The Council of Europe is a 47 member international organisation that aims to uphold democracy, human rights and rule of law in Europe and promote European culture. It was founded by the Treaty of London in 1949. No country has ever joined the European Union without first belonging to the Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe promotes political dialogue, humanitarian work and treaties on matters such as anti-trafficking, hate speech and human rights. It does not have binding powers of its own.
The European Court of Human Rights, an international court established by the European Convention on Human Rights, is the best known body of the Council of Europe.
UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) – The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) is an international human rights treaty that requires states to take effective measures to prevent torture in any territory under their jurisdiction, and forbids states to transport people to any country where there is a reason to believe that they will be tortured. It also requires the parties to train and educate their law enforcement personnels and public officials involved in custody, interrogation and imprisonment regarding interrogation rules and practices in order to prevent all acts of torture.
The Commonwealth of Nations is an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states that works for the promotion of values enshrined in the commonwealth charter: democracy, free speech, human rights, rule of law, etc. It organises the Commonwealth Games every four years.
Global efforts for financial stability have picked up after the 2008 global economic crisis, but anxieties about such a crisis, and the organisations for promotion of financial stability, have existed since much before. These organisations facilitate cooperation between governments and central banks with the aim to avert or reduce the likelihood and negative impact of another financial crisis.
While the global multilateral financial institutions have remained dominated by the western countries, the influence of Asian countries in these institutions is growing. Meanwhile, certain financial mechanisms have been built by the Asian Countries to support their economic development and to widen their choices for development financing.
Africa is a vast continent of 55 countries, and covers 20% of the earth’s land area. It is the second largest and the second most populous continent, first being Asia. Africa has been the hotspot of colonialism, the legacies of which still mar the continent. Let us have a look at African organisations and associated agreements of trade and cooperation.
The African Union (AU) is a continental union of all 55 countries on the African continent. It was established in 2002, as the successor to the Organisation of African Unity. It does not include territories held by foreign sovereigns: Spain (Canary islands, etc), France (Reunion, Scattered Islands in Indian Ocean, etc), Portugal and the UK.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental economic organisation, essentially a forum, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. It has 36 member countries, but engages with other countries too. Most OECD members are high-income economies.
The predecessor of OECD, Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) originated in 1948 to administer American and Canadian aid in the framework of the Marshall plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II.
Organisations and Activities under the OECD framework
International Energy Agency (IEA) is established under OECD framework.
PISA – Programme for International Student Assessment is a worldwide study in member and non-member nations, conducted by OECD, to evaluate scholastic performance of 15 year olds in maths, science and reading.
International Transport Forum
Intergovernmental think-tank on transport policy issues
India is a member.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is headquartered at OECD, France. It works to promote adherence to anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-financing of terrorism (AFT) norms by the banks and financial institutions.
BEPS (Base Erosion Profit Shifting) Action Plan, and CbCR (Country by Country Reporting) are OECD initiatives to address tax evasion.
Nuclear Energy Agency – an intergovernmental agency.