International non-governmental organization

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An international non-governmental organization ( English International Nongovernmental Organization , INGO ) of the as defined Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) in its resolution 288 (X) of 27 February 1950 "any international organization that is not through an intergovernmental agreement concluded comes ".

To the subject

The international non-governmental organizations, along with the international governmental organizations  (IGO), represent one of the two major groups of international organizations  (IO). In the sociological-political-scientific and popular-media fields, these private law associations are also referred to only as international organizations and include in particular non-governmental organizations and groups who engage in non-profit areas such as social work , environmental protection , animal welfare , education , cultural exchange or human rights worldwide (civil society international organizations) . The more comprehensive definition also includes umbrella organizations of national organizations including state organizations or state-sponsored companies that are not based on agreements or international treaties, as well as international professional associations and the like. In the broadest sense, however, one also includes internationally active commercial enterprises ( multinational companies MNOs, business INGOs ).

Legal status

The Euro Europe put 1986 European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International NGOs (ETS No .: 124) before. It came into force in 1991 and ratification began. Around a quarter of the member states have acceded to this convention on the legal status of international non-governmental organizations. (In contrast to other German-speaking nations, the Federal Republic of Germany is not included. As of summer 2017)

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is legally a non-governmental organization due to its founding as a private association under Swiss law - as are the national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. However, due to its prominent position which it accords on the basis of the Geneva Conventions (signed by states) , it is regarded as a traditional subject of international law .

Organization, NGO research and education

Probably the world's largest catalog of international non-governmental organizations and other international associations is provided by the Union des Associations Internationales, which was founded in 1910 by Paul Otlet and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Henri La Fontaine and has its headquarters in Brussels.

For example, the conference of international non-governmental organizations of the Council of Europe has offered a platform for NGOs to participate in international politics since 1952 .

A specialized subject Modern Management for Non Profit Organizations is available at the University of Geneva as a Certificate of Advanced Studies  (CAS)


  • Union of International Associations (Ed.): Yearbook of International Organizations . Five volumes. 43rd edition, KG Saur, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-598-24528-9 .
  • Daniel A. Bell, Jean-Marc Coicaud (Eds.): Ethics in Action: The Ethical Challenges of International Human Rights Nongovernmental Organizations. Cambridge 2007, ISBN 978-0-521-68449-1 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Archive link ( Memento of the original from August 26, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. : ECOSOC: Resolution February 7th - March 6th.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. See also the definition in Article 1 of the European Agreement on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organizations .
  3. European Agreement on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organizations (ETS No. 124). Treaty open for signature by member states and accession by non-member states. Treaty Office of the Council of Europe, January 1, 1991, accessed on July 29, 2014 (German).
  4. Total number of ratifications. European Agreement on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organizations (ETS No. 124). Contract Office of the Council of Europe, accessed on July 29, 2014 (German).
  5. ^ University of Geneva: Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) “Modern Management for Non Profit Organizations”