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Old Saturday, July 11, 2009
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Here I am starting a thread where basic information about various international and regional originations would be shared. I request other members to participate .

1-UNO
Head Quarter: New York
Established on: October 24 1945
Number of Member countries:192
Web link:www.un.org/en
2-WTO
Head Quarter: Genewa ,Switzerland
Established on: January 01, 1995.
Number of Member countries: 153
Web link:www.wto.org

3-OIC(Organization of Islamic Conference)
Head Quarter:Jeddah Saudi arabia
Established on:25th September 1969
Number of members:57
Web link: http://www.oic-oci.org/page_detail.asp?p_id=52

I shall keep updating this thread by addition of more organizations.

4-NAM (Non Aligned Movement)
Head Quarter:
Established on:September 01,1961
Number of members:118
Web link:www.nam.gov.za

5-G77
Head Quarter: New York
Established on:15TH JUNE 1964
Number of members:130
Web link: http://www.g77.org/

6-ASEAN(( Association of South East Asian Nation))
Head Quarter: Jakrta ,Indonesia
Established on:8th August 1967
Number of members:10
Web link:www.aseansec.or

6-ASEAN(( Association of South East Asian Nation))
Head Quarter: Jakrta ,Indonesia
Established on:8th August 1967
Number of members:10
Web link:www.aseansec.org

7-ECO(Economic Cooperation Organisation)
Head Quarter: Tehran,Iran
Established on:1985
Number of members:10
Web link: http://www.ecosecretariat.org/

NATO (Northern treaty Organization)
Headquarter: Brussels, Belgium.
Established on: April 04 1949.
Number of Member Countries:28
Web Link: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/faq.htm

8-Interpol:
Headquarter: France
Established on:1923
Number of Member Countries :187
Web:www.interpol.int
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4-NAM (Non Aligned Movement)
Head Quarter: (New York City, United States)"(Coordinating Bureau)
Established on:September 01,1961
Number of members:118
summit 2009 : in Egypt (2012 Iran will host )
SG Hosni Mubarak

SAARC
Head Quarter : khatmandu
Established on: December 1985
Members: 8
summit 2008 in sri lanka and next will be in Mali

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Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

Members
China
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Russia
Tajikistan
Uzbekistan
Observers
India
Iran
Mongolia
Pakistan
Dialogue Partner
Sri Lanka
Belarus
Guests
Afghanistan
ASEAN
CIS
Leaders
- Secretary General Bolat Nurgaliyev
- Deputy Secretary General Vladimir Zakharov
Formation
- Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions 26 April 1996
- Declaration of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation 15 June 2001
Area
- Total 30,178,460 km2
11,651,969 sq mi
Population
- 2008 estimate 1,526,000,952
- Density 50.57/km2
131/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2007 estimate
- Total $9,625.712 billion
- Per capita $6,308
GDP (nominal) 2007 estimate
- Total $4,704.376 billion
- Per capita $3,083
Currency

Kazakhstani tenge
Kyrgyzstani som
Renminbi
Russian ruble
Tajikistani somoni
Uzbekistani som
Time zone (UTC+2 to +12)
Website
www.sectsco.org

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental mutual-security organization which was founded in 2001 by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Except for Uzbekistan, the other countries had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organization.
Contents


* 1 Official names
* 2 Membership
* 3 Origins
* 4 Structure
* 5 Activities
o 5.1 Cooperation on security
o 5.2 Economic cooperation
o 5.3 Cultural cooperation
* 6 Summits
o 6.1 List of Summits
* 7 Future membership possibilities
o 7.1 Current observers
o 7.2 Dialogue Partner
o 7.3 Other countries
* 8 Relations with the West


Official names

The official working languages of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation are Chinese and Russian. The official names of the organisation in the two languages, abbreviations in parentheses, are:

Chinese:

* Simplified Chinese: 上海合作组织 [ Chinese-Shanghai Cooperation Organization.ogg Listen (help·info) ] (上合组织)
* Romanisation: Shànghǎi Hézuò Zǔzhī (Shàng Hé Zǔzhī)
* Cyrillisation: Шанхай Хэцзо Цзучжи (Шанхэ Цзучжи)

Russian:

* Cyrillic: Шанхайская организация сотрудничества (ШОС)
* Romanisation: Shankhayskaya organizatsiya sotrudnichestva (ShOS)

Membership

Members

* China
* Kazakhstan
* Kyrgyzstan
* Russia
* Tajikistan
* Uzbekistan



Observers

* India
* Iran
* Mongolia
* Pakistan



Dialogue Partners

* Sri Lanka
* Belarus



Guest Attendances

* Afghanistan
* ASEAN
* CIS






Origins

Former Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Former Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev, and Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov, the original leaders of the Shanghai Five.

The Shanghai Five grouping was originally created April 26, 1996 with the signing of the Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions in Shanghai by the heads of states of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. April 24, 1997 the same countries signed the Treaty on Reduction of Military Forces in Border Regions in a meeting in Moscow.

Subsequent annual summits of the Shanghai Five group occurred in Almaty (Kazakhstan) in 1998, in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) in 1999, and in Dushanbe (Tajikistan) in 2000.

In 2001, the annual summit returned to Shanghai, China. There the five member nations first admitted Uzbekistan in the Shanghai Five mechanism (thus transforming it into the Shanghai Six). Then all six heads of state signed on June 15, 2001, the Declaration of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, praising the role played thus far by the Shanghai Five mechanism and aiming to transform it to a higher level of cooperation. In July 2001, Russia and the PRC, the organisation's two leading nations, signed the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation.

In June 2002, the heads of the SCO member states met in Saint Petersburg, Russia. There they signed the SCO Charter which expounded on the organisation's purposes, principles, structures and form of operation, and established it officially from the point of view of international law.

Structure

The Council of Heads of State is the top decision-making body in the SCO. This council meets at the SCO summits, which are held each year in one of the member states' capital cities. The current Council of Heads of State consists of:

* Kurmanbek Bakiyev (Kyrgyzstan)
* Hu Jintao (People's Republic of China)
* Islom Karimov (Uzbekistan)
* Nursultan Nazarbayev (Kazakhstan)
* Dmitry Medvedev (Russia)
* Emomalii Rahmon (Tajikistan)

The Council of Heads of Government is the second-highest council in the organization. This council also holds annual summits, at which time members discuss issues of multilateral cooperation. The council also approves the organization's budget.

The council of Foreign Ministers also hold regular meetings, where they discuss the current international situation and the SCO's interaction with other international organisations.[1]

As the name suggests, the Council of National Coordinators coordinates the multilateral cooperation of member states within the framework of the SCO's charter.

The Secretariat of the SCO is the primary executive body of the organisation. It serves to implement organisational decisions and decrees, drafts proposed documents (such as declarations and agendas), function as a document depository for the organisation, arranges specific activities within the SCO framework, and promotes and disseminates information about the SCO. It is located in Beijing. The current SCO Secretary-General is Bolat Nurgaliyev of Kazakhstan.[2]

The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism. The Head of RATS is elected to a three-year term. Each member state also sends a permanent representative to RATS.[3]

Activities
SCO leaders at Peace Mission 2007. Hu Jintao, Vladimir Putin, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Islom Karimov

Cooperation on security

The SCO is primarily centered around its member nations' Central Asian security-related concerns, often describing the main threats it confronts as being terrorism, separatism and extremism. However evidence is growing that its activities in the area of social development of its member states is increasing fast.[citation needed]

At the June 16-17 2004 SCO summit, held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the Regional Antiterrorism Structure (RATS) was established. On 21 April 2006, the SCO announced plans to fight cross-border drug crimes under the counter-terrorism rubric.[4]

Grigory Logninov claimed in April 2006 that the SCO has no plans to become a military bloc; nonetheless he argued that the increased threats of "terrorism, extremism and separatism" make necessary a full-scale involvement of armed forces.[5]

There have been a number of SCO joint military exercises. The first of these was held in 2003, with the first phase taking place in Kazakhstan and the second in China.[6]

On a larger scale, but outside the SCO framework, the first ever joint military exercise between the PRC and Russia, called Peace Mission 2005 started on August 19, 2005. Following their successful completion, Russian officials have begun speaking of India joining such exercises in the future and the SCO taking on a military role.

The joint military exercises in 2007 (known as "Peace Mission 2007") took place in Chelyabinsk Russia, near the Ural Mountains and close to Central Asia, as was agreed upon on April 2006 at a meeting of SCO Defense Ministers. More than 4,000 soldiers participated from China. Air forces and precision-guided weapons were have likely to be used. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said that the exercises will be transparent and open to media and the public.[6][7]

In October 2007, the SCO signed an agreement with the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), in the Tajik capital Dushanbe, to broaden cooperation on issues such as security, crime, and drug trafficking.[8] Joint action plans between the two organisations are planned to be signed by early 2008 in Beijing.[9]

Economic cooperation

All SCO members but China are also members of the Eurasian Economic Community. A Framework Agreement to enhance economic cooperation was signed by the SCO member states on 23 September 2003. At the same meeting the PRC's Premier, Wen Jiabao, proposed a long-term objective to establish a free trade area in the SCO, while other more immediate measures would be taken to improve the flow of goods in the region.[10][11] A follow up plan with 100 specific actions was signed one year later, on September 23, 2004.[12]

On 26 October 2005, the Moscow Summit of the SCO, the Secretary General of the Organisation said that the SCO will prioritise joint energy projects; such will include the oil and gas sector, the exploration of new hydrocarbon reserves, and joint use of water resources. The creation of an Inter-bank SCO Council was also agreed upon at that summit in order to fund future joint projects. The first meeting of the SCO Interbank Association was held in Beijing on 21-22 February 2006.[13][14] On 30 November 2006, at The SCO: Results and Perspectives, an international conference held in Almaty, the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Russia is developing plans for an SCO "Energy Club".[15]. The need for this "club" was reiterated by Moscow at an SCO summit in November 2007. Other SCO members, however, have not committed themselves to the idea.[16] However on 28 August 2008 summit it was stated that "Against the backdrop of a slowdown in the growth of world economy pursuing a responsible currency and financial policy, control over the capital flowing, ensuring food and energy security have been gaining special significance."[17]

On June 16, 2009, at the Yekaterinburg Summit, China announced plans to provide a US$10 billion loan to SCO member states to shore up the struggling economies of its members amid the global financial crisis. [18][19] The summit was held together with the first BRIC summit, and the China-Russia joint statement said that they want a bigger quota in the IMF.[20]

Cultural cooperation

Cultural cooperation also occurs in the SCO framework. Culture ministers of the SCO met for the first time in Beijing on 12 April 2002, signing a joint statement for continued cooperation. The third meeting of the Culture Ministers took place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on 27-28 April 2006.[21][22]

An SCO Arts Festival and Exhibition was held for the first time during the Astana Summit in 2005. Kazakhstan has also suggested an SCO folk dance festival to take place in 2008, in Astana.[23]

Summits

According to the Charter of the SCO, summits of the Council of Heads of State shall be held annually at alternating venues. The locations of these summits follow the alphabetical order of the member state's name in Russian.[24] The charter also dictates that the Council of Heads of Government (that is, the Prime Ministers) shall meet annually in a place previously decided upon by the council members. The Council of Foreign Ministers is supposed to hold a summit one month before the annual summit of Heads of State. Extraordinary meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers can be called by any two member states.[24]

List of Summits

Heads of State ↓ ( Presidents)
Date Country Location
2001 People's Republic of China Shanghai
2002 Russia Saint Petersburg
2003 Russia Moscow
2004 Uzbekistan Tashkent
2005 Kazakhstan Astana
2006 People's Republic of China Shanghai
2007 Kyrgyzstan Bishkek
2008 Tajikistan Dushanbe
2009 Russia Yekaterinburg
2010 Uzbekistan Tashkent[25]

Heads of Government ↓ ( Prime Ministers)
Date Country Location
2001 Kazakhstan Almaty
2002 Russia Saint Petersburg
2003 People's Republic of China Beijing
2004 Kyrgyzstan Bishkek
2005 Russia Moscow
2006 Tajikistan Dushanbe
2007 Uzbekistan Tashkent
2008 Kazakhstan Astana
2009 People's Republic of China[26] TBA


Future membership possibilities

Currently, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation does not have an official mechanism for admitting new members.[27] Several states, however, participate as observers, some of whom have expressed interest in becoming full members in the future.

Current observers
A summit of the SCO's Council of Heads of Government in 2006
Putin with representatives from Iran and Mongolia, observers in the SCO, at a meeting of the Council of Heads of Government in 2005
Afghan President Hamid Karzai at an SCO summit in 2004

* India currently has observer status in the SCO. SCO members have encouraged India to join the organisation as a full-time member, because they see it as a crucial future strategic partner.[28] Additional factors working in favor of India joining the SCO are its major military presence in Central Asia,[29][30] its close military ties with several Central Asian countries (especially Tajikistan and Russia) and also its deep interest in the region's energy resources.[31][32] Factors working against India's joining the SCO as a member include India's persistent military rivalry with fellow SCO-observer Pakistan and its general reluctance to make binding ties to groups that could compromise its strategic independence.[citation needed]

* Iran currently has observer status in the organisation, and applied for full membership on March 24, 2008.[33]

* Mongolia became the first country to receive observer status at the 2004 Tashkent Summit. Pakistan, India and Iran received observer status at the 2005 SCO summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on July 5, 2005.

* Pakistan currently has observer status in the SCO. Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf argued in favour of Pakistan's qualification to join the organisation as a full member during a joint summit with China in 2006. China said that it would convey Pakistan’s desire to all SCO member states. In turn, Musharraf was formally invited to the sixth summit of the SCO to take place in Shanghai in June. Sino-Pak relations go back decades when Pakistan helped China enter the United Nations and China helped Pakistan get a veto against the Kashmir issue later on. China is Pakistan's biggest arms and technology supplier and the third biggest trading partner as well as the basis for Western China's economic growth as it would need the Ports of Pakistan. The linkages between China and Pakistan are also strengthed through the almost unhindered economic trade[citation needed] between the Northern Areas of Pakistan with the Muslim-majority, semi-autonomous, Xinjiang Province of China, through the Karakorum Highway.

Pakistan and Iran have been lobbying for full membership, while India and Mongolia have not shown strong interest in becoming official members.[34] Russia's permanent representative in the SCO Secretariat Grigory Longinov has claimed that the enlargement of the SCO is impeded by "an immature mechanism of admission of new members", while Secretary General Zhang Deguang argued that an over-expansion might hinder the intensification of the cooperation.[35]

Dialogue Partner

The position of Dialogue Partner was created in 2008 in accordance with Article 14 of the SCO Charter of 7 June 2002. This article regards Dialogue Partner as a state or an organisation who shares the goals and principles of the SCO and wishes to establish relations of equal mutually beneficial partnership with the Organisation.[36]

* Flag of Sri Lanka Sri Lanka and Belarus were granted dialogue partner status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at the group’s 2009 summit in Yekaterinburg.[37]

Sri Lanka is located in an extremely strategically valued location in the world. China is currently building a harbor in the Sri Lankan town of Hambantota, widely seen as a naval base Chinese ships re-fueling and protecting its naval interests. Sri Lanka recently defeated the separatist LTTE with the cooperation of Shanghai Cooperation Members China and Russia.

Other countries

* Afghanistan, while not an observer, is currently part of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group. The contact group was established in November 2005, and serves as a mechanism for SCO member states to jointly contribute to reconstruction and stability in Afghanistan.[38]

* Belarus applied for observer status in the organisation and was promised Kazakhstan's support towards that goal.[citation needed] However, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov voiced doubt on the probability of Belarus' membership, saying that Belarus was a purely European country.[39] Despite this, Belarus was accepted as a Dialogue Partner at the 2009 SCO Summit.

Relations with the West

Although the declaration on the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation contained a statement that it "is not an alliance directed against other states and regions and it adheres to the principle of openness", many observers believe that one of the original purposes of the SCO was to serve as a counterbalance to NATO and the United States and in particular to avoid conflicts that would allow the United States to intervene in areas bordering both Russia and China.[40][41] And although not a member state, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has used his speeches at the SCO to make verbal attacks against the United States.[42]

The United States applied for observer status in the SCO, but was rejected in 2005.[43]

At the Astana summit in July 2005, with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq foreshadowing an indefinite presence of U.S. forces in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, the SCO urged the U.S. to set a timetable for withdrawing its troops from SCO member states. Shortly afterwards, Uzbekistan asked the U.S. to leave the K-2 air base,[44] and in February 2009 the government of Kyrgyzstan decided to evict the U.S. forces from the Manas Air Base.

Recently the SCO has made no direct comments against the U.S. or its military presence in the region. However, several indirect statements at the past summits, including the 2007 summit in Bishkek, have been viewed as "thinly veiled swipes at Washington".[45]
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ISO (International Organization for Standardization)

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards.

ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 161 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.

ISO is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.

Therefore, ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.
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Islamic Development Bank

Islamic Development Bank (also known as IsDB), is a multilateral development financing institution located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was founded by the first conference of Finance Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), convened 18 December 1973. The bank officially began its activities on 15 Shawwal 1395H (20 October 1975). There are 54 shareholding member states.[1] On the basis of paid-up capital, the main shareholders of the Bank are from these countries:

* Saudi Arabia
* Sudan
* Kuwait
* Libya
* Turkey
* UAE
* Iran
* Egypt
* Indonesia
* Pakistan

The IsDB is also a United Nations General Assembly observer.

Functions
Principal shareholders of the IDB shown in green.
IDB building, Dhaka

The functions of the Bank are to participate in equity capital and grant loans for productive projects and enterprises besides providing financial assistance to member countries in other forms for economic and social development. The Bank tries to foster the economic development and social progress of member countries and Muslim communities in non-member countries individually as well as jointly in accordance with the principles of Shari'ah or Islamic jurisprudence. Adhering to Islamic principles forbidding usury, the Bank provides interest-free loans primarily for infrastructural projects with socio-economic benefits.[1]

The Bank is authorized to accept deposits and to mobilize financial resources through Shari'ah compatible modes. It is also charged with the responsibility of assisting in the promotion of foreign trade especially in capital goods, among member countries; providing technical assistance to member countries; and extending training facilities for personnel engaged in development activities in Muslim countries to conform to the Shari'ah.

Shari'ah compatible practices include:

* Loan
* Leasing
* Installment Sale
* Istisna'a
* Equity Participation
* Lines of Financing



The unit of account of the bank is the Islamic Dinar. The Bank's financial year is the lunar Hijri year. The official language of the Bank is Arabic, but English and French are additionally used as working languages.

Membership

The present membership of the Bank consists of 56 countries. The basic condition for membership is that the prospective member country should be a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), pay its contribution to the capital of the Bank and be willing to accept such terms and conditions as may be decided upon by the IsDB Board of Governors.
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World Bank

The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides leveraged loans to poorer countries for capital programs with a goal of reducing poverty.

The World Bank differs from the World Bank Group, in that the World Bank comprises only two institutions:

* International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
* International Development Association (IDA)

Whereas the latter incorporates these two in addition to three more:

* International Finance Corporation (IFC)
* Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
* International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

History
John Maynard Keynes (right) represented the UK at the conference, and Harry Dexter White represented the US.

The World Bank is one of two major institutions created as a result of the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944. The International Monetary Fund, a related but separate institution, is the second. Delegates from a wide variety of countries attended the Bretton Woods Conference, but the most powerful countries in attendance, the United States and Britain, mainly shaped negotiations.

1945–1968

From its conception until 1967 the bank undertook a relatively low level of lending. Fiscal conservatism and careful screening of loan applications was generally accepted practice at the World Bank during this early period. Bank staff attempted to balance the priorities of providing loans for reconstruction and development with the need to instill confidence in the bank as a reliable institution suitable for investment. Bank president John McCloy selected France to be the first recipient of World Bank aid; two other applications presented at this time from Poland and Chile were rejected. The loan was for $ 987 million, half the amount requested, and came with strict conditions. Staff from the World Bank would monitor the end use of the funds, ensuring that the French government would present a balanced budget, and give priority of debt repayment to the World Bank over other foreign governments. The United States State Department also acted at this time to inform the French Government that Communist elements within the Cabinétte needed to be removed. The French Government complied with this request and removed the Communist elements from the 1947 coalition government. Within hours of this event the loan to France was approved. The Marshall Plan of 1947 caused lending practices at the bank to be altered, as many European countries received aid that competed directly with World Bank loans. Emphasis was shifted to non-European countries and up until 1968 loans were primarily earmarked for projects that would directly enable a borrower country to repay loans (such projects as ports, highway systems, and power plants).

1968–1980

From 1968–1980 the bank focused on poverty alleviation and meeting the basic needs of people in the developing world. During this period the size and number of loans to borrower nations was greatly increased as the spectrum of loan targets expanded from infrastructure into social services and other sectors. These changes can to a large extent be attributed to Robert McNamara who assumed the Presidency in 1968 after being appointed by US president Lyndon B. Johnson. McNamara imported a technocratic managerial style to the bank that he had employed during periods he had spent serving as United States Secretary of Defense, and President of the Ford Motor Company.[8] McNamara shifted the focus of bank policy towards measures such as building schools and hospitals, improving literacy rates and conducting large-scale agricultural reform. McNamara created a new system of gathering information from potential borrower nations that enabled the bank to process loan applications at a much faster rate. In order to finance the increased loan volume, McNamara tasked bank treasurer Eugene Rotberg to seek out new sources of capital outside of the northern banks that had previously been the primary sources of bank funding. Rotberg utilized the global bond market to greatly increase the amount of capital available to the bank.[9] One consequence of the period of poverty alleviation lending was the rapid rise of third world debt. From 1976–1980 third world debt rose at an average annual rate of 20%.

1980–1989

In 1980 A.W. Clausen replaced Robert McNamara as World Bank president after being nominated by US President Ronald Reagan. Clausen replaced a large number of bank staffers who had been active during the McNamara era and instituted a new ideological focus in the bank. The replacement of Chief Economist Hollis B. Chenery by Anne Krueger in 1982 marked a notable policy shift at the bank. Krueger was known for her criticism of development funding as well as third world governments as rent-seeking states. Lending for the purposes of servicing third world debt largely marked the period of 1980–1989. Structural adjustment policies aimed at streamlining the economies of developing nations (largely at the expense of health and social services reductions) were also a large part of World Bank policy during this period. UNICEF reported in the late 1980s that the structural adjustment programs of the World Bank were responsible for the “reduced health, nutritional, and educational levels for tens of millions of children in Asia, Latin America, and Africa”.

1989–Present

From 1989 to present, World Bank policy has shifted greatly, largely in response to criticism from a plurality of groups. Environmental groups and NGOs are often now integrated into the lending practices of the bank in order to mitigate the negative results of the previous era that prompted such harsh criticism. Bank projects now explicitly embrace a "green" focus.


Activities
The World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Millennium Development Goals

The World Bank's current focus is on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), lending primarily to "middle-income countries" at interest rates which reflect a small mark-up over its own (AAA-rated) borrowings from capital markets; while the IDA provides low or no interest loans and grants to low income countries with little or no access to international credit markets. The IBRD is a market-based nonprofit organization, using its high credit rating to make up for the relatively low interest rate on its loans, while the IDA is funded primarily by periodic "replenishments" (grants) voted to the institution by its more affluent member countries.

Five key factors

The Bank’s mission is to aid developing countries and their inhabitants to achieve development and the reduction of poverty, including achievement of the MDGs, by helping countries develop an environment for investment, jobs and sustainable growth, thus promoting economic growth through investment and enabling the poor to share the fruits of economic growth. The World Bank sees the five key factors necessary for economic growth and the creation of an enabling business environment as:

1. Build capacity: Strengthening governments and educating government officials.
2. Infrastructure creation: implementation of legal and judicial systems for the encouragement of business, the protection of individual and property rights and the honoring of contracts.
3. Development of Financial Systems: the establishment of strong systems capable of supporting endeavors from micro credit to the financing of larger corporate ventures.
4. Combating corruption: Support for countries' efforts at eradicating corruption.
5. Research, Consultancy and Training: the World Bank provides platform for research on development issues, consultancy and conduct training programs (web based, on line, tele-/ video conferencing and class room based) open for those who are interested from academia, students, government and non-governmental organization (NGO) officers etc.

The Bank obtains funding for its operations primarily through the IBRD’s sale of AAA-rated bonds in the world’s financial markets. The IBRD’s income is generated from its lending activities, with its borrowings leveraging its own paid-in capital, plus the investment of its "float". The IDA obtains the majority of its funds from forty donor countries who replenish the bank’s funds every three years, and from loan repayments, which then become available for re-lending.

Loans

The Bank offers two basic types of loans: investment loans and development policy loans. The former are made for the support of economic and social development projects, whereas the latter provide quick disbursing finance to support countries’ policy and institutional reforms. While the IBRD provides loans with a relatively low interest rate, the IDA’s "credits" are interest free. The project proposals of borrowers are evaluated for their economical, financial, social and environmental aspects prior to their approval.

Grants

The World Bank also distributes grants for the facilitation of development projects through the encouragement of innovation, cooperation between organizations and the participation of local stakeholders in projects. IDA grants are predominantly used for:

* Debt burden relief in the most indebted and poverty-stricken countries
* Improvement of sanitation and water supply
* Support of vaccination and immunization programs for the reduction of communicable diseases such as malaria
* Combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic
* Support of civil society organizations
* Creating initiatives for the reduction of greenhouse gases

Other services

The Bank not only provides financial support to its member states, but also analytical and advisory services to facilitate the implementation of the lasting economic and social improvements that are needed in many under-developed countries, as well as educating members with the knowledge necessary to resolve their development problems while promoting.
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Leadership

The President of the Bank, currently Robert Zoellick, is responsible for chairing the meetings of the Boards of Directors and for overall management of the Bank. Traditionally, the Bank President has always been a US citizen nominated by the President of the United States, the largest shareholder in the bank. The nominee is subject to confirmation by the Board of Governors, to serve for a five-year, renewable term.

The Executive Directors make up the Board of Directors, usually meeting twice a week to oversee activities such as the approval of loans and guarantees, new policies, the administrative budget, country assistance strategies and borrowing and financing decisions.

The Vice Presidents of the Bank are its principal managers, in charge of regions, sectors, networks and functions. There are 24 Vice-Presidents, three Senior Vice Presidents and two Executive Vice Presidents.

Members
Main article: List of World Bank members

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has 186 member countries, while the International Development Association (IDA) has 168 members. Each member state of IBRD should be also a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and only members of IBRD are allowed to join other institutions within the Bank (such as IDA).

Areas of operation

The World Bank is active in the following areas:

* Agriculture and Rural Development
* Conflict and Development
* Development Operations and Activities
* Economic Policy
* Education
* Energy
* Environment
* Financial Sector
* Gender
* Governance
* Health, Nutrition and Population
* Industry
* Information and Communication Technologies
* Information, Computing and Telecommunications
* International Economics and Trade
* Labor and Social Protections
* Law and Justice
* Macroeconomic and Economic Growth
* Mining
* Poverty Reduction
* Poverty
* Private Sector
* Public Sector Governance
* Rural Development
* Social Development
* Social Protection
* Trade
* Transport
* Urban Development
* Water Resources
* Water Supply and Sanitation

Comprehensive development framework


According to the World Bank, in virtually all successful assistance projects the country itself was the driving factor. The Bank therefore works to help governments lead and implement their own development strategies and thus take a stronger hand in their own future development. The strategy was initiated by the former president of the bank, James Wolfensohn. Since 1999, it has followed a set of philosophies known as the Comprehensive Development Framework. These philosophies state that:

* Development strategies should be comprehensive and shaped by a long-term vision
* Development goals and strategies should be “owned” by the country, based on local stakeholder participation in shaping them
* Countries receiving assistance should lead the management and coordination of aid programs through stakeholder partnerships
* Development performance should be evaluated through measurable results on the ground in order to adjust the strategy to outcomes and a changing world

Poverty reduction strategies

For the poorest developing countries in the world the bank’s assistance plans are based on poverty reduction strategies; by combining a cross-section of local groups with an extensive analysis of the country’s financial and economical situation the World Bank develops a strategy pertaining uniquely to the country in question. The government then identifies the country’s priorities and targets for the reduction of poverty, and the World Bank aligns its aid efforts correspondingly.

The bank supports certain kinds of poor people's organisations such as the Self-Employed Women's Union and Shack/Slum Dwellers International.

Forty-five countries pledged US$25.1 billion in "aid for the world's poorest countries", aid that goes to the World Bank International Development Association (IDA) which distributes the gifts to eighty poorer countries. While wealthier nations sometimes fund their own aid projects, including those for diseases, and although IDA is the recipient of criticism, Robert B. Zoellick, the president of the World Bank, said when the gifts were announced on December 15, 2007, that IDA money "is the core funding that the poorest developing countries rely on".

Clean Technology Fund management

The World Bank has been assigned temporary management responsibility of the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), focused on making renewable energy cost-competitive with coal-fired power as quickly as possible, but this may not continue after UN's Copenhagen climate change conference in December, 2009, because of the Bank's continued investment in coal-fired power plants.

Training wings

World Bank Institute

The World Bank Institute (WBI) creates learning opportunities for countries, World Bank staff and clients, and people committed to poverty reduction and sustainable development. WBI's work program includes training, policy consultations, and the creation and support of knowledge networks related to international economic and social development.

Global Development Learning Network

The Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) is a partnership of over 120 learning centers (GDLN Affiliates) in nearly 80 countries around the world. GDLN Affiliates collaborate in holding events that connect people across countries and regions for learning and dialogue on development issues.

GDLN clients are typically NGOs, government, private sector and development agencies who find that they work better together on subregional, regional or global development issues using the facilities and tools offered by GDLN Affiliates. Clients also benefit from the ability of Affiliates to help them choose and apply these tools effectively, and to tap development practitioners and experts worldwide. GDLN Affiliates facilitate around 1000 videoconference-based activities a year on behalf of their clients, reaching some 90,000 people worldwide. Most of these activities bring together participants in two or more countries over a series of sessions. A majority of GDLN activities are organized by small government agencies and NGOs.

GDLN Asia Pacific

The GDLN in the East Asia and Pacific region has experienced rapid growth and Distance Learning Centers now operate, or are planned in 20 countries: Australia, Mongolia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Japan, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Thailand, Laos, Timor Leste, Fiji, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and New Zealand. With over 180 Distance Learning Centers, it is the largest development learning network in the Asia and Pacific region. The Secretariat Office of GDLN Asia Pacific is located in the Center of Academic Resources of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

GDLN Asia Pacific was launched at the GDLN’s East Asia and Pacific regional meeting held in Bangkok from 22 to 24 May 2006. Its vision is to become “the premier network exchanging ideas, experience and know-how across the Asia Pacific Region”. GDLN Asia Pacific is a separate entity to The World Bank. It has endorsed its own Charter and Business Plan and, in accordance with the Charter, a GDLN Asia Pacific Governing Committee has been appointed.

The committee comprises China (2), Australia (1), Thailand (1), The World Bank (1) and finally, a nominee of the Government of Japan (1). The organization is currently hosted by Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, founding member of the GDLN Asia Pacific.

The Governing Committee has determined that the most appropriate legal status for the GDLN AP in Thailand is a “Foundation”. The World Bank is currently engaging a solicitor in Thailand to process all documentation in order to obtain this legal status.

GDLN Asia Pacific is built on the principle of shared resources among partners engaged in a common task, and this is visible in the organizational structures that exist, as the network evolves. Physical space for its headquarters is provided by the host of the GDLN Centre in Thailand – Chulalongkorn University; Technical expertise and some infrastructure is provided by the Tokyo Development Learning Centre (TDLC); Fiduciary services are provided by Australian National University (ANU) Until the GDLN Asia Pacific is established as a legal entity tin Thailand, ANU, has offered to assist the governing committee, by providing a means of managing the inflow and outflow of funds and of reporting on them. This admittedly results in some complexity in contracting arrangements, which need to be worked out on a case by case basis and depends to some extent on the legal requirements of the countries involved.

Country assistance strategies

As a guideline to the World Bank's operations in any particular country, a Country Assistance Strategy is produced, in cooperation with the local government and any interested stakeholders and may rely on analytical work performed by the Bank or other parties.
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