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United Nations General Assembly observers

United Nations General Assembly observers

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In addition to the current 193 member states
United Nations member states
There are 193 United Nations member states, and each of them is a member of the United Nations General Assembly.The criteria for admission of new members are set out in the United Nations Charter, Chapter II, Article 4, as follows:...

, the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

welcomes many international organization
International organization
An intergovernmental organization, sometimes rendered as an international governmental organization and both abbreviated as IGO, is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states , or of other intergovernmental organizations...

s, entities, and non-member state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

s (currently only one) as observers. Observer status is granted by a United Nations General Assembly resolution
United Nations General Assembly Resolution
A United Nations General Assembly Resolution is voted on by all member states of the United Nations in the General Assembly.General Assembly resolutions usually require a simple majority to pass...

. The status of a Permanent Observer is based purely on practice, and there are no provisions for it in the United Nations Charter
United Nations Charter
The Charter of the United Nations is the foundational treaty of the international organization called the United Nations. It was signed at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in San Francisco, United States, on 26 June 1945, by 50 of the 51 original member countries...

.

Observers have the right to speak at United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 meetings, participate in procedural votes, and to sponsor and sign resolutions, but not to vote on resolutions
United Nations General Assembly Resolution
A United Nations General Assembly Resolution is voted on by all member states of the United Nations in the General Assembly.General Assembly resolutions usually require a simple majority to pass...

 and other substantive matters. Various other rights (e.g. to speak in debates, to submit proposals and amendments, the right of reply, to raise points of order and to circulate documents, etc.) are given selectively to some observers only. So far, the EU is the only international organisation to hold these enhanced powers.

There is a distinction between state and non-state observers. Non-Member States of the United Nations, which are members of one or more specialized agencies, can apply for the status of Permanent Observer state. The non-state observers are the international organizations and other entities.

Non-member observer states are arranged for seating in the General Assembly Hall immediately after the Member States and before the other observers.

Non-member states



Non-member observer states are recognized as sovereign
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 states, and are free to submit a petition to join as a full member at their discretion. For example, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 was a permanent observer state from 1948 to 2002, until becoming a full member on September 10, 2002. Currently, the only such state, the Holy See
Activities of the Holy See within the United Nations system
The activities of the Holy See within the United Nations system officially began on April 6, 1964, when the Holy See was granted the status of permanent observer state...

, is described as a "Non-member State having received a standing invitation to participate as observer in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly and maintaining permanent observer mission at Headquarters".
Non-member state Date observer status was granted
 Holy See (sovereignty over the territory of Vatican City
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

)
April 6, 1964: became a permanent observer state
July 1, 2004 (A/RES/58/314): gained all the rights of full membership except voting and putting forward candidates


Notes
  • The Cook Islands
    Cook Islands
    The Cook Islands is a self-governing parliamentary democracy in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand...

     and Niue
    Niue
    Niue , is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean. It is commonly known as the "Rock of Polynesia", and inhabitants of the island call it "the Rock" for short. Niue is northeast of New Zealand in a triangle between Tonga to the southwest, the Samoas to the northwest, and the Cook Islands to...

    —both states in free association
    Associated state
    An associated state is the minor partner in a formal, free relationship between a political territory with a degree of statehood and a nation, for which no other specific term, such as protectorate, is adopted...

     with New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

    —are treated as non-member states.
  • The Republic of China
    Republic of China
    The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

    , or Taiwan
    Taiwan
    Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

    , in addition to applying for full membership, has also applied variously for or observer status in the UN since 1991. Such requests have been consistently denied due to the UN's recognition of the People's Republic of China
    People's Republic of China
    China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

     as the "legitimate representative of China to the United Nations"; this resulted in the 1971 replacement of the Republic of China with the People's Republic as the official representative of China.
  • Palestine
    State of Palestine
    Palestine , officially declared as the State of Palestine , is a state that was proclaimed in exile in Algiers on 15 November 1988, when the Palestine Liberation Organization's National Council adopted the unilateral Palestinian Declaration of Independence...

     is not recognised as a non-member state, but its people's representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization
    Palestine Liberation Organization
    The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

    , holds observer status as an entity and its territory is regarded as occupied by Israel
    Israeli-occupied territories
    The Israeli-occupied territories are the territories which have been designated as occupied territory by the United Nations and other international organizations, governments and others to refer to the territory seized by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967 from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria...

    .
  • Other countries are recognized by the United Nations as not being self-governing and appear on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories
    United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories
    The United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories is a list of countries that, according to the United Nations, are non-decolonized. The list was initially prepared in 1946 pursuant to Chapter XI of the United Nations Charter, and has been updated by the General Assembly on recommendation...

    , but are represented in the UN by their respective administering member state.

Former non-member observer states


Sixteen former non-member states were also granted observer status. Fourteen of those states eventually became members of the United Nations. The other two, South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

 and North Vietnam
North Vietnam
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam , was a communist state that ruled the northern half of Vietnam from 1954 until 1976 following the Geneva Conference and laid claim to all of Vietnam from 1945 to 1954 during the First Indochina War, during which they controlled pockets of territory throughout...

, united to form a single state which later became a UN member.
State Granted Ended
 Austria 1952 1955
 Bangladesh 1973 1974
 North Korea 1973 1991
1975 1976
1952 1973
 Finland 1952 1955
 German Democratic Republic 1972 1973
 Italy 1952 1955
 Japan 1952 1956
 Kuwait 1962 1963
 Monaco 1956 1993
 South Korea 1949 1991
1952 1976
 Spain 1955 1955
 Switzerland 1946 2002
 Vietnam 1976 1977

Entities and International organizations


Many intergovernmental organizations and a few other entities (non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

s and others with various degrees of statehood or sovereignty), are invited to become observers at the General Assembly. Some of them maintain a permanent office in the United Nations headquarters in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, while others do not; however, this is the choice of the organization and does not imply differences in their status.

Palestine


Since 1998 the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 is arranged for seating in the General Assembly Hall immediately after non-member States and before the other observers.
Organization or entity Date observer status was granted Entity type
Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

November 22, 1974 (A/RES/3237 (XXIX)): observer status
December 9, 1988 (A/RES/43/160): right to circulate communications without intermediary
December 15, 1988 (A/RES/43/177): designation "Palestine"
July 7, 1998 (A/RES/52/250): right to participate in general debate and additional rights
October 28, 1974: Recognized as "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

," by states of the seventh Arab summit (and later by over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations and by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

).
November 22, 1974: Recognized as competent on all matters concerning the question of Palestine by the UN General Assembly in addition to the right of the Palestinian people
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 in Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 to national independence and sovereignty
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

.
November 15, 1988: Unilaterally declared
Palestinian Declaration of Independence
The Palestinian Declaration of Independence is a statement written by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and proclaimed by Yasser Arafat on 15 November 1988. It had previously been adopted by the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization , by a vote...

 the State of Palestine
State of Palestine
Palestine , officially declared as the State of Palestine , is a state that was proclaimed in exile in Algiers on 15 November 1988, when the Palestine Liberation Organization's National Council adopted the unilateral Palestinian Declaration of Independence...

.
May 4, 1994: Established the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 territorial
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

 administration as result of the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 signed by the PLO itself, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

.

Regional organizations allowed to speak


In the resolution adopted in May 2011 granting additional rights to the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 the UNGA decided that similar arrangements may be adopted for any other regional organization
Regional organization
Regional Organisations are in a sense, international organizations , as they incorporate international membership and encompass geopolitical entities that operationally transcend a single nation state...

 that is allowed to speak on behalf of its member states.
Organization or entity Date observer status was granted Entity type
European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

Originally under the designation of European Community. The EC formally became EU in 2010 and was acknowledged by 2011.
October 11, 1974 (A/RES/3208 (XXIX)): observer status
May 10, 2011 (A/RES/65/276): additional rights
The only observer that operates through a hybrid system of intergovernmentalism
Intergovernmentalism
-A theory of regional integration:The theory is not applied on European integration which rejects the idea of neofunctionalism. The theory, initially proposed by Stanley Hoffmann suggests that national governments control the level and speed of European integration. Any increase in power at...

 and supranationalism, giving it some state like qualities. See: European Union and the United Nations
European Union and the United Nations
The European Union has been an observer member at the United Nations since 1974 and has had enhanced participation rights since 2011. The EU itself does not have voting rights but it is represented alongside its 27 members which do, two of which are permanent members of the Security Council,...

.

Intergovernmental organizations

Organization Date observer status was granted
African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States
ACP countries
The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States is a group of countries , created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. The group's main objectives are sustainable development and poverty reduction within its member states, as well as their greater integration into the world's economy...

October 15, 1981 (A/RES/36/4)
African Development Bank
African Development Bank
The African Development Bank Group is a development bank established in 1964 with the intention of promoting economic and social development in Africa...

October 28, 1987 (A/RES/42/10)
African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

 (formerly the Organisation of African Unity)
October 11, 1965 (A/RES/2011(XX))
15 August 2002 (General Assembly decision 56/475)
Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean
Treaty of Tlatelolco
The Treaty of Tlatelolco is the conventional name given to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean...

October 17, 1988 (A/RES/43/6)
Andean Community of Nations
Andean Community of Nations
The Andean Community is a customs union comprising the South American countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The trade bloc was called the Andean Pact until 1996 and came into existence with the signing of the Cartagena Agreement in 1969...

October 22, 1997 (A/RES/52/6)
Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization
Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization
The Asian–African Legal Consultative Organization is an international governmental organization formed in 1956, initially to serve as an advisory board to member states on matters on international law. It was an outgrowth of the Bandung Conference, held in Indonesia during April, 1955, which led...

 (formerly the Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee)
October 13, 1980
Asian Development Bank
Asian Development Bank
The Asian Development Bank is a regional development bank established on 22 August 1966 to facilitate economic development of countries in Asia...

November 19, 2002 (A/RES/57/30)
Association of Caribbean States
Association of Caribbean States
The Association of Caribbean States was formed with the aim of promoting consultation, cooperation, and concerted action among all the countries of the Caribbean. It comprises twenty-five member states and four associate members...

October 15, 1998 (A/RES/53/17)
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, commonly abbreviated ASEAN rarely ), is a geo-political and economic organization of ten countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, membership has...

December 4, 2006 (A/RES/61/44)
Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization October 8, 1999 (A/RES/54/5)
Caribbean Community
Caribbean Community
The Caribbean Community is an organisation of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies. CARICOM's main purposes are to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy...

October 17, 1991 (A/RES/46/8)
Central American Integration System
Central American Integration System
Central American Integration System is the economic, cultural and political organization of Central American states since February 1, 1993. It was on December 13, 1991, however, when all the countries of the ODECA signed the Protocol of Tegucigalpa which extended the earlier cooperation in search...

October 19, 1995 (A/RES/50/2)
Collective Security Treaty Organization
Collective Security Treaty Organization
The Collective Security Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance which was signed on 15 May 1992. On 7 October 2002, the Presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan signed a charter in Tashkent founding the CSTO.Nikolai Bordyuzha was appointed...

December 2, 2004 (A/RES/59/50)
Common Fund for Commodities
Common Fund for Commodities
The Common Fund for Commodities is an inter-governmental financial institution established within the framework of the United Nations. It is a vestige of the proposed New International Economic Order.-External links:*...

November 23, 2005 (A/RES/60/26)
Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union....

March 24, 1994 (A/RES/48/237)
Commonwealth Secretariat
Commonwealth Secretariat
The Commonwealth Secretariat is the main intergovernmental agency and central institution of the Commonwealth of Nations. It is responsible for facilitating cooperation between members; organising meetings, including the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings ; assisting and advising on policy...

October 18, 1976 (A/RES/31/3)
Community of Portuguese Language Countries October 26, 1999 (A/RES/54/10)
Community of Sahelo-Saharan States December 12, 2001 (A/RES/56/92)
Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia
Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia
Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia is an inter-governmental forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia...

December 6, 2007 (A/RES/62/77)
Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

October 17, 1989 (A/RES/44/6)
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf , also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council , is a political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and constituting the Arabian Peninsula, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates...

December 6, 2007 (A/RES/62/78)
East African Community
East African Community
The East African Community is an intergovernmental organisation comprising the five east African countries Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. Pierre Nkurunziza, the President of the Republic of Burundi, is the current Chairman of the East African Community. The EAC was originally...

December 9, 2003 (A/RES/58/86)
Economic Community of Central African States
Economic Community of Central African States
The Economic Community of Central African States is an Economic Community of the African Union for promotion of regional economic co-operation in Central Africa...

December 12, 2000 (A/RES/55/161)
Economic Community of West African States
Economic Community of West African States
The Economic Community of West African States is a regional group of fifteen West African countries. Founded on 28 May 1975, with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos, its mission is to promote economic integration across the region....

December 2, 2004 (A/RES/59/51)
Economic Cooperation Organization
Economic Cooperation Organization
The Economic Cooperation Organization is an intergovernmental organization involving seven Asian and three Eurasian nations, part of the South-central Asian Union. It provides a platform to discuss ways to improve development and promote trade, and investment opportunities. The ECO is an ad hoc...

October 13, 1993 (A/RES/48/2)
Eurasian Economic Community
Eurasian Economic Community
The Eurasian Economic Community originated from the Commonwealth of Independent States customs union between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan on 29 March 1996...

December 9, 2003 (A/RES/58/84)
Energy Charter Conference December 6, 2007 (A/RES/62/75)
Eurasian Development Bank
Eurasian Development Bank
Eurasian Development Bank is an international financial organization founded by the Russian Federation and the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2006.-Mission:...

December 6, 2007 (A/RES/62/76)
GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development
GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development
The GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development is a regional organization of four post-Soviet states: Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova....

December 9, 2003 (A/RES/58/85)
Hague Conference on Private International Law
Hague Conference on Private International Law
The Hague Conference on Private International Law is the preeminent organisation in the area of private international law....

November 23, 2005 (A/RES/60/27)
Ibero-American Conference November 23, 2005 (A/RES/60/28)
Indian Ocean Commission
Indian Ocean Commission
The Indian Ocean Commission , known as the Commission de l'Océan Indien in French, is an intergovernmental organization that joins Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, France , and the Seychelles together to encourage cooperation. It was started in January 1984 under the General Victoria Agreement...

December 4, 2006 (A/RES/61/43)
Inter-American Development Bank
Inter-American Development Bank
The Inter-American Development Bank is the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean...

December 12, 2000 (A/RES/55/160)
International Centre for Migration Policy Development
International Centre for Migration Policy Development
The International Centre for Migration Policy Development was established by Austria and Switzerland in 1993 and has since grown to 14 member states...

November 19, 2002 (A/RES/57/31)
International Conference on the Great Lakes Region of Africa December 16, 2009 (A/RES/64/123)
International Criminal Police Organization
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

 (Interpol)
October 15, 1996 (A/RES/51/1)
International Development Law Institute December 12, 2001 (A/RES/56/90)
International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea December 11, 2008 (A/RES/63/133)
International Hydrographic Organization
International Hydrographic Organization
The International Hydrographic Organization is the inter-governmental organisation representing the hydrographic community. It enjoys observer status at the UN and is the recognised competent authority on hydrographic surveying and nautical charting...

December 12, 2001 (A/RES/56/91)
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance is an international organization based in Stockholm. Its task is to support democracy around the world.- Aims :...

December 9, 2003 (A/RES/58/83)
International Organization for Migration
International Organization for Migration
The International Organization for Migration is an intergovernmental organization. It was initially established in 1951 as the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration to help resettle people displaced by World War II....

October 16, 1992 (A/RES/47/4)
International Organization of la Francophonie Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique
Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique
The Agence de coopération culturelle et technique was founded in 1970 and was the precursor to what is now the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie....

 became observer in 1978 and its observer status was transferred to its successor, the International Organization of la Francophonie in 1998.
November 10, 1978 (A/RES/33/18)
December 18, 1998 (General Assembly decision 53/453)
International Seabed Authority
International Seabed Authority
The International Seabed Authority is an intergovernmental body based in Kingston, Jamaica, that was established to organize and control all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, an area underlying most of the world’s oceans...

October 24, 1996 (A/RES/51/6)
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an intergovernmental organization created by the mandate of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. It was established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, signed at Montego Bay, Jamaica, on December 10, 1982...

December 17, 1996 (A/RES/51/204)
International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (or the World Conservation Union) December 17, 1999 (A/RES/54/195)
Islamic Development Bank Group March 28, 2007 (A/RES/61/259)
Italian-Latin American Institute December 6, 2007 (A/RES/62/74)
Latin American Economic System
Latin American Economic System
The Latin American and the Caribbean Economic System, officially known as Sistema Económico Latinoamericano y del Caribe , is an organization founded in 1975 to promote economic cooperation and social development between Latin American and the Caribbean countries...

 (SELA)
October 13, 1980 (A/RES/35/3)
Latin American Integration Association
Latin American Integration Association
The Asociación Latinoamericana de Integración is a Latin American trade integration association, based in Montevideo. Its main objective is the establishment of a common market, in pursuit of the economic and social development of the region...

November 23, 2005 (A/RES/60/25)
Latin American Parliament
Latin American Parliament
The Latin American Parliament , is a regional, permanent organization composed by the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a consultative assembly similar to the early European Parliament...

October 13, 1993 (A/RES/48/4)
League of Arab States November 1, 1950 (A/RES/477 (V))
OPEC Fund for International Development
OPEC Fund for International Development
The OPEC Fund for International Development is a multilateral development finance institution established in 1976 by the Member Countries of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries...

December 4, 2006 (A/RES/61/42)
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development October 15, 1998 (A/RES/53/6)
Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States , created in 1981, is an inter-governmental organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance between countries and dependencies in the Eastern Caribbean...

December 2, 2004 (A/RES/59/52)
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe October 13, 1993 (A/RES/48/5)
Organization of American States
Organization of American States
The Organization of American States is a regional international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States...

October 16, 1948 (A/RES/253 (III))
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (formerly the Organisation of the Islamic Conference) October 10, 1975 (A/RES/3369 (XXX))
Pacific Islands Forum
Pacific Islands Forum
The Pacific Islands Forum is an inter-governmental organization that aims to enhance cooperation between the independent countries of the Pacific Ocean. It was founded in 1971 as the South Pacific Forum...

October 17, 1994 (A/RES/49/1)
Partners in Population and Development
Partners in Population and Development
The Partners in Population and Development is an intergovernmental alliance of twenty-four 'developing' countries. They hold a permanent observer seat in the United Nations General Assembly. They have an Africa Regional Office in Kampala, Uganda and a China Country Office...

November 19, 2002 (A/RES/57/29)
Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean December 16, 2009 (A/RES/64/124)
Permanent Court of Arbitration
Permanent Court of Arbitration
The Permanent Court of Arbitration , is an international organization based in The Hague in the Netherlands.-History:The court was established in 1899 as one of the acts of the first Hague Peace Conference, which makes it the oldest institution for international dispute resolution.The creation of...

October 13, 1993 (A/RES/48/3)
Regional Centre on Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States December 6, 2007 (A/RES/62/73)
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation December 2, 2004 (A/RES/59/48)
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is an organisation of South Asian nations, founded in December 1985 by Ziaur Rahman and dedicated to economic, technological, social, and cultural development emphasising collective self-reliance. Its seven founding members are Bangladesh,...

December 2, 2004 (A/RES/59/53)
Southern African Development Community
Southern African Development Community
The Southern African Development Community is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states...

December 2, 2004 (A/RES/59/49)
South Centre
South Centre (organization)
South Centre is an intergovernmental organization of developing countries, established by an intergovernmental Agreement , which came into force on 31 July 1995, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland...

December 11, 2008 (A/RES/63/131)
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is an international financing organization that aims to "[a]ttract and disburse additional resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria." A public–private partnership, the organization has its secretariat in Geneva,...

December 16, 2009 (A/RES/64/122)
University for Peace
University for Peace
The University for Peace was established in Costa Rica in 1980 "to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace and with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence."At present, the UPEACE Costa...

December 11, 2008 (A/RES/63/132)
World Customs Organization
World Customs Organization
The World Customs Organization is an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. With its worldwide membership, the WCO is recognized as the voice of the global customs community...

 (formerly the Customs Cooperation Council)
March 23, 1999 (A/RES/53/216)

Other entities

Organization or entity Date observer status was granted Entity type
International Committee of the Red Cross
International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross is a private humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland. States parties to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005, have given the ICRC a mandate to protect the victims of international and...

October 16, 1990 (A/RES/45/6) private Swiss association with some special privileges and legal immunities
Immunity
-Medicine:* Immunity , resistance of an organism to infection or disease.* Immunity , a scientific journal published by Cell Press-Law:*Amnesty law, immunity from past crimes...

 equating to defacto sovereignty.The ICRC is private association registered in Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, that is enjoying various degrees of special privileges and legal immunities
Immunity
-Medicine:* Immunity , resistance of an organism to infection or disease.* Immunity , a scientific journal published by Cell Press-Law:*Amnesty law, immunity from past crimes...

 in many countries and in cases like Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 these are considered to constitute a de facto sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

.

Entrusted responsibilities under the Geneva Conventions
Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is a humanitarian institution that is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement along with the ICRC and 186 distinct National Societies...

October 19, 1994 (A/RES/49/2) federation
Federation (disambiguation)
-Use in political science:*Federation, a state governed under the system of federalism**Federated school, a model of governance used by some educational institutions which is also analogous to a political federation...

 of national societies
International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission December 16, 2009 (A/RES/64/121) commission with impartial members.
Entrusted responsibilities under the Geneva Conventions
Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

.
Inter-Parliamentary Union November 19, 2002 (A/RES/57/32) organization
International organization
An intergovernmental organization, sometimes rendered as an international governmental organization and both abbreviated as IGO, is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states , or of other intergovernmental organizations...

 of national parliaments
International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

September 13, 2004 (A/RES/58/318) international court
International court
International courts are formed by treaties between nations, or under the authority of an international organization such as the United Nations — this includes ad hoc tribunals and permanent institutions, but excludes any courts arising purely under national authority.Early examples of...

International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

October 20, 2009 (A/RES/64/3) sports federation of national committees
National Olympic Committee
National Olympic Committees are the national constituents of the worldwide Olympic movement. Subject to the controls of the International Olympic Committee, they are responsible for organizing their people's participation in the Olympic Games...

Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta August 24, 1994 (A/RES/48/265) a sovereign
Sovereign
A sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority within its jurisdiction.Sovereign may also refer to:*Monarch, the sovereign of a monarchy*Sovereign Bank, banking institution in the United States*Sovereign...

 entity not claiming statehood
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...


Former observer entities

  • South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), in the period of 1976 - 1990 (observer with right to circulate communications without intermediary, formerly a liberation movement
    Liberation movement
    A liberation movement is an organization leading a rebellion against a colonial power or national government, often seeking independence based on a nationalist identity and an anti-imperialist outlook.-See also:*Anti-imperialism...

     in Namibia
    Namibia
    Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

    , currently a political party
    Political party
    A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

    )


European Union


While the EU is an observer, it is party to some 50 international UN agreements as the only non-state participant. It is a full participant on the Commission on Sustainable Development
Commission on Sustainable Development
The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development was established in December 1992 by General Assembly Resolution as a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council, implementing a recommendation in of Agenda 21, the landmark global agreement reached at the June 1992 United...

, the Forum on Forests
United Nations Forum on Forests
The United Nations Forum on Forests ' is a high-level intergovernmental policy forum, composed of all United Nations Member States.-History:...

 and the Food and Agriculture Organization
Food and Agriculture Organization
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and...

. It has also been a full participant at certain UN summits, such as the Rio and Kyoto summits on climate change, including hosting a summit. Furthermore, the EU delegation maintains close relations with the UN's aid bodies. In 2011 the EU was granted enhanced powers in the General Assembly; the right to speak in debates, to submit proposals and amendments, the right of reply, to raise points of order and to circulate documents. These rights were also made open to other international organizations who requested them.

See also

  • List of current Permanent Representatives to the United Nations
  • UN ECOSOC observers

:Category:United Nations General Assembly observers

External links