Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs)

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals
Millennium Development Goals

In September 2015, governments united behind an ambitious agenda that features 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets that aim to end poverty, combat inequalities and promote prosperity while protecting the environment by 2030. They were preceded by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2000 to 2015.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.

Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law , general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.

An intergovernmental organization (IGO), sometimes rendered as an international governmental organization and both abbreviated as IGO, is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as member states), or of other intergovernmental organizations. Intergovernmental organizations are often called international organizations, although that term may also include international nongovernmental organization such as international non-profit organizations (NGOs) or multinational corporations.

Intergovernmental organizations are an important aspect of public international law. IGOs are established by treaty that acts as a charter creating the group. Treaties are formed when lawful representatives (governments) of several states go through a ratification process, providing the IGO with an international legal personality.

Intergovernmental organizations in a legal sense should be distinguished from simple groupings or coalitions of states, such as the G8 or the Quartet. Such groups or associations have not been founded by a constituent document and exist only as task groups.

Intergovernmental organizations must also be distinguished from treaties. Many treaties (such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, or the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade before the establishment of the World Trade Organization) do not establish an organization and instead rely purely on the parties for their administration becoming legally recognized as an ad hoc commission. Other treaties have established an administrative apparatus which was not deemed to have be granted international legal personality.


The President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek speaks before the Grand National Assembly of Turkey

The President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek speaks before the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Ankara 24/11/2011).

Intergovernmental Organizations participating as observers

United Nations
Intergovernmental organizations having received a standing invitation to participate as observers in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly.
un.org/intergovorg