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Differentiate among various governmental and nongovernmental international organizations, and describe their purposes and functions.
Major governmental international organizations include the North American Treaty Organization (NATO), the World Court, and the Organization of American States (OAS).
The International Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and the Catholic Relief Services are examples of nongovernmental organizations.
Focus Question: What are the purposes, functions and differences between governmental and nongovernmental international organizations?
Governmental agencies are funded by countries; nongovernmental agencies rely on funding from private sources such as charities and individual donations. Governmental agencies must be responsive to the demands of national governments while nongovernmental organizations have more freedom in how they pursue their mission.
"Solidarity, Freedom, Security, Trans-Atlantic Link."
The North American Treaty Organization is an alliance of 28 countries from North America to Europe committed to fulfilling the goals of the North American
Treaty signed on 4 April 1949.
Fundamental role of the treaty is to safeguard the freedom and security of its member countries by political and military means.
Protects the allies common values of democracy, liberty, the rule of law and the peaceful resolution of disputes, and promotes these values throughout the Euro-Atlantic area.
The security of Europe and North America are permanently tied together. It is the practical expression of effective collective among its members in support of their common interests.'
NATO had three original goals
1. Limit the Soviet Union's influence.
2. Keep the United States influence around the globe.
3. Keep Germany from starting another war.
For more information, please visit:
Many nations have prospered under NATO and have been there since the beginning. To get an idea of what the thinking was like around the time of the signing of the NATO pact, listen to this from Vasilios Mitsakos who was a spokesman for Greece when Greece signed up in 1952,
Greece and NATO
For more videos on NATO go to
History of Nato
For a lesson plan on the origins and impacts of NATO, click
Find a timeline on important NATO events
This is an updated timeline
of NATO's important events from its establishment when Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States signed the North Atlantic Treaty in April of 1949 until NATO's International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan ended in January of 2015 (1).
Read about female leadership in NATO,
"Peace and Security, Human Rights, Development, Humanitarian Affairs, and International Law.
For more on the UN, see
United Nations on the web
"The United Nations is an international organization founded i
n 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.
Due to its unique international character, and the powers vested in its founding Charter, the Organization can take action on a wide range of issues, and provide a forum for its 192 Member States to express their views, through the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Soc
ial Council and other bodies and committees.
he work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe.
Although best known for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, there are many other ways the United Nations and its System (specialized agencies, funds and programs) affect our lives and make the world a better place.
The Organization works on a broad range of fundamental issues, from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promoting democracy, human rights, governance, economic and social development and international health, clearing land mines, expanding food production, and more, in order to achieve its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world for this and future gene
In order to successfully teach this to younger children, you can go to this video, which is a cartoon that introduces the UN and its purposes,
UN for Kids
Another fantastic website in which the UN can be taught to younger children is
United Nations Cyberschool
, which has lesson plans, games, and other opportunities to help children learn more about the UN.
History of the UN
several timelines of the UN's history
for a lesson plan on the origins of the UN
Watch this two minute video on
how the UN functions
provides a broad overview of the United Nations and its development as a successor to the League of Nations. It had 51 states when it began and now has 193 member states. It explains the 6 organs of the United Nations, which are the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Trusteeship Council, the Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat. To ensure world peace, the United Nations sends in armies from its member countries although it does not have an army of its own. However, the UN does not act as an international police force because it cannot influence laws (2).
Women in the UN
Organization of American States
"Democracy for peace, security, and development."
-Strengthening collaboration between states
OAS on the web
"The Organization of American States (OAS) is the world’s oldest regional organization, dating back to the First International Conference of American States, which was held in Washington, D.C. from October 1889 to April 1890. At that conference, the establishment of the International Union of American Republics was approved and the stage was set for the weaving together of a web of provisions and institutions that came to be known as the inter-American system, the oldest of the international institutional systems."
' The OAS uses a four-pronged approach to effectively implement its essential purposes. The Organization’s four main pillars––democracy, human rights, security, and development.
–support each other and are intertwined through political dialogue, inclusiveness, cooperation, and legal and follow-up instruments that provide the OAS with the tools to maximize its work in the Hemisphere.
- Political Dialogue
- Follow-up mechanisms
- Juridical Heritage
A nice timeline discussing major accomplishments of the OAS can be found here,
A lesson plan for a research project on OAS can be found
shows the peace missions of the Organization of American States. It shows where each incident took place and if you click on that incident, it gives a summary of each peace mission. It ranges from 1990-2010 (3)
The Red Cross official website can be found here,
A history of the Red Cross from its very beggining can be found in this short and direct YouTube movie,
Red Cross History
The American Red Cross was founded by Clara Burton from the great state of Massachusetts. She along with colleagues created it in 1881, but with the massive wars that would soon hit the world, the popularity of the group would sky rocket.
called "Red Cross Emergency Response Unit" will help students understand the goals of the Red Cross.
Before the game begins, it explains the seven Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross, which are humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntarily, unity, and universality.
Students will set up a base camp, send in a medical unity, and set up shelters. There are easy, medium, and difficult levels of this game, which would be helpful in teaching students of all ages (4).
Doctors Without Borders (MSF)feeding center in Maradi, Niger during the 2005 Niger famine
Doctors without Borders
Doctors without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières is a humanitarian international organization that goes to war zones or epidemic areas to provide aid to those in need. It was created in 1971 by a group of doctors in France that believed everyone had the right to medical care.
Doctors without Borders explained
For a slideshow on the problems facing refugees around the world, see
Searching for Safety
from Doctors without Borders.
International Court of Justice or World Court
Homepage for the World Court
Eleanor Roosevelt's Role in the History of the World Court
Japan Halts Whaling Program in Response to International Court Ruling
from National Geographic
shows all of the cases heard by the International Criminal Police Organization from 1947 until 2014. It provides primary sources from each case explaining what happened (5).
International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol)
Officially created in 1923, INTERPOL – the International Criminal Police Organization is the worlds largest police organization that has members in over 190 countries. They cannot make arrests but help connect national police departments connect internationally. They has seen its membership grow steadily over the years. They have a database that multiple countries can use to find and extradite criminals.
Overview of INTERPOL
Interpol has divisions in every area of law enforcement, from gun control to border police to drugs and human trafficking.
to read an article on how Interpol is attacking growing cybercrime in Asia.
In addition, click
to view a historical timeline of Interpol since their foundation.
is a link to a video on 60 Minutes where Ron Noble talks about what its like running the organization, and how he's trying to fix the problems the agency's had in recent years.
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