Greece in 1981, then
Spain and Portugal in 1986—introduced a host of new
problems. These related primarily to the weaker economies and
lower levels of economic development of these states. In
particular, the greater reliance of the Mediterranean countries on
agriculture meant that a large percentage of funds the EU
earmarked to support agriculture within the community would
have to be redirected to the new members. This alarmed
countries like Ireland, who feared that their own share of these
funds would be reduced.
      In 1985 the European Council, composed of the heads of
state of the EC members, decided to take the next step toward
greater integration. In February 1986 they signed the Single
European Act (SEA), a package of amendments and additions to
the existing EC treaties. The SEA required that the EC adopt
more than 300 measures to remove physical, technical, and
fiscal barriers in order to establish a single market, where the
economies of the member states would be completely
integrated. In addition to this, member states agreed to adopt
common policies and standards on matters ranging from taxes
and employment to health and the environment. Each member
state also resolved to bring its economic and monetary policies
in line with those of its neighbors.
H Creation of the European Union
      In the late 1980s, sweeping political changes led the EC
once again to increase cooperation and integration. As
Communism crumbled in Eastern Europe, many formerly
Communist countries looked to the EC for political and
economic assistance. The EC agreed to give aid to many of
these countries, but decided not to allow them to join the EC
immediately. An exception was made for East Germany, which
was automatically incorporated into the EC after German
      In the wake of the rapid political upheaval, West Germany
and France proposed an intergovernmental conference (IGC) to
pursue closer European unity. An IGC is a meeting between
members that begins the formal process of changing or
amending EC treaties. Another IGC had been established earlier,
in 1989, to prepare a timetable and structure for monetary union,
in which members of the community would adopt a single
currency. British prime minister Margaret Thatcher opposed
calls for increased unity, but in 1990 John Major became prime
minister and adopted a more conciliatory approach toward the
idea of European unity. The IGCs began work on a series of
agreements that became the Treaty on European Union.
I Treaty on European Union
      The Treaty on European Union (often called the Maastricht
Treaty) founded the EU and was intended to expand political,
economic, and social integration among the member states.
After lengthy discussions, it was accepted by the European
Council at Maastricht, The Netherlands, in December 1991. It
committed the EU to Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).
Under EMU the member nations would unify their economies
and adopt a single currency by 1999. The Maastricht Treaty also
set strict criteria that the member states had to meet before they
could join EMU. In addition, the treaty created new structures
designed to develop a more integrated foreign and security
policy and to encourage greater governmental cooperation on
judicial and police matters. The member states granted the EU
governing bodies more authority in several areas, including the
environment, education, health, and consumer protection.
      The new treaty aroused a good deal of popular opposition
and concern among EU citizens. Many people were worried
about EMU, which would replace national currencies with a
single European currency. The United Kingdom refused to
endorse some elements of the treaty and gained exemptions,
called opt-outs, from those elements. These included not joining
EMU and not participating in the Social Chapter, a section of
the Maastricht Treaty outlining goals in social and employment
policy, including a common code of workers‘ rights. Danish
voters turned down ratification in a referendum, while French
voters favored the treaty by only a slim majority. In Germany a
challenge to the treaty was lodged with the country‘s supreme
court, saying that membership in the EU violated Germany‘s
constitution. In an emergency meeting of the European Council,
Denmark gained substantial concessions and exemptions,
including the right to opt out of both EMU and any future
common defense policy. Danish voters then approved the treaty
in a subsequent referendum. Because of these problems, the EU
was not formally inaugurated until November 1993.

J Amsterdam Treaty
      Popular reactions against some aspects and consequences
of the Maastricht Treaty led to another intergovernmental
conference among EU leaders that began in March 1996. This
IGC produced the Amsterdam Treaty, which revised the
Maastricht Treaty and other founding EU documents. These
changes were intended to make the EU more attractive and
relevant to ordinary people.
      The Amsterdam Treaty called on member nations to
cooperate in creating jobs throughout Europe, protecting the
environment, improving public health, and safeguarding
consumer rights. Additionally, the treaty provided for the
removal of barriers to travel and immigration among the EU
member states except for the United Kingdom, Ireland, and
Denmark, all of which retained their original border controls.
The treaty included the potential for cooperation and integration
with the Western European Union (WEU), an organization of
Western European powers focused on defense. It also allowed
the possibility of admitting Eastern European countries to the
EU. The Amsterdam Treaty was signed by EU members on
October 2, 1997.
K Monetary Union
      The EU‘s attempts to establish a single European currency,
as set out in the Maastricht Treaty, were controversial from the
start. For instance, some EU countries, including the United
Kingdom, worried that a shared European currency would
threaten their national identity and governmental authority.
Despite their concerns, many of the EU‘s member countries
struggled to meet the economic requirements for participating in
a shared currency.
      These requirements were stringent: (1) a country‘s rate of
inflation could not be more than 1.5 percent higher than an
average of the rate in the three countries with the lowest
inflation; (2) a country‘s budget deficit could not exceed 3
percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and its government
debt could not exceed 60 percent of GDP; (3) a country‘s long-
term interest rate could not be more than 2 percent higher than
an average of the rate in the three countries with the lowest
interest rates; (4) a country could not have devalued its currency
against any other member nation‘s for at least two years prior to
      Most countries found it very difficult to meet all these
criteria. Measures to reduce inflation and high interest rates
contributed to increasing unemployment, while efforts to control
government deficits often led to increased taxation. These
consequences compounded the problems of economic recession
that most countries were already experiencing.
      As the deadline for EMU approached, misgivings arose
from many quarters that the economic climate was not right, that
levels of economic performance across the countries were still
too disparate, and that several countries had not strictly met the
Maastricht criteria. However, the EU officially agreed in May
1998 to adopt a single European currency—the euro—for 11 of
the 15 member countries beginning on January 1, 1999. This
agreement also created the European Central Bank (ECB) to
oversee the new currency and to take charge of the monetary
policies of the EU. The countries that adopted the euro were
Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy,
Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain.
      The United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark met the
economic criteria to join in the adoption of the euro but decided
not to participate. Greece had hoped to be included in the first
wave of countries to adopt the euro but did not meet the criteria.
On January 1, 1999, the 11 nations began to use the euro for
accounting purposes and electronic money transfers, while
continuing to use their national currencies for other uses. Greece
adopted the euro in January 2001, becoming the 12th member of
the euro zone. In 2002 the ECB began issuing euro-denominated
coins and banknotes, and the currency of countries that adopted
the euro ceased to be legal tender.
L Growing Accountability
     The adoption of the euro led to greater integration and
cooperation among EU members. One result was a growing
concern on the part of EU citizens and some members of the EU
government that the major EU institutions were not sufficiently
democratic or accountable. This was especially true of the
European Commission. As the power of the EU grew, so did
concerns that the commission exercised too much control with
too little oversight. At the same time, there were also worries
that the one democratically elected institution of the EU, the
European Parliament, had very little power.
     This issue came to a head in 1999, when a report prepared
by independent auditors at the request of the European
Parliament cited multiple examples of mismanagement on the
part of the commission. The report accused several
commissioners of corruption, cronyism, and poor oversight over
programs under their control. After the report was released, the
entire European Commission resigned, something that had never
happened before. The sudden resignations caused a great deal of
confusion in the short term, but experts generally considered the
report and its consequences to be an important step by the
European Parliament toward increasing the democratic
accountability of the EU governing bodies.


A Pillar System
     The members of the EU cooperate in three areas, often
referred to as pillars. At the heart of this system is the EC pillar
with its supranational functions and its governing institutions.
The EC pillar is flanked by two pillars based on
intergovernmental cooperation: Common Foreign and Security
Policy (CFSP) and Justice and Home Affairs (JHA). These two
pillars are a result of the Maastricht agreement to develop closer
cooperation in these areas. However, because the members were
unwilling to cede authority to supranational institutions, policy
decisions in these pillars are made by unanimous cooperation
between members and cannot be enforced. For the most part, the
governing institutions of the EC pillar have little or no input in
the other two.

     The CFSP and JHA pillars are based entirely on
intergovernmental cooperation, and decisions have to be made
unanimously. CFSP is a forum for foreign policy discussions,
common declarations, and common actions that work toward
developing a security and defense policy. It has successfully
developed positions on a range of issues and has established
some common policy actions; however, the CFSP has failed to
agree on a common security and defense. Some countries, led by
France, want an integrated European military force, while
others, especially the United Kingdom, insist that United States
involvement via the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO) is vital for European security.
     This second argument was reinforced when the EU failed
to resolve the Yugoslavian crisis that began in 1991. Between
1991 and 1992 the Yugoslav republics of Slovenia, Croatia,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia declared
independence, leaving a Yugoslavia that consisted only of the
republics of Serbia and Montenegro. The Croatian and Bosnian
secessions were strongly opposed by Serbia, and violent conflict
resulted between ethnic Bosnian, Croat, and Serb populations.
The EU attempted to find a settlement for these conflicts.
However, these efforts were ineffective because EU members
could not agree on how they should be involved, and they feared
being dragged into military intervention. The Yugoslav crisis
underlined the difficulties in achieving a common foreign policy
for the EU. Effective international intervention in Yugoslavia
ultimately came only with U.S. and NATO involvement, acting
under the auspices of the United Nations.
     The EU has been more successful in JHA, which
formalized and extended earlier intergovernmental cooperation
in combating crime, especially drug trafficking, and in setting
immigration and asylum policies. The Amsterdam Treaty
provided for some aspects of JHA to be moved to the
supranational pillar of the EC. These related to asylum and visa
issues, immigration policy, and external border controls.

Standing above the three pillars and in a position to coordinate
activities across all of them is the European Council. The
council is in strict legal terms not an EU institution. It is the
meeting place of the leaders of the national governments. Its
decisions are almost always unanimous but usually require
intensive bargaining. The council shapes the integration process
and has been responsible for almost all EU developments,
including the SEA and the Maastricht and Amsterdam treaties.
The European Council has provided the EU with initiatives for
further development, agendas in various policy fields, and
decisions that it expects the EU to accept. The council‘s actions
illustrate one of the major dilemmas within the EU: how to
promote further unity and integration while permitting national
governments to retain as much influence as possible over

B Major Bodies
      The EC pillar contains all the governing institutions of the
EU. The major ones are the European Commission, the Council
of the European Union, the European Parliament, the European
Court of Justice, and the Court of Auditors. In addition, there are
many smaller bodies in the EU, such as the Economic and
Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions.
B1 European Commission
      The European Commission is the highest administrative
body in the EU. Unlike the European Council, which oversees
all three pillars of the EU, the commission concentrates almost
solely on the EC pillar. It initiates, implements, and supervises
policy. It is also responsible for the general financial
management of the EU and for ensuring that member states
adhere to EU decisions. The commission is meant to be the
engine of integration, and it spearheaded the preparations for the
single market and the moves toward establishing the euro.
      Currently there are 20 commissioners, who are appointed
by the member governments and are supported by a large
administrative staff. The United Kingdom, France, Germany,
Italy, and Spain each appoint two commissioners; the other
countries appoint one each. The policy of each member state
selecting a commissioner has become an issue with the
possibility that the EU will become larger during the next
decade. If each country in an enlarged EU were allowed to
appoint at least one commissioner, the commission would be
much larger, making it too unwieldy to be an effective executive
and decision-making authority. In addition, the fact that the
commission is appointed by member governments and not
elected by the people has raised questions about how much
power it should be allowed to exercise. The lack of democratic
accountability has become a more important issue with the
expansion of EU control into different policy areas and the
intention to admit more countries into the EU.
B2 Council of the European Union
      The Council of the European Union (formerly called the
Council of Ministers) represents national governments. It is the
primary decision-making authority of the EU and is the most
important and powerful EU body. Although its name is similar
to that of the European Council, the Council of the European
Union‘s powers are essentially limited to the EC pillar, whereas
the European Council oversees all three pillars of EU
      When the Council of the European Union meets, 15
government ministers, one from each member state, are present.
However, the minister for each state is not the same for every
meeting. Each member state sends its government minister who
is most familiar with the topic at hand. For example, a council of
15 defense ministers might discuss foreign policy, whereas a
council of 15 agriculture ministers would meet to discuss crop
     The Council of the European Union adopts proposals and
issues instructions to the European Commission. Paradoxically,
the council is expected to further EU integration while at the
same time protecting the interests of the member states—two
goals that are not always compatible. This contradiction will
probably become more difficult to reconcile as the EU continues
to expand.

      Decision making in the council is complex. A few minor
questions can be decided by a simple majority. Many issues,
however, require what is called qualified majority voting, or
QMV. In QMV each country has an indivisible bloc of votes
roughly proportional to its population. It takes two-thirds of the
total number of votes to make a qualified majority. QMV was
introduced in some areas to replace the need for a unanimous
vote. This has made the decision-making process faster and
easier as it prevents any one state from exercising a veto. QMV
was extended to more areas by the Single European Act. Many
important decisions, however, still require unanimous support.
 B3 European Parliament (EP)
     The European Parliament (EP) is made up of 626 members
who are directly elected by the citizens of the EU. Direct
elections to the EP were implemented in 1979. Before that time,
members were appointed by the legislatures of the member
governments. The European Parliament was originally designed
merely as an advisory body; however, its right to participate in
EU decision making was extended by the later treaties. It must
be consulted about matters relating to the EU budget, which it
can reject; it can remove the European Commission as a body
through a vote of no confidence; and it can veto the accession of
member states.
      The European Parliament‘s influence is essentially
negative: It can block but rarely initiate legislation, its
consultative opinions can be ignored, and it has no power over
the Council of the European Union. Its effectiveness is limited
by two structural problems: It conducts its business in 11 official
languages, with consequent huge translation costs, and it is
nomadic, using three sites in different countries for its meetings.
Unless changes are made, these weaknesses will most likely
intensify as the union grows larger. At the same time, there have
been frequent calls for expanding the power of the European
Parliament, which would increase the democratic accountability
of the EU. The weaknesses of the European Parliament can be
remedied, however, only by the national governments.

B4 European Court of Justice (ECJ)
      The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is the judicial arm of
the EU. Each member country appoints one judge to the court.
The ECJ is responsible for the law that the EU establishes for
itself and its member states. It also ensures that other EU
institutions and the member states conform with the provisions
of EU treaties and legislation. The court has no direct links with
national courts and no control over how they apply and interpret
national law, but it has established that EU law supersedes
national law.
      Historically, the ECJ has declared both for and against EU
institutions and member states. Its assertion that EU law takes
precedence over national law, and the fact that there is no appeal
against it, have given the ECJ a powerful role in the EU and
have on occasion drawn criticism from both national
governments and national courts.
      Historically the ECJ had a very high caseload, but this was
eased in 1989 when the Court of First Instance was created. This
court hears certain categories of cases, including those brought
by EU officials and cases seeking damages. Rulings by the
Court of First Instance may be appealed to the ECJ, but only on
points of law.
B5 Court of Auditors
      The Court of Auditors is made up of 15 members, one from
each EU member state. The court oversees the finances of the
EU and ensures that all financial transactions are carried out
according to the EU budget and laws. The court issues a yearly
report to the Council of the European Union and the European
Parliament detailing its findings.
B6 European Central Bank (ECB)
      The European Central Bank (ECB) began operations in
1998. It is overseen by a six-member executive board that is
chosen by agreement of the EU member governments and
includes the ECB president and vice president. The ECB has
exclusive authority for EU monetary policy, including such
things as setting interest rates and regulating the money supply.
In addition, the ECB played and continues to play a major role
in overseeing the inauguration and consolidation of the euro as
the single EU currency. Its authority over monetary policy and
its independence from other EU institutions make the ECB a
very powerful body. There are misgivings that the ECB has
been given too much independence, leading to a debate over
whether it should be subject to political direction.
B7 Other Bodies
      Other important bodies in the EU include the Economic
and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. The
Economic and Social Committee is a 222-member advisory
body drawn from national interest groups of employers, trade
unions, and other occupational groups. It must be consulted by
the European Commission and the Council of the European
Union on issues dealing with economic and social welfare. The
Committee of the Regions, also with 222 members, was formed
in 1994 as a forum for representatives of regional and local
governments. It was intended to strengthen the democratic
credentials of the EU, but it has only a consultative and advisory

     One of the major goals of the EU has been to establish a
single market in which the economies of all the EU members are
unified. The EU has sought to meet this objective in three ways:
by defining a common commercial policy, by reducing
economic differences among its richer and poorer members, and
by stabilizing the currencies of its members.
     The 1957 Rome treaties obliged the EU to adopt a common
commercial policy. The EU adopted several common policies,
the main ones being the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). By 1968 the EU had
also created a customs union in which all tariffs and duties
among members were eliminated. Finally, members had defined
uniform commercial practices for trade with nonmember states.

     The EU has attempted to address regional economic
differences through agencies such as the European Social Fund,
the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund,
and the European Investment Bank (EIB). These agencies
provide money through loans or grants to further economic
development in the poorer areas of the EU.
     Finally, the EU attempted to stabilize the currencies of its
members with the European Monetary System (EMS). The EMS
was prompted not only by the desire for a single market, but
also by international economic problems and fluctuations in
exchange rates. These problems also convinced the EU of the
importance of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), in which
both the economies and the currencies of the members would be

A Common Policies
A1 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
      The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was established
by the 1957 Rome treaty that created the European Economic
Community. The policy reflected the contemporary belief in the
economic importance of agriculture. Memories of the economic
hardships that followed the two world wars led the EEC
founders to believe that member states should be able to feed
their populations from their own resources.
      The CAP was intended to stabilize agricultural markets,
improve productivity, and ensure a fair deal for both farmers
and consumers. It has three major elements: a single market for
agricultural products with a system of common prices to
producers across the EU; preference for EU producers through a
common levy on all agricultural imports from abroad; and
shared financial responsibility for guaranteeing prices.
      From the beginning, the common prices set were based on
political pressure from farmers and governments rather than
market considerations. This created massive overproduction.
Prices remained artificially high, and any surpluses were bought
by the EU and either stored, destroyed, or sold at very low
prices on international markets. The costs became a huge
burden. Even so, there were few internal critics, although the
CAP consumed two-thirds of the EU budget in the early 1980s.
The CAP was, however, very unpopular overseas. Developing
countries believed it hurt their own export agriculture, while the
United States and other major food producers attacked the
CAP‘s protectionism, distortion of prices, and dumping of
surplus produce on world markets.
      Despite complaints, the EU countries with strong farming
interests were initially unwilling to accept the need for reform.
The CAP was almost the only major common policy possessed
by the EU, and consequently it was an important symbol of
integration. Nonetheless, the EU did agree to reforms to the
CAP in 1984 and 1988. These agreements, which imposed
production quotas on some types of agriculture and reduced the
amount of agricultural spending, were driven by a combination
of external pressure and the projection that CAP costs would
soon outstrip EU resources. A more radical revision was
finalized in 1992. This revision switched EU spending from
supporting artificially high agricultural prices to directly
supporting farmers‘ incomes. This involved cutting guaranteed
prices to farmers, and the effect was a severe reduction in both
CAP costs and the level of support given to farmers.
      Even so, the CAP remained the largest item in the EU
budget in the late 1990s and continued to be unpopular both
with many EU citizens and other world producers. The
commitment to CAP as a symbol of integration may not
guarantee its future, however, especially if the EU accepts
members from Eastern Europe. The economies of these
countries are more agriculturally based and more economically
inefficient than EU states. Without major reform, almost all the
CAP would have to be redirected to these states, which would
be politically and economically impossible.
A2 Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)
      The other major common policy is the Common Fisheries
Policy (CFP) of 1982. It imposed controls on access to fish
stocks and attempted to preserve the fisheries. CFP set up a
structure of price and compensation systems modeled on the
CAP. The CFP has successfully limited overfishing in EU
waters, but national fishing industries have objected to its
system of fixing prices and allocating to each country strict
quotas on the amount of each fish species that can be caught.
B Reducing Economic Differences
     Under the 1957 Rome treaty that created the EEC, the
signatories pledged to standardize policies regarding working
conditions, social insurance, and similar matters. However, little
progress was made until an increase in oil prices brought about
the worldwide economic depression of the 1970s. At that time,
the European Regional Development Fund was created and the
moribund European Social Fund, which had originally been
established by the Rome treaty, was reactivated.
B1 European Regional Development Fund and European
Social Fund
      The European Regional Development Fund is concerned
with infrastructure developments proposed by member
governments. Since 1989 it has focused on regions with weak
economies, severe industrial decline, or problems of rural
development. Each member country is eligible to receive a
percentage of the fund‘s budget, determined roughly by its
population size and economic wealth. The fund normally covers
only 50 percent of the proposed costs; the remainder has to
come from national sources. The European Social Fund is
organized in much the same way, but it focuses mainly on the
training and retraining of workers. Since 1988 it has
concentrated more on long-term and youth unemployment,
especially in the poorer regions of the EU. All countries have
benefited from the funds, but the vast bulk of grants have gone
to poorer areas.
B2 Cohesion Fund
     Another instrument for reducing economic differences
between the richer and poorer member states is the Cohesion
Fund. The fund was established in 1994 to transfer money to the
poorer EU states in order to assist them in meeting the criteria
for economic and monetary union. As with the Regional
Development Fund and the Social Fund, the majority of grants
from the Cohesion Fund have gone to the poorer member states.
The ability of these funds to survive EU expansion into Eastern
Europe, without the latter receiving everything, is in doubt.
B3 European Investment Bank (EIB)
     The European Investment Bank (EIB) was established in
1957 under the Rome treaty that created the EEC. Its primary
focus is on regional development, employment, and
environmental modernization. The member states contribute to
its capital, but it raises most of its funds on international
markets. Some 8 percent of its budget goes to projects outside
the EU. The bank only offers loans, not grants, and its
contribution must be matched by an equivalent outlay from
other sources. The EIB is an autonomous body able to make its
own operational decisions free of political direction, within the
general legal framework of the EU. It has been one of the most
successful EU bodies. Since 1993 its annual lending volume has
been greater than that of the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank).
C Stabilizing Currencies: The European Monetary System
     The European Monetary System (EMS) is the exchange
rate structure of the EU. It was established in 1979 to stabilize
exchange rates among members at a time when currencies were
fluctuating strongly because of the economic recession of the
1970s. Stabler currencies, it was hoped, would provide the
foundations for a future monetary union and a single currency
among member states.
     The core of the EMS and the engine of stabilization is the
Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). This system was designed
to reduce the amount that the currencies of member states could
fluctuate against each other. By evening out exchange rate
fluctuations and stabilizing currencies, the ERM was intended to
stimulate trade and investment among EU members, and to help
prevent inflation by linking weaker national currencies to the
strong and stable German deutsche mark.

In addition to the ERM, the EMS introduced the European
Currency Unit (ECU), which was used for accounting and for
administrative purposes. The ECU was replaced by the euro
when EMU went into effect on January 1, 1999.
     The EMS was highly successful in the 1980s. It helped
develop a sense of collective responsibility and discipline that
contributed greatly to a reduction of inflation and, after 1987, to
a period of exchange rate stability. Its success led to the further
push in the Maastricht Treaty toward full economic and
monetary integration. However, once currency realignments
under the ERM had been largely completed, the EMS became
more rigid, and currencies were allowed to fluctuate against
each other only by very small amounts. This rigidity prevented
countries experiencing economic difficulties from simply
adjusting their exchange rates as they might have done
     This rigidity coupled with differing economic and
monetary conditions in the member states made it difficult for
the EMS to hold stronger and weaker currencies together when
currency traders began to have doubts about the value of certain
members‘ currencies. Doubts resulted from German
reunification in 1990 and the difficulties in ratifying the
Maastricht Treaty. Waves of currency speculation in 1992 and
1993 forced several countries to devalue their currencies, and
the United Kingdom and Italy had to leave the ERM. The EMS
survived by increasing the amount that currencies could
fluctuate against one another, but the increase was so great that
members‘ currencies could fluctuate almost at will. The EMS
was held together only by the EU‘s political will to create
monetary union and a single currency.
     The role of the EMS has remained essentially unchanged
with the introduction of the euro. It regulates exchange rates
between the euro and those EU states that did not join the single
D Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)
     Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is a step beyond a
single market toward further integration. EMU requires an
intense degree of economic coordination among its members.
They must integrate their budgetary policies, establish common
interest rates, and use a single currency. It is a logical step
forward from the EC‘s customs union of 1968 and the decision
in the 1987 Single European Act to move to a single market.
     EMU first appeared on the EC agenda in the late 1960s,
following the community‘s economic success. At that time,
concerns were growing that the post-World War II fixed
exchange rate system was beginning to crumble. This system
tied the major world currencies to the U.S. dollar, which was
tied to the price of gold. However, in the mid-1960s the dollar
began to weaken, and people began to lose confidence in the
system. What the EC wanted was a fixed exchange rate system
that was less susceptible to the influence of the dollar. In 1969
EU leaders asked Pierre Werner, the premier of Luxembourg, to
head a committee to devise a new system for the EC. In 1970
they accepted Werner‘s recommendation for a movement to full
EMU by 1980.
     Poor economic conditions in the 1970s, however, forced
postponement of the Werner Plan. In 1971 the United States
uncoupled the U.S. dollar from gold, and subsequently,
currencies that had been tied to the dollar became floating
currencies with no fixed exchange rates. Then in 1973 oil prices
quadrupled, producing a tumultuous economic climate in which
governments were faced with both rising inflation and rising
unemployment. EMU was more or less forgotten as the EU
instead concentrated on trying to achieve a more modest
structure of currency stability. After some initial difficulties, the
result was the successful European Monetary System of 1979.
     The seemingly positive effects of the EMS and the 1987
decision to form a single market led to a resurrection of the
Werner Plan, with EMU to be implemented in three stages after
1990. In Madrid in June 1989 the European Council set up an
intergovernmental conference (IGC) to flesh out the proposal.
The IGC report was incorporated into the Maastricht Treaty in
1991. It was accepted that the first stage of EMU, the
elimination of exchange controls and restrictions on the flow of
capital, had already begun. The second stage was set for 1994,
when member states would begin to coordinate their economies
to reduce inflation and budget deficits. Full EMU, with the
inauguration of a single currency under the direction of an EU
central bank, would begin in 1999 at the latest. After pressure
from Germany, which wanted the single currency to be as strong
as the deutsche mark, the EU decided that countries entering the
third stage would have to meet strict economic criteria on the
size of government deficit, interest rate levels, inflation, and
currency stability.
     However, the currency speculation problems in 1992 and
1993 that caused Italy and the United Kingdom to leave the
ERM, along with a general slide into economic recession, raised
doubts about how many countries would meet the EMU criteria.
Many governments struggled to control inflation and budget
deficits through cuts in government spending and other austerity
measures, but their efforts often led to higher unemployment
and popular discontent. By 1998 many people within the EU
believed that the qualification criteria would have to be relaxed
for EMU to occur. Despite these worries, only Greece failed to
meet the criteria, and on January 1, 1999, the single currency,
the euro, went into use. Greece was permitted to adopt the euro
two years later, on January 1, 2001, after the Greek government
succeeded in lowering inflation and budget deficits.
     The economic success of EMU depends on whether the
euro is accepted in the international markets as a stable and
strong currency and the extent to which it leads to a greater
convergence of national economies and greater mobility of
production, goods, and services within the EU. It is not clear
whether EMU has a sufficiently firm foundation for these goals
to be achieved. However, many EMU supporters find the
debates about the economic costs and benefits less important
than the belief that EMU, even if economically flawed, is a big
step toward political integration.
      EMU therefore supports the ideas of Robert Schuman and
Jean Monnet that the way to political union is through
economics. It has also reinforced the central role of France and
Germany in the EU. The reunified Germany was much larger,
reawakening French concerns and their desire to influence
German economic policy. At the same time, Germany wanted to
allay fears of a militaristic German nationalism. Much the same
as in 1950, when the European Coal and Steel Community was
created, both governments believed that these political problems
could be resolved through economic integration. These concerns
underpinned a more widespread belief that economic and
political benefits will quickly outweigh the initial costs of
switching to a single currency whose stability has still to be

     One of the major objectives of the European Union is to
speak with one voice and to have a single policy position on
world issues. This has been easier to achieve in economics and
trade than on political problems. Bilateral and multilateral trade
agreements have been signed between the EU and most
developing countries. Common political positions, however,
have been hindered by conflicts between national interests. EU
ambassadors in foreign capitals and at the United Nations
collaborate closely, and EU member states develop common
foreign policy statements.
     However, this collaboration has not always resulted in
common action. EU countries were divided over the 1991
Persian Gulf War, the post-1991 crises in the former
Yugoslavia, and future relations with Russia and Eastern
Europe. In each instance, differences arose between members
over how and to what extent the EU should become involved in
foreign policy problems, and what the results of any EU action
would be for members‘ economies and political relationships.
A EU Expansion
      By 1995 all the former Communist countries of Eastern
Europe had applied for EU membership. The EU, however, was
concerned about the stability of democratic institutions in these
countries and their transition to market economies. The
countries of Eastern Europe had less developed economies than
those of Western Europe, which would make the incorporation
of the former into the EU difficult. Expansion would require a
significant reevaluation of EU programs—especially the CAP—
and distribution of EU resources. The richer member states
worried that they would have to pay more into EU funds, while
the poorer member states feared that their share of EU funding
for agriculture and regional development would be drastically
      Despite these worries, in 1997 the EU agreed that the
political and economic situations in the Czech Republic,
Estonia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia were such that
negotiations on membership could begin, with EU membership
coming sometime after 2000. The other Eastern European
applications were put on indefinite hold. However, trade
between East and West picked up substantially after 1990, as
Western nations began to invest in Eastern Europe and the EU
provided aid to these countries. The EU and individual countries
formed joint ventures and signed formal agreements calling for
political and cultural cooperation. The EU also agreed in 1998
to begin membership negotiations with Cyprus; at the same time
it suspended the application from Turkey due to concerns over
the country‘s human rights record and strong opposition from
B The EU and Non-European Nations
      Relations between the EU and the non-European
industrialized countries, especially the United States and Japan,
have been both rewarding and frustrating. The EU follows a
protectionist policy, especially with respect to agriculture, which
on occasion has led the United States in particular to adopt
retaliatory measures. In general, however, relations have been
positive. The United States and Japan are the largest markets
outside Europe for EU products and are also the largest non-
European suppliers.
      The EU has been less protectionist when dealing with
developing countries, which receive more than one-third of its
exports. By the mid-1990s all underdeveloped countries could
export industrial products to EU nations duty free; many
agricultural products that competed directly with those of the
EU could also enter duty free. In addition, the EU has reached
special agreements with many countries in Africa, the
Caribbean, and the Pacific (the so-called ACP countries). In
1963 it signed a convention in Yaoundé, Cameroon, offering
commercial, technical, and financial cooperation to 18 African
countries, mostly former French and Belgian colonies. In 1975 it
signed a convention in Lomé, Togo, with 46 ACP countries,
granting them free access to the EU for virtually all of their
products, as well as providing industrial and financial aid. The
Lomé convention was renewed and extended to a total of 58
countries in 1979; to 65 in 1984; and to 69 in 1989. The EU has
also concluded similar agreements with all the Mediterranean
states except Libya, as well as other countries in Latin America
and Asia.

      The EU has come a long way since 1951. Its membership
has grown to 15 countries, and may increase to 21 or more by
2010. It has developed a common body of law, common policies
and practices, and a great deal of cooperation among its
members. Its progress, however, has not been consistent, with
spurts of activity separated by more-dormant periods. After
initial activity in the 1960s, it was not until the mid-1980s that
the EU moved decisively to greater integration. In the 1990s a
more gloomy economic climate and evidence of popular
disenchantment about the EU led to a slowdown in innovation.
The 1997 Amsterdam Treaty emphasized consolidation rather
than addressing outstanding issues.
      This uneven progress is in part due to two unresolved
debates that potential enlargement into Eastern Europe has
brought closer together. The first is whether to give priority to
―deepening‖ or ―widening,‖ that is, whether to concentrate upon
integrating the existing members further, or to welcome new
members so that all can have an input into the kind of Europe
they want. In addition to the six countries with whom the EU
has agreed to negotiate, a further seven have also applied for
membership. The second issue is supranationalism versus
intergovernmentalism. Despite acceptance of the supranational
principle, national governments have been reluctant to cede all
control over policy areas to EU institutions. The result was the
three EU pillars, since countries did not wish to give up control
in politically sensitive areas such as foreign policy and judicial
      The most immediate challenge the EU faces is to make a
success of the euro, but the future of the single currency rests in
part upon how acceptable it proves to world financial
institutions and markets. In the long term, enlarging the EU by
including Eastern Europe should improve economic prospects
by extending the single market and stimulating economic
growth and trade. The EU hopes that enlargement will raise the
EU‘s standing as the major European voice in world affairs and
contribute to security and stability on the Continent.
      The EU has, however, been reluctant to address the
dramatic effects enlargement could have upon EU structures and
finances. Under existing criteria, the bulk of CAP and structural
fund resources—by far the largest elements of EU spending—
will have to be transferred to the new members. This has
alarmed the poorer member states that now receive these funds,
while the richer ones are reluctant to provide more funding for
the EU.
      The budget issue and enlargement also present problems
for the structure of the EU. They raise questions about the nature
of the European Commission, how nations should be
represented on the commission, and the extent of the
commission‘s authority and responsibility. As the power of the
EU has grown, the organization has often been criticized for not
being truly democratic, since the European Parliament has no
real powers or control over decisions. Furthermore, the decision-
making bodies, especially the commission, are not subject to
any democratic check.
      By the late 1990s the members seemed more reluctant to
address institutional reform, fearing perhaps the loss of their
ability to act independently. This reluctance has been most
pronounced in security policy. The EU failed to present a
coherent front in either the Persian Gulf War or the former
Yugoslavia when required to move from a common policy
position to a common action. The desire of some countries to
build a common defense policy is resisted by others that insist
that at best a European defense force can only be supportive of
and subordinated to NATO.
      All this raises further questions about what the EU is and
what it wants to achieve. For almost all its life span, European
integration has been the result of elite initiatives and agreements
that did not involve national electorates. In the 1990s, however,
the picture changed because of the single market, demands for
more harmonization, and the Maastricht Treaty. Popular
discontent with elite decisions increased, indicating that
electorates could no longer be taken for granted. Almost all EU
activity has been devoted to building the equivalent of a state.
Little effort has been focused on how to create a European
nation with a strong bond of identity across national electorates,
making them feel they have much, including a future, in
common. The issue of a European identity will be a major
challenge in the next century.
      Despite these challenges, the EU is unlikely to disappear. It
has become a fact of life, with the countries enmeshed together
in a host of cooperative practices. The EU has had great success
in developing a culture of collaboration, and it occupies a place
at the center of Europe. What is at issue is not its survival, but
what kind of EU will lead Europe in the 21st century.

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