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List of International Organisations and Headquarters [PDF]

The headquarters of international organisations and the year of their establishment are crucial knowledge for UPSC aspirants. By understanding the typology of these organisations, their roles, and the strategic locations of their headquarters, candidates can enhance their preparation for the UPSC examination, particularly the International Relations section.

In today’s interconnected world, international organisations play a pivotal role in shaping the global agenda, fostering stronger political ties, and facilitating the implementation of crucial development programs. These multilateral institutions have been established through extensive negotiations, with the primary objective of defining global goals, enacting international laws, and formulating policies that address the needs of diverse nations. By providing a platform for member states to discuss, negotiate, and ultimately reach consensus on pressing issues, these organisations have become indispensable in resolving conflicts and addressing challenges that transcend national borders.

Understanding the Typology of International Organisations

International organisations can be broadly categorised into three distinct types: Intergovernmental Organisations, International Non-Governmental Organisations, and Multinational Enterprises. Intergovernmental Organisations, such as the United Nations, are established by governments and serve as forums for member states to collaborate on a wide range of issues. International Non-Governmental Organisations, like Amnesty International, operate independently of governments and focus on specific areas of concern, often advocating for social, economic, or environmental causes. Multinational Enterprises, on the other hand, are private-sector entities that engage in cross-border economic activities, shaping global trade and investment patterns.

The Significance of International Organisations for UPSC Aspirants

The headquarters of various international organisations and their respective years of establishment are a crucial topic for UPSC aspirants. This knowledge holds immense significance, as it forms a substantial part of the International Relations section in the General Studies Paper-2 Syllabus. Additionally, questions related to international organisations and their headquarters are frequently asked in both the UPSC Preliminary and Mains examinations, underscoring the importance of this subject matter for successful IAS preparation.

Headquarters of Major International Organisations

To provide a comprehensive understanding, we have compiled a detailed list of prominent international organisations and their respective headquarters:

United Nations (UN) and its Specialised Agencies

  • United Nations (UN) – Headquarters: New York, United States of America (1945)
  • United Nations Security Council – Headquarters: New York, United States of America (1945)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – Headquarters: Paris, France (1945)
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Headquarters: New York, United States of America (1965)
  • United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) – Headquarters: New York, United States of America (1946)
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) – Headquarters: New York, United States of America (1969)
  • United Nations World Tourism Organization – Headquarters: Madrid, Spain (1974)
  • United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) – Headquarters: Turin, Italy (1968)
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization – Headquarters: Vienna, Austria (1966)
  • UN Women – Headquarters: New York, United States of America (2010)
  • UN Habitat – Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya (1978)

Economic and Financial Organisations

  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) – Headquarters: Washington D.C., United States of America (1944)
  • World Bank Group (IBRD, IDA, IFC) – Headquarters: Washington D.C., United States of America (1944)
  • Bank for International Settlements (BIS) – Headquarters: Basel, Switzerland (1930)
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – Headquarters: Paris, France (1961)
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) – Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines (1966)
  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) – Headquarters: Beijing, China (2016)
  • New Development Bank (NDB) – Headquarters: Shanghai, China (2015)

Trade and Commerce Organisations

  • World Trade Organization (WTO) – Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland (1995)
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – Headquarters: Paris, France (1919)
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) – Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland (1947)

Specialised Agencies

  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – Headquarters: Rome, Italy (1945)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO) – Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland (1919)
  • World Health Organization (WHO) – Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland (1948)
  • International Maritime Organization (IMO) – Headquarters: London, United Kingdom (1948)
  • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) – Headquarters: Montreal, Canada (1947)
  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland (1865)
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland (1967)

Regional Organisations

  • European Union (EU) – Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium (1993)
  • African Union (AU) – Headquarters: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2002)
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia (1967)
  • South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) – Headquarters: Kathmandu, Nepal (1985)
  • Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Headquarters: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (1981)
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) – Headquarters: Beijing, China (2001)
  • Commonwealth of Nations – Headquarters: London, United Kingdom (1931)

Specialised Organisations

  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – Headquarters: Vienna, Austria (1957)
  • International Criminal Court (ICC) – Headquarters: The Hague, Netherlands (2002)
  • International Court of Justice (ICJ) – Headquarters: The Hague, Netherlands (1945)
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM) – Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland (1951)
  • Interpol – Headquarters: Lyon, France (1923)
  • International Olympic Committee (IOC) – Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland (1894)

Environmental and Energy Organisations

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya (1972)
  • International Energy Agency (IEA) – Headquarters: Paris, France (1974)
  • International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) – Headquarters: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (2009)
  • International Seabed Authority – Headquarters: Kingston, Jamaica (1994)

Security and Defence Organisations

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium (1949)
  • Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – Headquarters: The Hague, Netherlands (1997)
  • Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) – Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan (1987)

India’s Membership in International Organisations

As a prominent member of the global community, India is part of numerous international organisations, each providing financial assistance and supporting the country’s development initiatives. Some of the key international organisations that India is a member of include:

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • African Development Bank (AfDB)
  • Commonwealth of Nations
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
  • International Development Association (IDA)
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • International Maritime Organization (IMO)
  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  • Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
  • South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
  • United Nations (UN)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • World Trade Organization (WTO)

Mnemonics and Tricks to Remember Headquarters

To help you easily recall the headquarters of various international organisations, we have devised some helpful mnemonics and tricks:

Organisations with Headquarters in London

Remember the mnemonic “I Am a Common man in London”:

  • I – International Maritime Organization (IMO)
  • Am – Amnesty International
  • Common – Commonwealth of Nations
  • Common – Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization

Organisations with Headquarters in New York

Remember the phrase “UN Child Emergency in New York”:

  • UN – United Nations Organization
  • Child – United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
  • Emergency – United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Organisations with Headquarters in Vienna, Austria

Organisations involved in “industrial development,” “petroleum,” or “atomic” matters often have their headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

UN Organizations

Organizations NameAbbreviationHeadquartersFormation
United NationsUNNew York City, USA1945
Food and Agriculture OrganizationFAOPalazzo FAO, Rome, Italy1945
International Labour OrganizationILOGeneva, Switzerland1919
International Civil Aviation OrganizationICAOMontreal, Quebec, Canada1947
International Maritime OrganizationIMOLondon, United Kingdom1959
United Nations High Commissioner for RefugeesUNHCR Geneva, Switzerland1950
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDSUNAIDSGeneva, Switzerland1996
United Nations Atomic Energy CommissionUNAECNew York City, USA1946
United Nations Capital Development FundUNCDFNew York City, USA 
United Nations Children’s FundUNICEFNew York City, USA1946
United Nations Development ProgrammeUNDPNew York City, USA1965
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO Paris, France1946
United Nations Environment ProgrammeUNEPNairobi, Kenya1972
United Nations Human Settlements ProgrammeUN-Habitat Nairobi, Kenya1978
United Nations Industrial Development OrganizationUNIDOVienna, Austria1985
United Nations International Strategy for Disaster ReductionUNISDRGeneva, Switzerland2000
United Nations Office on Drugs and CrimeUNODCVienna, Austria1997
Universal Postal UnionUPUBern, Switzerland1874
World Health OrganizationWHOGeneva, Switzerland1948
World Intellectual Property OrganizationWIPOGeneva, Switzerland1967
World Food ProgrammeWFPRome, Italy1961
World Meteorological OrganizationWMOGeneva, Switzerland1950
World Tourism OrganizationUNWTOMadrid, Spain1957
International Rescue CommitteeIRCNew York City, United States1933
International Atomic Energy AgencyIAEAVienna, Austria1957
International Telecommunication UnionITUGeneva, Switzerland1947
Office of the High Commissioner for Human RightsOHCHRGeneva, Switzerland1993

Political and Economic Organizations

Organizations NameAbbreviationHeadquartersFormation
European UnionEUBrussels1958
African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of StatesACPBrussels – Belgium1975
African UnionAUAddis Ababa, Johannesburg2001y
Andean CommunityCANLima, Peru.1969
Arab League(League of Arab States)Cairo1905y
Arab Maghreb UnionAMURabat, Morocco1956
Asia-Pacific Economic CooperationAPECSingapore1905y
Association of Southeast Asian NationsASEANJakarta, Indonesia1967
Caribbean CommunityCARICOMGeorgetown, Guyana.1973
Central American ParliamentPARLACENGuatemala City1980
Common Market of East and Southern AfricaCOMESALusaka, Zambia1994
Commonwealth of Nations   (British Commonwealth)London, United Kingdom1926
 Commonwealth of Independent States (Russian Commonwealth)CISMoscow, Russian1991
Council of EuropeCoEStrasbourg, France1949
East African CommunityEACArusha1967
Economic Community of West African StatesECOWASAbuja, Nigeria1975
European Free Trade AssociationEFTAGeneva, Switzerland1960
Gulf Cooperation CouncilGCCRiyadh, Saudi Arabia1981
Indian Ocean Commission IOCPort Louis, Mauritius1982
Non-Aligned MovementNAMNew York City, USA1961
Nordic CouncilCopenhagen, Denmark1952
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and DevelopmentOECDParis, France1948
Organization for Security and Co-operation in EuropeOSCEVienna, Austria1973
Organization of American StatesOASWashington, D.C.1948
Organisation of Eastern Caribbean StatesOECSCastries, Saint Lucia1981
Organisation of Islamic CooperationOIC Jeddah, Saudi Arabia1969
Secretariat of the Pacific CommunitySPCNouméa1947
Pacific Islands Forum –Suva, Fiji1971
South Asian Association for Regional CooperationSAARCKathmandu, Nepal1985
Southern African Development CommunitySADCGaborone, Botswana1992
Union of South American NationsUSANQuito, Ecuador2004
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples OrganizationUNPO The Hague, Netherlands1991
World Trade OrganizationWTOGeneva, Switzerland1995
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the PacificESCAPBangkok, Thailand1947

Military Organizations

Organizations NameAbbreviationHeadquartersFormation
North Atlantic Treaty OrganisationNATOBrussels, Belgium1949
European Security and Defence PolicyESDPParis 
Shanghai Cooperation OrganisationSCOBeijing, China1996
Collective Security Treaty OrganizationCSTO Moscow, Russia1992
Peace and Security CouncilPSCAddis Ababa 

Financial Organizations

Organizations NameAbbreviationHeadquartersFormation
World BankWashington D.C., United States1944
African Development BankAfDBAbidjan, Ivory Coast(statutory) & Tunis, Tunisia (temporary)1963
Asian Development BankADBMetro Manila, Philippines1966
European Bank for Reconstruction and DevelopmentEBRDLondon1991
Inter-American Development Bank IDBWashington, D.C.1959
International Monetary FundIMFWashington, D.C1945
Islamic Development BankIDBJeddah, Saudi Arabia1973
International Monetary FundIMFWashington, D.C., United States1945
International Fund for Agricultural DevelopmentIFADRome, Italy1977
Bank for International SettlementsBISBasel, Switzerland1930
Black Sea Trade and Development BankBSTDBThessaloniki, Greece1997
Caribbean Development Bank CDBBridgetown, Barbados1969
Nordic Development FundNDFHelsinki, Finland.1989
Nordic Investment Bank NIBHelsinki, Finland.1970
European Central BankECBFrankfurt, Germany1998

Sports Federations

Organizations NameAbbreviationHeadquartersFormation
Asian Football ConfederationAFCKuala Lumpur, Malaysia1954
Confederation of African FootballCAF 6th of October City, Egypt.1957
Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association FootballCONCACAFMiami, Florida, U.S.1961
South American Football ConfederationCONMEBOLLuque, Paraguay1916
Oceania Football ConfederationOFCAuckland, New Zealand1966
Union of European Football AssociationsUEFANyon, Switzerland1954
World Chess Federation(Fédération Internationale des Échecs )FIDEAthens, Greece1924
International Federation of Association Football(Fédération Internationale de Football Association)FIFAZürich, Switzerland1904
International Cricket CouncilICCDubai, United Arab Emirates1909
International Olympic CommitteeIOCLausanne, Switzerland1894
International Paralympic CommitteeIPCBonn, Germany1989
World Rugby(International Rugby Football Board)IRFBDublin,Ireland1886
Commonwealth Games FederationCGFLondon, United Kingdom1930
International Tennis FederationITFLondon,  UK1913
Badminton World FederationBWFKuala Lumpur, Malaysia1934
International Hockey FederationFIHLausanne, Switzerland1924

Financial Organizations :

Organizations NameAbbreviationHeadquartersFormation
European Space AgencyESAParis,France1975
Indian Space Research OrganisationISROBangalore, India1969
National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNASAWashington, D.C. , USA1958
United Kingdom Space AgencyUKSA Swindon, Wiltshire2010
China National Space AdministrationCNSABeijing, China1993
Russian Federal Space Agency RoscosmosMoscow, Russia1992
French Space AgencyCNESParis, France1961
Japan Aerospace Exploration AgencyJAXATokyo, Japan2003
German Aerospace CenterDLRCologne1969
Italian Space AgencyASIRome, Italy1988

Other Important Organization :

Organizations NameAbbreviationHeadquartersFormation
Colombo PlanColombo, Sri Lanka1950
Antarctic Treaty SystemATSWashington, D.C., USA1959
Intergovernmental Authority on DevelopmentIGADDjibouti City1986
International Committee of the Red CrossICRCGeneva, Switzerland1863
International Court of JusticeICJThe Hague, Netherlands1945
International Criminal Court ICCThe Hague, Netherlands1998
International Criminal Police OrganizationINTERPOLLyon, France1923
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent SocietiesIFRCGeneva, Switzerland1919
International Organization for Migration IOMGeneva, Switzerland1951
International Centre for Migration Policy DevelopmentICMPDVienna, Austria1993
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical WeaponsOPCWThe Hague, Netherlands1997
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting CountriesOPECVienna, Austria1960
World Toilet OrganizationWTOSingapore2001


The headquarters of international organisations and the year of their establishment are crucial knowledge for UPSC aspirants. By understanding the typology of these organisations, their roles, and the strategic locations of their headquarters, candidates can enhance their preparation for the UPSC examination, particularly the International Relations section. This comprehensive guide provides a valuable resource for navigating the complex global landscape of international organisations and strengthening your IAS preparation journey.

The Editorial Team at SSBCrack consists of professional writers, journalists and defence aspirants.

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