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Types of organization: Type I

Types of organization: Type I
 
 
The Yearbook attempts to cover all “international organizations”, according to a broad range of criteria. It therefore includes many bodies that may be perceived as not being fully international, or as not being organizations as such, or as not being of sufficient significance to merit inclusion. Such bodies are nevertheless included, so as to enable users to make their own evaluation in the light of their own criteria.
 
To assist this evaluation, the editors have developed a hierarchical typology, assigning each organization to one of 15 types. All of these types include both intergovernmental and non-governmental international organizations. (See below for a discussion of the terms “intergovernmental” and “non-governmental”.) The 15 types are designated by an upper case letter:
 
 

 
Type A: Federations of international organizations
 
An organization is classified as Type A if:
  • its membership includes at least three autonomous international bodies.
An organization is not classified as Type A if:
  • it meets the criteria for another Type more closely than it meets the criteria for this Type;
  • its membership includes only regional organizations;
  • its membership is limited to international organizations linked to a particular place or organization or people;
  • its membership is limited to non-autonomous commissions or sections of one or more international organizations;
  • its international organizational membership is of secondary importance (eg “associate members”);
  • its preoccupation or field of activity is limited to one region or continent;
  • it is in some way a “joint committee”, created to liaise between international organizations;
  • it has been created by one or more international organizations which then themselves become members of it.
The United Nations is included in Type A because of its focal role in relation to the specialized agencies; these can be seen as “members” of the UN system.
 
“Umbrella” organizations which have national organizations as an additional membership category may also be included here.
 

 
Type B: Universal membership organizations
 
An organization is classified as Type B if:
  • its membership covers at least 60 countries regardless of distribution, or if its membership covers at least 30 countries and is equitably distributed over several continents (the fewer the number of countries represented, the greater must be the number of continents represented);
  • its management structure and its activities reflect its membership in terms of geographical distribution and balance.
An organization is not classified as Type B if:
  • it meets the criteria for another Type more closely than it meets the criteria for this Type;
  • its title mentions any term effectively restricting its membership or activities to a particular group of countries or particular group of people (eg Commonwealth, French-speaking);
  • it is universal in aims or activities only.

 
Type C: Intercontinental membership organizations
 
An organization is classified as Type C if:
  • its membership and preoccupations exceed that of a particular continental region though not to the degree of justifying its inclusion in Type B;
  • its membership covers at least 10 countries and is equitably distributed over at least two continents;
  • its management structure and its activities reflect its membership in terms of geographical distribution and balance.
An organization is not classified as Type C if:
  • it meets the criteria for another Type more closely than it meets the criteria for this Type;
  • its title mentions any term effectively restricting its membership or activities to a single continental region or contiguous group of countries (eg European, Inter-American, Mediterranean).

 
Type D: Regionally defined membership organizations
 
An organization is classified as Type D if:
  • its membership and preoccupations are restricted to a particular continental or sub-continental region or contiguous group of countries;
  • its membership covers at least 3 countries or includes at least 3 autonomous international bodies;
  • its title mentions a single continental region or contiguous group of countries (eg European, Inter-American, Mediterranean) regardless of membership.
An organization is not classified as Type D if:
  • it meets the criteria for another Type more closely than it meets the criteria for this Type;
  • its title mentions another organization or a particular place or person.

 
Type E: Organizations emanating from places, persons or other bodies
 
An organization is classified as Type E if:
  • it can be considered as an “emanation” of another organization or of a place, person or proprietary product, regardless of membership;
  • its title incorporates, in any way, the name of another organization (excepting intergovernmental organizations that are the subject of a special multi-lateral treaty, eg the FAO);
  • provision is made for its creation in the statutes of another organization though it nonetheless functions autonomously (non-autonomous bodies being included in Type K);
  • it is in some way a “joint committee”, created to liaise between international organizations, functioning autonomously;
  • it is a centre or institute created by intergovernmental bodies, possibly by agreement with a particular government;
  • it is especially identified with a particular physical location and its activities are largely determined by that location (eg training courses, experimental stations);
  • it is specifically concerned with a single country (NB an organization specifically concerned with a single language, though it may be spoken in a single country, is not necessarily classified as Type E).
An organization is not classified as Type E if:
  • it meets the criteria for another Type more closely than it meets the criteria for this Type;
  • it does not function at least semi-autonomously.

 
Type F: Organizations having a special form
 
An organization is classified as Type F if:
  • its formal characteristics would cause fundamental questions to be raised were it included in one of the preceding Types;
  • it has international dimensions which make it equivalent to a more conventional international organization;
  • its special nature is implied by the presence of certain terms in its title, whether or not the use of such terms is in effect a misnomer; such terms include:
    • Activities: campaign, programme, project, service, survey
    • Arbitration and legislation: court, parliament, tribunal
    • Buildings: laboratory, library, museum, observatory
    • Collections: cultures, gene bank, organ bank, reserve
    • Education: college, school, training institute, university
    • Financing: bank, clearing house, foundation, fund, trust
    • Information: data network, information system, inventory, registry
    • Media and entertainment: news agency, orchestra, radio
    • Military: army, brigade, corps, force
    • Politics: international party or group, international movement
    • Semi-formal groupings: club, community, governmental grouping, movement, network
    • Treaty-oriented: agreement, intellectual property unions, treaty
    • Trade: common market, free trade zone, monetary zone
  • it is a patronage body, eg under pontifical or royal charter, or is headed by a charismatic leader (unless more appropriate to classify it as Type R);
  • it includes a significant membership of exiled groups from named countries;
  • it is a “quasi” organization, possibly without a well-defined secretariat or structure (eg Group of 8), sometimes even a non-existent organization nonetheless recognized in common usage (eg World Bank Group);
  • it is an unusual, possibly illegal or questionable, body.
An organization is not classified as Type F if:
  • it meets the criteria for another Type more closely than it meets the criteria for this Type;
  • it does not function at least semi-autonomously.

 
Type G: Internationally-oriented national organizations
 
An organization is classified as Type G if:
  • it is a bilateral governmental body;
  • its membership or management structure is limited to a single country, yet its name or activities indicate an international character;
  • it has been granted consultative status by a body of the UN system;
  • it is formally linked to an international organization included in one of the preceding Types (eg as a member, a funder, a partner).
An organization is not classified as Type G if:
  • it meets the criteria for another Type more closely than it meets the criteria for this Type;
  • it has no links with an organization included in one of the preceding Types and is not a bilateral governmental body.

 
Type H: Inactive or dissolved international organizations
 
An organization is classified as Type H if:
  • it has been dissolved, has been inactive for several years (that is, there has been no indication of activity for several years), or is dormant for a period of years;
  • as an active body it was or would have been classified as Type A, B, C or D, or if it was or would have been intergovernmental.
An organization is not classified as Type H if:
  • it meets the criteria for another Type more closely than it meets the criteria for this Type.

 
Type J: Recently reported or proposed international organizations
 
An organization is classified as Type J if:
  • the information available is insufficient to enable classification as another Type, usually because its creation has only recently been reported, or because its creation has been proposed but has not yet taken place.
An organization is not classified as Type J if:
  • it meets the criteria for another Type more closely than it meets the criteria for this Type.

 
Type K: Subsidiary and internal bodies
 
An organization is classified as Type K if:
  • it is a substantive unit with a complex international organization;
  • it has a degree of autonomy which, if it had more independent activities, would allow it to be classified as another Type (usually Type E or F).
An organization is not classified as Type K if:
  • it meets the criteria for another Type more closely than it meets the criteria for this Type.

 
Type N: National organizations
 
An organization is classified as Type N if:
  • its membership or management structure is essentially limited to a single country, yet its title or activities make it appear to be international;
  • it appears on public information lists of a body of the UN system.
An organization is not classified as Type N if:
  • it meets the criteria for another Type more closely than it meets the criteria for this Type;
  • it has links with an organization included in another Type.

 
Type R: Religious orders, fraternities and secular institutes
 
An organization is classified as Type R if:
  • it is a religious, military or fraternal order, or is a similar body based on charismatic leadership or commitment to a set of religious practices;
  • its membership covers at least 3 countries;
  • though not widely active now, it has a historical significance (the older the body, the relaxed the criteria).
An organization is not classified as Type R if:
  • it meets the criteria for another Type more closely than it meets the criteria for this Type.

 
Type S: Autonomous conference series
 
A conference series is classified as Type S if:
  • while not being an organization as such, it represents a continuing series of international meetings;
  • the series has a name which could be assumed to refer to an international body.
A conference series is not classified as Type S if:
  • it meets the criteria for another Type more closely than it meets the criteria for this Type;
  • a more conventional or formal organization, whether national or international, is responsible for the series.

 
Type T: Multilateral treaties and agreements
 
A treaty is classified as Type T if:
  • while not being an organization as such, it is a multilateral treaty, convention, agreement, pact, protocol or covenant signed by at least 3 parties, whether States or intergovernmental organizations.
A treaty is not classified as Type T if:
  • it is a peace treaty for a specific war or for the consequences of a specific war;
  • it pertains to the relations between two countries under the auspices of an intergovernmental agency (eg the transfer of uranium, the resolution of border issues);
  • regardless of the number of signatories, its articles pertain to one country or one event.

 
Type U: Inactive or dissolved non-conventional bodies
 
An organization is classified as Type U if:
  • it has been dissolved, has been inactive for several years (that is, there has been no indication of activity for several years), or is dormant for a period of years;
  • as an active body it was or would have been classified as a Type other than Type A, B, C or D.
An organization is not classified as Type U if:
  • it meets the criteria for another Type more closely than it meets the criteria for this Type;
  • as an active body it was or would have been intergovernmental.


 
The significance and chief characteristics of these 15 upper case letters (as determined by information regarding membership and structure) are the following. 
 
Structure Management
and policy-
making
organs reflect a well-
balanced
geographical
distribution
(cf membership)
Management
and policy-
making
organs reflect a well-
balanced
geographical
distribution
(cf membership)
Management
and policy-
making
organs reflect a well-
balanced
geographical
distribution
(cf membership)
Management
and policy-
making
organs reflect a well-
balanced
geographical
distribution
(cf membership)
Reference to,
and to some
degree
limited by, another
international
organiation,
or a person,
or a place
Non-formal,
unconventional
or unusual
Management
and policy-
making organs
reflect participation of
only one or
two countries;
formal links with at least
one other
international
organization
While active,
classified as
Types A, B,
C or D
Type J is a
temporary
allocation.
Organizations of Type J are
reallocated to
the
appropriate
Type
whenever
sufficient
information is
obtained.
Substantive
unit with a
degree of
autonomy within
another
organization
Management
and policy-
making
organs reflect participation
of only one
country; no
formal links
with other
international
organization
Based on
charismatic
leadership
or a commitment
to a set of
(religious)
practices
No
continuing
structure
No structure.
(If an
organization
is established
to
implement
or otherwise
take
responsibility
for the
treaty, that
organization
is normally
classified as
Type E.)
While active,
classified as
Types other
than A, B, C
or D
Membership Includes at
least 3
international
organizations
From either
at least 60
countries or
at least 30
countries in
at least 2
continents
and with a
well-
balanced
geographical
distribution
From at least
10 countries in
at least 2
continents with
a well-
balanced
geographical
distribution
From at least
3 countries
within one
continental
or sub-
continental
region
No criteria No criteria No criteria No criteria No criteria No criteria No criteria No criteria At least 3
signatories
No criteria
Description Federations
of
international
organizations
Universal
membership
organizations
Intercontinental
membership
organizations
Regionally
defined
membership
organizations
Organizations
emanating
from
places,
persons or
other bodies
Organizations
having a
special form
Internationally-
oriented
national
organizations
Inactive or
dissolved
international
organizations
Recently
reported or
proposed
international
organizations
Subsidiary
and internal
bodies
National
organizations
Religious
orders,
fraternities,
and secular
institutes
Autonomous
conference
series
Multilateral
treaties and
agreements
Currently
inactive non-
conventional
organizations
 

 
TYPE 1: COMPARATIVE CHARACTERISTICS
 

Types A to D are generally “conventional” organizations.

 

Types E, F, G, H and N have less predictable characteristics.

 

Aims The aims must be genuinely international in character, with the intention to cover operations in at least three countries. Hence such bodies as the International Action Committee for Safeguarding the Nubian Monuments or the Anglo-Swedish Society are generally excluded. Societies devoted solely to commemorating particular individuals are therefore likewise ineligible, even if they have made major contributions to the international community. Aims If the title of the organization suggests that the aims may be international in character, it is included. This applies whether or not the activities are concerned with a particular sub-national geographical area or with the link between a particular country and one or more other countries. Organizations which are obviously bilateral are excluded (except in the case of intergovernmental bodies), although national or bilateral organizations with international programmes (e.g. aid programmes) may be included.
Members There must be individual or collective participation, with full voting rights, from at least three countries. Membership must be open to any appropriately qualified individual or entity in the organization’s area of operations. Closed groups are therefore excluded, although the situation becomes ambiguous when only one member is allowed per country by the organization, thus effectively closing the organization to other qualified groups in that country. Voting power must be such that no one national group can control the organization. National organizations which accept foreigners as members are therefore usually excluded, as are religious orders or communities governed on a hierarchical basis, and also informal social movements. Members If the title of an organization suggests that its membership may be international in character, it is included. Bodies which are clearly national in character are however excluded even if they have foreign members (except bodies which are recognized by an intergovernmental organization for purposes of consultation). No account is taken of the manner in which members participate in the control of the organization, if at all. Non-membership organizations may therefore be included.
Structure The Constitution must provide for a formal structure giving members the right periodically to elect a governing body and officers. There must be permanent headquarters and provision made for continuity of operation. Structure No account is taken of the formal structure, if any. Informal social movements and ad hoc bodies are, however, excluded unless there is a permanent office and continuity over a period of more that a year.
Officers The fact that for a period the officers are all of the same nationality, to facilitate management operations, does not necessarily disqualify the organization, but in this case there should be rotation at designated intervals of headquarters and officers among the various member countries. Officers No account is taken of the nationality of the elected or appointed officers of the organization.
Finance Substantial contributions to the budget must come from at least three countries. There must be no attempt to make profits for distribution to members. This does not exclude organizations which exist in order to help members themselves to make more profits or better their economic situation (e.g. trade unions or trade associations); but it does exclude international business enterprises, investment houses or cartels. The distinction between a trade association and a cartel is often unclear; in practice the external relations of the body are used as a guideline. Finance No account is taken of the source of the organization’s finance. National foundations distributing funds internationally may therefore be included. Profit-making organizations may be included but only when they appear (from the title) to be non-profit-making (and international) in character; multinational governmental enterprises are included. Liner/shipping/freight conferences are only included when the name could be confused with a conventional organization.
Relations with other organizations Entities formally connected with another organization are included if there is evidence that they lead an independent life and elect their own officers. Internal or subsidiary committees, appointed by and reporting to one of the structural units of a given organization, are excluded. Relations with other organizations Bodies which have some special organic or legal connection to another organization (by which they may have been created) are included here rather than in Types A to D. This applies particularly to functional and regional bodies of large organizations, but normally only when the title would appear to imply that they are independent, or where the degree of autonomy is unclear.
Activities Evidence of current activity must be available; organizations which appear to have been inactive for over four years are eventually treated as “dissolved” or “dormant” (and transferred to Type H). Activities Evidence of current activity must be available. Organizations which have been in Types A to D at some stage but have since become inactive or have ceased to exist are however included. Organizations in process of formation may also be included.
Other criteria For all types, no stipulations are made as to size or “importance”, whether in terms of number of members, degree of activity or financial strength. No organization is excluded on political or ideological grounds, nor are fields of interest or activity taken into consideration. The geographical location of the headquarters and the terminology used in the organization’s name (whether “committee”, “council”, etc.) have likewise been held to be irrelevant in the determination of eligibility.
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