International Organizations: Types, Headquarters, Members

By Ritesh|Updated : July 25th, 2022

International Organizations are created to form the international agenda, mediate political bargaining, and strengthen political relationships. The international organizations also provide a place for developmental initiatives, etc. International organizations act as catalysts for the coalition-formation, of the member nations.

In General Studies paper in the UPSC exam covers international organizations. In this article, we have covered a list of international organizations which would help the UPSC aspirants in their preparation.

Table of Content

What are International Organizations?

International organizations are institutions drawing membership from a minimum of three states. They have activities in several states, and it includes members from more than one nation. There are very large international organizations as well as small organizations as well. Some of the organizations have specific purposes, such as conservation of species, etc.

>> Download List of International Organisations and their Headquarters

Types of International Organizations

There are two types of international organizations: Governmental and non-governmental

  • International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) are the associations of states established by treaty that aims to pursue the goals of the member states.
  • Non-Governmental Organization(NGOs) operates independently of any government. They address social or political issues. NGOs don't enter into treaties or other international agreements.

International Organizations and their Headquarters

We have provided the international organization list and their headquarters below.

International Organizations

Headquarters

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

New York, USA

UN Women

New York, USA

United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

New York, USA

United Nations Organisation

New York, USA

United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

New York, USA

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Washington DC, United States

World Bank Group (WBG)

Washington DC, United States

International Committee of the Red Cross

Geneva, Switzerland

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Geneva, Switzerland

International Organization for Standardization

Geneva, Switzerland

World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)

Geneva, Switzerland

World Trade Organisation

Geneva, Switzerland

International Labour Organisation

Geneva, Switzerland

UNAIDS

Geneva, Switzerland

World Health Organisation (WHO)

Geneva, Switzerland

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

Vienna, Austria

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Vienna, Austria

United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)

Paris, France

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Paris, France

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

Vienna, Austria

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

Queenstown, Singapore

Transparency International

Berlin, Germany

International Renewable Energy Agency

Abu Dhabi (UAE)

Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO)

Rome, Italy

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)

Brussels, Belgium

Universal Postal Union

Berne, Switzerland

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Jakarta, Indonesia

International Maritime Organisation (IMO)

London, United Kingdom

Amnesty International

London, United Kingdom

Commonwealth of Nations

London, United Kingdom

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

Kathmandu, Nepal

International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

North Carolina

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

The Hague, The Netherlands

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Vienna, Austria

Organization of Islamic Cooperation

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation

Ebene, Mauritius

Worldwide Fund for Nature

Gland, Switzerland

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

New York, USA

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Gland, Switzerland

International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)

Paris, France

United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)

Turin, Italy

UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)

Geneva, Switzerland

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

Montreal, Canada

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Nairobi, Kenya

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Geneva, Switzerland

International Olympic Committee

Lausanne, Switzerland

World Economic Forum

Cologny-Geneva, Switzerland

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Rome, Italy

United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Madrid, Spain

United Nations University (UNU)

Tokyo, Japan

UN-OHRLLS

New York, USA

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Geneva, Switzerland

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Geneva, Switzerland

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Geneva, Switzerland

UN-Habitat

Nairobi, Kenya

World Food Programme (WFP)

Rome, Italy

International Court of Justice (ICJ)

The Hague, Netherlands

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Geneva, Switzerland

International Organizations list which India is Member

The international organizations that India maintains with the other countries around the world highly contributed to the international organizations that the country is associated with. That's why UPSC aspirants must remember the International organizations of which India is a part.

International Organization

Headquarters

FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Rome, Itlay

IBRD - International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank)

Washington DC, US

ASEAN Regional Forum - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations

Jakarta, Indonesia

BIMSTEC - Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation

Dhaka, Bangladesh

BIS - Bank for International Settlements

Basel, Switzerland

AG - Australia Group

Brussels, Belgium

CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research

Geneva, Switzerland

AALCO - Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization

New Delhi

ADB - Asian Development Bank

Manila, Philippines

AfDB - African Development Bank (non-regional members)

Tunis, Tunisia

CP - Colombo Plan

Colombo, Srilanka

EAS - East Asia Summit

Colombo, Sri Lanka

BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

Shanghai, China

CoN - Commonwealth of Nations

London, UK

ICAO - International Civil Aviation Organization

Montreal, Canada

ICC - International Chamber of Commerce

Paris, France

IDA - International Development Association

Washington DC

G-15 - Group of 15

Geneva, Switzerland

G-20 - Group of 20

Cancun, Mexico

G-77 - Group of 77

New York

IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency

Vienna, Austria

IEA - International Energy Agency

Paris, France

IFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development

Rome, Italy

IFC - International Finance Corporation

Washington DC, US

ILO - International Labour Organization

Geneva, Switzerland

IMF - International Monetary Fund

Washington DC, US

UNAIDS - United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

New York

UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation

London, Uk

ITUC - International Trade Union Confederation (the successor to ICFTU (International Confederation of Free Trade Unions) and the WCL (World Confederation of Labour))

Brussels, Belgium

MTCR Missile Technology Control Regime

Japan

SCO - Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (member)

Beijing, China

UN - United Nations

New York

IMO - International Maritime Organization

London, UK

IMSO - International Mobile Satellite Organization

London, UK

Interpol - International Criminal Police Organization

Lyon, France

PIF - Pacific Islands Forum (partner)

Suva, Fiji

SAARC - South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

Kathmandu, Nepal

SACEP - South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme

Colombo, Sri Lanka

IPEEC - International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation

Paris, France

IOC - International Olympic Committee

Lausanne, Switzerland

NAM - Non-Aligned Movement

Jakarta, Indonesia

OPCW - Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Hague, Netherland

PCA - Permanent Court of Arbitration

Hague, Netherland

ISO - International Organization for Standardization

Geneva, Switzerland

ITSO - International Telecommunications Satellite Organization

Washington DC

ITU - International Telecommunication Union

Geneva, Switzerland

WHO- World Health Organization

Geneva, Switzerland

United Nations

United Nations is an important intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international security and peace, achieve international cooperation, develop friendly relations among the nations, and be the centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It was founded on 24 October 1945 and is headquartered in New York, United States. The other work of the United Nations is as follows:

  • Protect Human rights
  • Deliver Humanitarian Aid
  • Uphold International Law
  • Enhance sustainable development and climate action

Tricks to Remember the Important International Organisations and their Headquarters

The world organizations and their headquarters is an important GK topic and it holds relevance in the UPSC Exam. To make things easier for the candidates we have provided tricks to remember the international organization's list and their headquarters below.

  • The international institutions starting with World and ending with Organization are headquartered in Geneva for example- WHO, and WMP. WIPO.
  • The international organizations related to petroleum, industrial development, and atomic research have their headquarters in Vienna such as UNIDO, OPEC, and International Atomic Energy Agency.
  • The international institutions related to money are headquartered in Washington DC- World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
  • World organizations related to economy and education are headquartered in Paris, e.g. ICOMOS, UNESCO, and OECD.

International Organizations UPSC

The international organizations find their relevance in the UPSC Syllabus, and it is a crucial topic from the GK point of view as well. So candidates need to have in-depth knowledge on this topic for both UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains exam. Additionally, candidates must enhance their knowledge by following the right UPSC Books. Glancing through the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers would also help the candidates to understand the types of questions asked on this topic.

>> Download International Organizations UPSC PDF

Other Important UPSC Notes
Attorney General of IndiaSimon Commission
Wahabi MovementPESA ACT 1996
Ujjawala SchemeNational Investigation Agency
Ganga River SystemCentral Information Commission
Women EmpowermentRepresentation of Peoples Act 1951
Brahmo SamajBattle of Plassey 1757

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FAQs for International Organizations

  • The international organizations include members from more than one nation, and some of them are very large. However, there are small world organizations as well and they are dedicated to a specific purpose.

  • The four major international institutions are United Nations, Bank for International Settlements (BIS),  International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), and International Labour Organization (ILO).

  • The three types of International Organizations are inter-governmental organizations, international non-governmental organizations, and multinational enterprises.

  • International organizations play a crucial role in helping countries to achieve their aims, promoting social development, boosting economic growth, preserving human rights, improving well-being, safeguarding peace, and protecting the environment.

  • The main aim of the international organization is to allow a better understanding of the structure of international relations, promote further study of the United Nations, and safeguard peace.

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