Major International Organizations

Amnesty International (AI)

Amnesty International is a charitable organization set up in 1961. It campaigns for human rights throughout the world and against the detention of political prisoners.


International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The IMF was established in 1944 and promotes world trade. It has 184 member countries.


International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

These organizations help the victims of such events as warfare and natural disasters.


Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The OECD was formed in 1961. It aims to encourage economic and social development in industrialized countries and provide aid to developing countries.


United Nations

The UN was founded in 1945. Most countries of the world a total of 191 are members. The General Assembly of the UN makes decisions about peacekeeping and human rights.


United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

UNICEF was set up in 1947. It works to improve the health and welfare of children and mothers in developing countries.


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

UNESCO was set up in 1946. It encourages countries to get together on matters such as education. Culture and science.


World Bank

The World Bank was founded in 1944 and has 184 member countries. It helps developing countries by giving loans.


World Health Organization

The WHO is part of the UN. It promotes health matters worldwide and aims to raise medical standards and monitor diseases.


World Trade Organization (WTO)

The Swiss-based WTO encourages international trade by establishing trade agreements between countries.


World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

The WWF was set up in 1961 and is the world’s largest conservation organization. Its main aims are to protect endangered animals and the places where they live.



The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded in 1949, in Washington, USA. The foreign ministers of 10 countries signed a defence treaty that committed them to helping each other in the event of attack. There are now 26 country members, and the NATO headquarters are based in Belgium.



The Group of 8 (G8) is made of the world’s leading industrial countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the USA and Russian Federation). The heads of the G8 countries meet each year to discuss global issues such as world poverty and security.

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