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What is the best example of a successful Inter-Governmental Organization?

Updated on January 17, 2016

There are many wonderful examples of successful inter-governmental Organizations (IGOs). There are many types of IGOs around the world. We have regional IGOs such as the European Union (EU), African Union (AU), and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to name a few.

There are IGOs that are formed because of religion, culture and linguistic affiliation such as the Arab League, Latin Union and Commonwealth of Nations. There are also IGOs are created to help deal with issues such as Economic, Education, and health. These IGOs all play very important roles in improving the world today. However, the largest and most successful IGO is the United Nations (UN). The UN is the most powerful IGO in the world today.

Firstly, the UN has been around since the end of the Second World War in 1945. Unlike its Predecessor, the League of Nations, the UN has been able to remain relevant for the last 70 years. Compare to many current IGOs, the UN can brag of its longevity.

Secondly, the UN is a global IGO meaning that it has a membership that has consistently grown to over 192 countries, making it the largest IGO in the World. Unlike other IGOs that based themselves on criteria and regions, the UN members comprise of countries from all over the world


Thirdly, though the UN mean goal is to maintain peace, security, human rights, and strengthening relations, the UN also deals with many other issues such as Development of Africa, Humanitarian Assistance, Justice and International Law, Drug control, Counter-terrorism, Emergency and disaster relief, Crime Prevention, Education, Economic development, Child survival and development, Fisheries, Climate Change, Chemical and Conventional Weapons Disarmament.

To tackle all of these issues, the UN has 6 main bodies – The General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Council of Justice and the Secretariat. There are also other families of agencies that closely linked to the UN that help them undertake the many issues. No other IGO covers as many issues as the UN.

The UN has boasted some amazing achievement over the years. Improving women literacy programs helped raise female literacy rate from 36 per cent in 1970 to 56 per cent in 1990. UN worked to safeguard historical sites in over 81 counties such as Italy, Greece and Egypt through UNESCO efforts. UN through UNICEF established “Days of Tranquillity” and “Corridors of Peace” to provide vaccines and assistance to children in war zones


UN is working to improve the education in developing countries. Due to UN efforts, over 60 per cent of adults in developing nations can now read. UN has worked hard to prevent damage due to over-fishing. UN has worked hard to limit deforestation and promote sustainable forestry development in over 90 countries.

UN leads international efforts to clearing land mines in Angola, Cambodia, Afghanistan and many other countries. UN has been very instrumental in providing food to victims of emergencies. Over 2 million tons of food is distributed each year. UN has saved over 7 million children from going blind from river blindness. UN agencies have made safe drinking water available to 1.3 billion people over the last decade. UN efforts eradicated smallpox from the world.

These are few of the many successes of the UN. No other IGO can claim a wide range of success. As proof of success, the UN has received 5 noble prizes and 6 noble prizes have been given to people who worked for the UN.



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