In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, some issues are too big for countries to handle on their own. Countries need to work together, and they do so in part through international organizations that encourage cooperation and diplomatic resolutions to global problems.

This is an introduction to six of the world's most important international organizations. Many of these organizations are discussed in detail under other Global Era topics such as trade, terrorism, and global health.

International Organizations

Click on an organization to learn more about it.

The need for continued cooperation

As the issues tackled on a global level evolve, international institutions need to adapt. The WTO has been criticized for not updating its rules to meet the needs of new technological developments; the United Nations Security Council has been critiqued for preserving an outdated balance of power; and concerns abound over the jurisdiction of the ICC. More generally, critics are concerned that international institutions such as these require too much coordination to be nimble enough to respond to urgent issues. 

Still, organizations that foster international cooperation are in place to help countries navigate potentially volatile issues diplomatically. In a world that’s more connected than ever before, institutions like these have an important role to play.

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