UPSC IAS: 80 Most Important International Organizations For Exam

UPSC IAS 80 Most Important International Organizations For Exam

UPSC IAS: 80 Most Important International Organizations For Exam: Learning international organizations for UPSC IAS exam becomes a little tough at times. However, if you could find the top 80 international organizations appearing most frequently in UPSC exam, then there is nothing more like it. To help students cope up with such a list, we have curated the Top 80 International Organizations for UPSC IAS exam. Scroll below to find out more and increase your knowledge on all global organizations/meetings.

Name Date of Formation  of Organisation Headquarter Total No.of Members(Countries) Role of India within the organisation Importance/Role of Organisation
Asian Development Bank 19th December 1965 Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines 67 countries (48 regional and 19 non regional) Regional member since 1966 and 2nd among the top five borrowers list after China Provision of hard and soft loans to countries.
African Development Bank(AfDB) 10th September 1964 Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire 80 countries Non-African member country Provision of loans and equity investment for socio-economic advancement of RMC
Arctic Council 19th September 1996 The Secretariat,  Fram Centre,Tromsø, Norway 21 countries Observer since 2013 High level intergovernmental forum which addresses the issues of Arctic governments and people residing in Arctic region
ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF or ASEAN) 8th August 1967 Jakarta, Indonesia 12 countries Shares land and maritime borders with ASEAN and was a member between 2007 to 2017. India was also a dialogue partner. Regional Intergovernmental organisation & cooperation facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational and socio-cultural integration among members, Asian countries and globally.
Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) 6th June 1997 Dhaka, Bangladesh 7 nations of South Asia and Southeast Asia Sub-regional group member Technological & economic cooperation between south Asian and Southeast Asian countries along the coast of the bay of Bengal.
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) 23rd December 1986 BIS Headquarter. Manak Bhavan. 9 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi-110002, 25 regional members from India National standard body of India under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Govt. of India. Foreign manufacturers have to obtain Product Certification Scheme of BIS before exporting products to India.
BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) June 2006 Shanghai, China 5 countries India is among the five major emerging national economies included within BRICS Building cooperation between the member nations for development,  financial assistance, support in various projects, infrastructure etc
Commonwealth of Nations 11th December 1931 Marlborough House, London, England, United Kingdom 53 countries Discuss issues of mutual concern  at the Heads of Government Meeting every two years. At the same meeting members agree on collective policies and initiatives.
Community of Democracies In the year 2000 Warsaw, Poland 30 countries Member Intergovernmental coalition of states established in the year 2000, to bring civil sector and private sector together. The end result of this would be to support democratic rules and strengthen democratic norms & institutions around the world.
CERN(European Organization for Nuclear Research) 25th September 1954 Meyrin, Canton of Geneva, Switzerland 22 countries India has been associate member since 16 Jan 2017. European Research Organisation operating largest particle physics laboratory in the world to provide particle accelerators & other infrastructural need for high energy physics research.
Colombo Plan 1st July 1951 Colombo, Sri Lanka 27 countries India is among the 27 members of Colombo Plan & shares role similar to other countries. Formed as a framework of bilateral arrangements which involve foreign aid and technical assistance with the intention of economic and social development of the region.
East Asia Summit (EAS) Held first time on 14th December 2005 at Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur N/A 18 countries India is among the initial 16 members of East Asia Summit. Forum held East Asian, Southeast Asian and South Asian regions after ASEAN.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 16th October 1945 Palazzo FAO, Rome, Italy 197 members(194 member nations, a member organisation-European Union, &  2 associate members namely, Faroe Islands and Tokelau. Founding members and staunch partner since 1948. A neutral forum wherein nations meet as equals to negotiate arguments as well as debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information, for transitioning  and improving agriculture, forestry & fisheries practices.
Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) Founded at G-7 Summit held in Paris, France in the year 1989. Paris, France 37 members India is among the 37 members with jurisdiction. FATF is an inter-governmental body formed with the objective of development and promotion of policies, both at national as well as international scales. This would be done to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
G-15(Group of 15) Formed in September 1989. Geneva, Switzerland 17 countries

(Initially started as 15 countries)

India is a member participant of G-15 summits. The last G-15 summit was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2012. The main role of G-15 is build cooperation among developed and developing countries in areas of investment, trade and technology.
G-20(Group of 20) Formerly established at G7 Finance Ministers meeting on 26th September 1999. The 12th G20 Summit was held between 7-8th July 2017 at Hamburg Messe, Hamburg, Germany. 20 members (19 countries and of the European Union) India is a part of 20 countries within the summit. Gather systemically important industrialized as well as developing economies to discussing key issues in the global economy.
G-24(Group of 24) A chapter of G-77 and established in 1977. There have been a total of 14 G24 summits. 24 countries The last country to hold the chair of G24 in 2018 was Sri Lanka. India held the chair of G24 in 2012. Coordinate the positions of developing countries on both international monetary and financial development issues. Also, another objective of G24 is to ensure that their interests are adequately represented during negotiations on international monetary matters.
G-77(Group of 77) G-77 was founded on 15 June 1964. The first major meeting of G-77 was held in Algiers in 1967. 77 nations India is among the founding members of G-77. India was also a presiding member of G-77 between 1970-1971 and between 1979 to 1980. Coalition of seventy-seven developing nations, formed to promote its members collective economic interests. At the same time, its objective is to create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations.
International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) 29th July 1957 Vienna, Austria 169 members India is under the Regional Cooperative Agreement (RCA) for Research, Development Training related to Nuclear Science & Technology for both Asia and Pacific regions. Promotion of peaceful use of nuclear energy & inhibit usage for military purpose including nuclear weapons.
International Bank for Reconstruction & Development (IBRD). Formed in 1944 Washington, D.C., United States 189 countries The objective of IBRD is to finance the reconstruction of European nations devastated by WWII (World War II)
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Formed on 4th April 1947 Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Total 192 members as on November 2017. Shivinder Singh Sidhu was a Secretary General of ICAO between 1988 to 1991. Fang Liu is currently the Secretary General of ICAO since 2015.   ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations.  It is formed with the objective of codifying principles & techniques of international air navigation. It is also involved in the planning & development of international air transport for ensuring safe as well as orderly growth.
International Chamber of Commerce(ICC) Formed in 1919. Paris, France. 6 million members in more than 120 countries ICC India has two way communication link with ICC and therefore acts as a gateway  of information for Indian industries. ICC India is also a distribution centre for ICC publication. ICC is the biggest and most representative organisation of the world. The members in ICC have interests spanning each and every sector of private enterprise.
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Founded in 1863. Geneva, Switzerland 97 million volunteers, members and staff around the world. ICRM works with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies of India. ICRM is an international humanitarian movement with members, volunteers and staff around the globe.
International Development Association (IDA) Formed in 1960 Washington, D.C 173 countries India graduated from IDA lending in 1994. IDA is a development finance institution with  two broad objectives, namely, providing development assistance and poverty reduction.
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Formed in 1977 Rome, Italy 176 member states IFAD approved USD 30 million as soft loan for 4th phase of the North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP) in India. IFAD is an international financial institution & specialized agency of United Nations with the goal of eradicating poverty & hunger rural areas of developing countries.
International Finance Corporation(IFC) 20 July, 1956 Washington, DC 184 countries In the year 2007, IFC bought 18% stake in Angel Broking, an Indian Financial firm. IFC is an international financial institution which provides investment, advisory and asset-management services. The goal of these services is to encourage private sector growth in developing countries.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies(IFRC) Formed in 1919 Geneva, Switzerland 190 members IFRC has provided help to many regions in India from time to time. IFRC is a humanitarian organization formed with the purpose to carry out relief operations for assisting victims of disaster. The second role of IFRC is to initiate development work for strengthening capacity of member National Societies.  
International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) 21 June 1921 Monaco, Europe 88 countries India is a member of IHO. IHO is an intergovernmental organization formed to represent hydrography. IHO mainly focuses on  ensuring surveys and charts on world seas, oceans and navigable waters.
International Labour Organization (ILO) Formed in 1919 Geneva, Switzerland 187 member states India is  among the top 10 member which has acquired government seat, as nations of“chief industrial importance”. ILO deals with labour problems, which particularly include problems of international labour standards, social protection and work opportunities for all.
International Monetary Fund(IMF) 27th December 1945 Washington, D.C 189 countries India is the 8th member of IMF. The four emerging markets which includes India, Brazil, China and Russia will be among the largest members of IMF. The IMF is formed to help in the growth of global monetary cooperation, provision of secure monetary stability, facilitation of international  trade, promotion of high employment as well as sustainable economic growth, and at the same time reduce poverty around the world.
International Maritime Organization (IMO) Formed in 1959 London, United Kingdom 176 members with 173 member states and three associate members Chandrika Prasad Srivastava from India was a Secretary General of IMO in 1974. The key area on IMO is to regulate shipping.
International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) 3rd September 1976(Established under the auspices of International Maritime Organization by the Convention on the International Maritime Satellite Organization) London, United Kingdom 49 member states India signed for the membership of on use of Inmarsat Ship Earth Stations within territorial seas & ports on 21st June 1991 and became a member on 12th September 1993. IMSO is an intergovernmental organization formed to oversee public satellite safety & security communication services provided through Inmarsat satellite.
International Criminal Police Organization(Interpol) 7th September, 1923 Lyon, France 192 member countries India is among the 192 members of Interpol Interpol is an international organization for facilitating international police cooperation.
International Olympic Committee(IOC) 23rd June 1894 Lausanne, Switzerland 105 active members, 32 honorary members and 2 honour members (Senegal and United States) India is a part of National Olympics Committee, which is evidently a part of IOC. IOC is a swiss private non-governmental organization responsible for the modern Olympic Games.
International Organization for Migration(IOM) Formed in 1951 Geneva, Switzerland Total 166 member states and 8 observer states (including over 80 global and regional IGOs and NGOs are also observers) India is a member state within IOM IOM is an intergovernmental organization which provides both services as well as advice on migration to governments & migrants. This list includes internally displaced persons, refugees and migrant workers.
Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Founded in 1889 Geneva, Switzerland The national parliaments of 178 countries and 12 regional parliamentary assemblies are associate members India hosted the 57th & 89th IPU conference in the capital city of the country, New Delhi in 1993. Najma Heptulla from India was the President of IPU between 1999-2002. Gurdial Singh Dhillon from India was President of IPU between 1973 to 1976. IPU is the first permanent political forum for political multilateral negotiations.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 23rd February 1947 Geneva, Switzerland 162 members India is among the 162 members of ISO ISO is an international standard setting body with representatives from various national standards organizations.
International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO) Formed in 1964 Washington D.C., United States. 149 member countries India is a member of ITSO ITSO is in-charge of overseeing the public service obligations of Intelsat.
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 17th May 1865 Geneva, Switzerland 89 members as since 2012. Manohar Balaji Sarwate from India was Secretaries General between 30th October 1965 to 19th February 1967. Representatives from India did not sign the new proposed changes to treaty and concerns on 14th December 2012. ITU is a specialized agency of United Nations with the responsibility of issues concerning information and communication technology.
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) 1st November 2006 Brussels, Belgium 176 million members in 162 countries since 2015 There are three ITUC member organisations in India, namely, INTUC, HMS and SEWA. These organizations are responsible for correct functioning of ITUC guidelines in India. ITUC is the world’s largest trade union federation.
League of Arab States (LAS) 22nd March 1945 Cairo, Egypt 22 countries India is a current member of LAS. The main objective of LAS is to draw closer the relation between member States and coordinate collaboration between them.The intend for the objective would be to safeguard independence and sovereignty of all members and consider interest of all Arab countries.
Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) Formed in 1988 Washington, D.C. 181 countries India is a member of MIGA Provision of political risk insurance as well as credit enhancement guarantees for its members.
United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) 30th November 1999 Kinshasa, DR Congo 62 contributing countries/ members As of 30 June 2013, the total number of personnel from contributing countries in the mission of MONUSCO are 20,444. These include 269 police, 34 experts and 3731 troops from India. As of October 2007, India is the single largest contributor for police and military personnel for all mission of MONUSCO. MONUSCO is a United Nations peacekeeping force initially started to monitor the peace process of second congo war.
Non Aligned Movement Established in 1961 Jakarta, Indonesia 120 member and 17 observers The 7th Non Aligned Movement meeting was held in New Delhi, India between 7th to 12th March 1983. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy of Janata Party was the Secretary General in 1983 and Zail Singh from Indian National Congress between 1983 to 1986.   NAM was formed to ensure the national sovereignty, independence, , territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries.
Organizations of American States (OAS) 30th April 1948 Washington, D.C., United States 35 states/countries India is a observer member of OAS. OAS was founded for building regional solidarity and cooperation between its members.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 16th April 1948 Paris, France 35 states OECD Ministerial Council held an accession discussion with Chile, Estonia, Israel, Russia and Slovenia to build stronger cooperation with Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa on 16th May 2007. This was being initiated through a process of enhanced engagement. Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa contribute to OECD’s work through direct and active participation in substantive bodies of the Organisation determined by mutual interest. OECD’s goal is to stimulate economic growth and world trade.
Pacific Alliance 6th June 2012 Pacific Alliance is a Latin American Trade Bloc of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, bordering the Pacific Ocean. 4 member states, 4 associate members and 48 observer states India is an observer member of Pacific Alliance. The purpose of Pacific Alliance is to ensure complete freedom in the movement of  services, goods, capital, and people.
Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) Established in 1899 The Hague, Netherlands 121 member states(119 members of the United Nations, and Kosovo and Palestine) PCA is appointing authority for Bangladesh vs India(Bay of Bengal Maritime Boundary) interstate case of 2014. PCA provides services of arbitral tribunal with an objective of resolving disputes between member states, international organizations, or private parties. These disputes arise out of international agreements.
Pacific Islands Forum(PIF) Established in 1971 Seat of Secretariat is Suva, Fiji 18 states India is a dialogue partner of PIF PIF is established to enhance cooperation among the independent countries of the Pacific Ocean.
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) 8th December 1985 Kathmandu, Nepal 8 members, 9 observers India is a member country of SAARC. SAARC is a regional intergovernmental organization & geopolitical union of nations in South Asia.
South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) Established in 1982 N/A 8 members India is member of SACEP SACEP is one of the intergovernmental organizations established by South Asian governments. The purpose of SAARC is to promote and support protection as well as to manage and/or enhancement of environment in the region.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) 15th June 2001 Beijing, China 8 members,

4 observers,

6 dialogue partners, and

4 guest attendances.

India is a member country since 9th June 2017. SCO is a Eurasian economic, political and security organization.
United Nations (UN) 24th October 1945 New York City, USA 193 members

2 observers

India is among the top 25 contributors to the United Nations budget in 2016. UN is an intergovernmental organization built to promote international cooperation as well as to create & maintain international order.
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Established in 1996 Geneva, Switzerland Countries from Africa-East, West, Central & Southern; Asia & Pacific; Eastern Europe & Central Asia; Latin America & The Caribbean; North Africa & Middle East; Western and Central Europe and North America are members of UNAIDS. UNAIDS has finalized National Strategic Plan 2017 to 2024 for elimination of mother-to-child HIV and syphilis transmission. More cost effective ways are being developed and integrated for meeting the HIV treatment requirement in India. UN is the main advocate for comprehensive, coordinated and accelerated global actions on HIV/AIDS pandemic.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Formed in 1964 Geneva, Switzerland 194 members India is under the List A of top 100 members in UNCTAD. Also, the UNCTAD II meeting was held in New Delhi between 31st Jan to 29 March 1968. UNCTAD deals with trade, investment & development issues.
United Nations Disengagement Observer Force(UNDOF) 31st May 1974 Damascus N/A India is a Logistic Batallion (Indcon Logbatti) (Figibatt). India is a troops contributing country as of 15th June 2017. UNDOF was formed after the implementation of Resolution 338 for the purpose of immediate ceasefire and implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242.  
UNESCO 4th November 1946 Place de Fontenoy, Paris, France 195 member states The 7th UNESCO conference held at Paris, France was hosted by Sarvepalli Radhakrishn in 1952, and the 9th conference was hosted by Abul Kalam Azad in 1956 at New Delhi, India. Also, India is a part of Group IV of Executive Board of UNESCO.   UNESCO’s purpose is to promote peace and security through scientific, educational, and cultural reforms.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 14th December 1950 Geneva, Switzerland UNHCR is a UN Refugee Agency of the UN. John Abraham is the UNHCR ambassador from India. A United Nations programme for the protection of refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. UNHCR provides assistance through their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.
United Nations Industrial Development Organization


Formed in 1966 Vienna, Austria. 172 members India is among the 99 members in List A of UNIDO UNIDO majorly focuses on promotion & acceleration of industrial development in developing countries and/or countries with economies under transition .
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) 19th March 1978 Naqoura, Lebanon N/A India has deployed 899 troops for support role as on 25th January 2018 UNIFIL is  a demilitarized zone created by the United Nations
United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) 27th June 2011 Abyei, Abyei town 29 members As of 30 June 2013, India has deployed 2 troops for UNISFA UNISFA is a peacekeeping force in Abyei contested between the newly independent Republic of South Sudan and Republic of Sudan.
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Formed in 1963 Geneva, Switzerland 36,000 participants in 2014, 100 staff and collaborators and 14 associated training centres Nikhil Seth(India) was appointed as Executive Director of UNITAR on 6th December 2015. The purpose of UNITAR is to enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations to achieve major objectives of the Organization by doing extensive training and research.
United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) 31st July 2000 Asmara (Eritrea), and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) On 30 November 2007, UNMEE had a total of 1,676 military personnels. These included 1,464 troops and 212 military observers. The military personnels were supported by 147 international civilians, 202 local civilians and 67 UN volunteers. India is a military personnel contributor to UNMEE The UNMEE was built to monitor a ceasefire in the border war that began in 1998 between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) 24th March 2005 N/A 10,000 military personnel which include 750 military observers; 715 civilian police, 1,018 international civilian staff, 2,623 national staff and 214 UN volunteers. India was the troop contributing country in sector 3, i.e Upper White Nile, Malakal. India was a military civilian police personnel contributor in UNMIS. UNMIS task is to support the implementation of Comprehensive Peace Agreement for performing functions relating protection, promotion of human rights, humanitarian assistance, and to support African Union Mission in Sudan.
United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) 9th July 2011 South Sudanese capital of Juba 12,523 total personnel which include 11,350 military and 1,173 police Sanjay Kundu from India was Deputy Police Commissioner and Brigadier Asit Mistry from India was Deputy Force Commander of UNMISS. India has given 2237 troops for UNMISS. UNMISS is the United Nations  peacekeeping mission initiated for Republic of South Sudan.
United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) 4th April 2004 Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire On 30th April 2012, UNOCI comprised of 10,954 troops. Indian Army troops are active participants of UNOCI UNOCI is a peacekeeping mission for facilitating implementation by the Ivorian parties of peace agreement signed in January 2003.
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Formed in 1975. Madrid, Spain 156 countries, 6 territories and over 500 affiliate members According to UNWTO Visa Openness Report India ranked 50th(world average score in 2015) UNWTO is engaged in the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
Universal Postal Union (UPU) 9th October 1874 Bern, Switzerland 192 members India Post is the designated operator of Universal Postal Union in India Specialized agency of United Nations which coordinates postal policies among member nations apart from worldwide postal system.
World Confederation of Labour (WCL) 31st October 2006 Brussels, Belgium 26 million in 116 countries Indian Confederation of Labour is trade union federation of India affiliated to WCL. WCL was an international labour organization founded during the 1920’s.
World Customs Organization (WCO) 26th January, 1952 Brussels, Belgium 180 customs administrations World Custom Organization awarded the

World Custom Organization (WCO) Certificate of Merit to 16 CBEC(Central Board of Excise and Customs) office in-charge holders in India on 21st January 2014.

WCO is involved in the development of international conventions, instruments and tools. These are built to provide assistance with custom reforms and modernization.
World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) 3rd October 1945 Athens, Greece 92 million workers from 126 countries Centre of Indian Trade Unions in India is a National Affiliate of WFTU The objective of WFTU is to bring together trade unions across the world on a single platform.
World Health Organization (WHO) 7th April 1948 Geneva, Switzerland The constitution of WHO has been signed by 61 countries. The South-East Asia headquarter of WHO is situated at New Delhi, India. WHO deals with concerns related to public health.
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 14th July 1967 Geneva, Switzerland 191 member states and

administers 26 international treaties

WIPO manages topics related to digital copyright in India. WIPO is a specialized agency of the United Nations built to protect intellectual property across the world. This is being done through cooperation among members.
World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 23rd March 1950 Geneva, Switzerland 191 member states and territories India is among the 35 member states and territories under Region II of WMO WMO specialises in meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences across the world.
World Trade Organization (WTO) 1st January 1995 Centre William Rappard, Geneva, Switzerland 164 member states India has been a member of WTO since 1st January 1995 and many regional trade agreements of India are listed under the database of WTO. WTO is an intergovernmental organization which regulates international trade.



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