MPA – 04 Public Policy and Analysis UNIT II: Public Policy Making Role of International Agencies in Public Policy Learning

Objectives At the end of the unit you will be able to:

Understand the role of International Agencies in formulation of public policy. Have an understanding of the evaluation and role of the United Nations and its allied organs and other international agency in the formulation of public policy.

Introduction With the globalization of world economy, the role of International Agencies is becoming increasingly significant and ultimate for policy-making. There are about 1,963 International Agencies in the world today and they deal extensively both with global challenges and country specific issues. The number of International Agencies is constantly growing, as well as their impact on world matters. The major and most significant International Agencies are those of the UN system, but there are also key intercontinental and regional organisations. It will be true to say that today the independent behaviour of state actors is becoming more limited because of their obligations to international and regional agreements, regimes and institutions. The reality of growing complex interdependence facilitates a structure of global governance, radically challenging state-centric approaches to international policy-making. In contemporary world politics International Agencies deal not only with such universal challenges as global warming or HIV/AIDS, uniting efforts of states to respond to them, but also with many other issues, which have been considered state matters, and International Agencies affect interests of states in such areas as healthcare, financial policies, electoral processes or other domestic issues. International Agencies pose sanctions on states, transform their economies and financial systems, and change their political and institutional landscapes (e.g. UN Security Council, WTO, IMF etc).


the League of Nations (1919-1939). and produce independent effects. International Agencies’ policy-making has an essential normative dimension: International Agencies construct social norms and values. However. finance. International Agencies’ autonomy is mostly based on the assumptions that International Agencies are intergovernmental in nature and cannot act independently. International Agencies’ policy-making behaviour shows that International Agencies can work transnationally. and even create new ones. failed to resolve. The role and activities of International Agencies are to a large extent autonomous in world politics. International Agencies are international bureaucracies with their internal norms. health etc. 2 . The United Nations The establishment of the United Nations came as result of the need to address international issues which its predecessor. create their agendas and implement policies based on their knowledge and expertise. above the level of inter-state cooperation.International Agencies’ role and influence in world politics is growing. rules and interests. though interests of some states and International Agencies may overlap. International Agencies are enabled by states. but also state system and sovereignty International Agencies may construct new norms and values for states. International Agencies’ ability to initiate policies and get support for them from states also shows a very high level of their autonomy as non-state actors.) and they affect interests of states because of their independent policy-making. but then they tend to act on their own. The establishment of the United Nations came from the need for nations who were at war during World War II (1939-1945) to replace the alliance systems of the past for a peaceful system of collective security and for peaceful resolution of conflicts. which make them act autonomously. International Agencies’ autonomous behaviour deals with a broad range of policy areas (trade. International Agencies can affect not only interests of state in these areas. However. They produce systemic effects on the international system with their policy-making independent of states’ interests. restructure them. International Agencies have their own authority. The League of Nations was created at the outcome of World War-I as a way for to mediate between warring states and to reduce the occurrence of war.

The Charter was drawn up by the representatives of fifty countries at the “United Nations Conference on International Organization” who met in San Francisco from April 25 to June 26. by the very nature of its global outlook. promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The basic principles of the organization include: maintaining international peace and security. Organs of the United Nations: The six main organs of the United Nations Organisation are: • The General Assembly. cultural. Guided by the Charter. developing friendly relations among all nations. the purposes of the United Nations Organization are numerous and global in nature. • The Security Council. The Charter represents the basis of the organization and directs and limits the possible and engaged action of the organization. providing a center for harmonizing the efforts of nations in the attainment of common ends. these commissions and programmes are under the authority of an organ of the United Nations. 3 .The most important aspect in the origin of the United Nations is the formation of its Charter. initiating. and. The United Nations’ commissions and programmes are operated by specialized groups normally concerned with specific matters of concern to organs of the United Nations. 1945. social and humanitarian problems throughout the globe. The specialized agencies of the United Nations are autonomous working units devoted to specific areas of United Nations work and coordinated by the Economic and Social Council.” “commissions and programmes” and “specialized agencies. Thus. The United Nations is. • The International Court of Justice. These units are primarily referred as “organs. •The United Nations Secretariat. promoting and coordinating international efforts to solve economic.” The United Nations is basically composed of six organs which are also the largest autonomous councils and working groups of the United Nations. a complex structure composed of inter-related working units.

• The Economic and Social Council. realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. It makes recommendations for the peaceful settlement of any political situation. the Netherlands. It discusses and takes action on any problem affecting peace and security except where a situation or dispute is being discussed by the UN Security Council. All the five wings of the United Nations are based in New York except The International Court of Justice which is located in The Hague. policymaking and representative body of the United Nations. regardless of its origin. it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the UN Charter. the UN General Assembly is the main deliberative. and thereafter as required. The UN General Assembly is neither a “legislature” nor a “parliament”. It elects the 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council and the 54 members of the Economic and Social Council and 5 judges of the International Court of Justice and to appoint the Secretary-General. educational and health fields. social.• The Trusteeship Council. cultural. The General Assembly Established in 1945 under the Charter of the United Nations and situated in New York. The Assembly meets in regular session intensively from September to December each year. Comprising all 193 Members of the United Nations. development of international law and its codification. It discusses and makes recommendations on any question that lies within the scope of the UN Charter or that affects the powers and functions of any of the organs of the United Nations. The UN General Assembly is responsible for considering and making recommendations on principles of international cooperation in the maintenance of peace and security including those principles that govern disarmament and the regulation of arms. which might harm friendly relations among nations. It also plays a significant role in the process of standardsetting and the codification of international law. It approves the budget of the United Nations and to divide this budget among the Members of the United Nations in the form of contributions that are made to the organization. By respecting the sovereignty of 4 . It initiates studies and make recommendations to promote international political cooperation. and promote international collaboration in economic.

India has played a significant and constructive role in the UN activities in economic. organizing and holding international conferences on matters of global concern. The United Nations Secretariat The enormous administrative functions of the United Nations are performed by the Secretariat which is headed the Secretary-General of the United Nations who is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for a five-year renewable term. employees of the Secretariat work at various locations situated throughout the world wherever the United Nations Organization is in operation. and assisting the Secretary-General in all enterprises he might undertake. The Security Council of the United Nations is responsible to maintain international peace and security in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Their tasks and responsibilities of the Secretariat include informing the world’s communication media about the work of the United Nations. social and developmental areas. It investigates any dispute or situation which might lead to international friction and recommends methods of adjusting disputes between nations or terms of settlement for such disputes. The Security Council The Security Council of the United Nations is composed of fifteen Member nations. This organ is in operation throughout the year and services the programmes and policies laid down by all parts of the organization. The Permanent Members of the Security Council are. Though the headquarters of the Secretariat is located in New York. Russian Federation and the United States of America. France. Britain. It calls upon Members of the United Nations to apply economic 5 . In addition to being a major troop contributor. Five of these are permanent and the remaining ten are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms.its Members. the General Assembly offers a forum in which its member nations share views and come to understandings on various political and social issues. China. It formulates plans for the establishment of a system to regulate arms and determines the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression and to recommend what action should be taken. India continued to have played an active role in the United Nations on various issues.

Each Member of the United Nations has automatic access to the Court and each Member is pledged to comply with the decisions of the Court in any case to which it is a party. Palau. The body functions under the internationally agreed upon Statute of the International Court of Justice that is an integral part of the Charter of the United Nations. The International Court of Justice The International Court of Justice (ICJ) which is situated in The Hague. The Trusteeship Council suspended its operations after the granting of independence to the last Trust Territory. in 1994. In addition to these. The International Court of Justice also performs an important function in giving advisory opinions on legal matters. is the principal judicial body of the United Nations. The only bodies at present authorized to request advisory opinions of the Court are the five organs of the United Nations and sixteen specialized agencies of the United Nations. The Economic and Social Council 6 . These were transferred over to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations after the League of Nations ceased to exist.sanctions and other measures not involving the use of force in order to stop or prevent aggression. Trust Territories were the successors of the League of Nations mandates. Netherlands. the Court has jurisdiction over all matters specially provided for in the Charter of the United Nations or through treaties and conventions in force. The function of the Trusteeship Council was to supervise the steadily decreasing number of Trust Territories that existed. Initiates military action against an aggressor and exercise the trusteeship functions of the United Nations in strategic areas. The jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice includes all cases that are referred to it through the parties involved in the case. The International Court of Justice is composed of 15 judges that are elected by both the Security Council and the General Assembly. The Trusteeship Council This organ of the United Nations composed of the Permanent Members of the Security Council promoted the development of self-government and independence of Trust Territories.

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) 7 . Role of Specialized Agencies of UN and Public Policy Specialized agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) 4. cultural. serving on ECOSOC for a three-year term.The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is composed of fifty-four Members. but they are incorporated into the United Nations System by the United Nations Economic and Social Council acting under Articles 57 and 63 of the United Nations Charter. to promote the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the world. to perform services. educational. reports and recommendations on international economic. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 8. to make or initiate studies. They may or may not have been originally created by the United Nations. The Economic and Social Council are to be responsible for the economic and social activities of the United Nations. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 3. and to consult with non-governmental organizations throughout the world that are concerned with matters with which the Economic and Social Council deals. International Maritime Organization (IMO) 6. International Labour Organization (ILO) 5. health and related matters. Eighteen of these Members are elected to their positions by the General Assembly every year. At present the UN has in total 16 specialized agencies that carry out various functions on behalf of the UN. social. approved by the General Assembly. Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 9. for Members of the United Nations and. International Monetary Fund (IMF) 7. United Nations Educational. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 2. They are as follows: 1. to coordinate the Specialized Agencies of the United Nations by means of consultation with these agencies as well as through recommendations to the General Assembly of the United Nations. upon request. for the Specialized Agencies.

It also has assisted in the identification and formulating policies help reducing carbon emissions. USA in June 1944 to prepare the agenda for the Bretton Woods conference. Universal Postal Union (UPU) 11.9 billion in 2005 – more than double the amount lent a year earlier. regional and country levels to address specific development problems on the ground. implementing and managing innovative finance solutions at the global. The Bank has also been at the forefront of designing.10. The World Bank’s support to innovation in development finance ranges from raising funds to working with partners in designing and implementing efficient and effective financial solutions. India was one of the 17 countries which met in Atlantic City. The bulk of new lending has gone to much-needed infrastructure and human development projects. and one of the 44 countries which signed the final Agreement that established the Bank. The World Bank 12. The World Bank is the largest 8 . International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Some of them which play a direct and vital role in formulating and shaping policies of the governments around the world are need to be discussed below: The World Bank The World Bank is one of five institutions created at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944. The International Monetary Fund. moving to a programmatic approach through the Carbon Partnership Facility and promoting carbon projects in member countries to benefit from carbon finance including through the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. India remains the Bank’s largest single borrower which touched $2. is the second. World Health Organization (WHO) 13. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 15. a related institution. reflecting the rapid growth of India's economy. India’s association with the World Bank dates back to its earliest days. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 14. to creating and sharing knowledge. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 16.

reducing corruption. but also working to improve its quality. World Bank has been assisting India’s energy sector. The IMF has also expanded its operations to offer financial and technical assistance. grant economic assistance to member countries for eliminating the adverse imbalance in balance of payments and minimize imbalances in 9 . It has been a key partner in the government’s efforts to develop its national power grid. For last several years.Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) – is not only helping the country to universalize education for 6 to 14 year-olds by 2010. supervision of certain countries’ financial decision making and loans to those with negative commercial balance. exchange rate stability. the government set up state AIDS bodies in 25 states and seven Union territories. Its assistance has helped the government of India to develop its ability to manage HIV/AIDS programs at the central and state level and has enabled important gains in improving blood safety. and has provided technical assistance aimed at increasing the access of poor people to electricity and clean. The World Bank has also lend it support to Government of India’s efforts popularize the use internet technology to reduce corruption and increase public accountability. affordable fuel. Bank’s support for the Government of India’s nation-wide Education for All program . The World Bank support more widely across India’s poorest states. The IMF has enabled nations to work together on international monetary problems. the International Monetary Fund has been working to promote international monetary cooperation across the globe. and scaling up activities aimed at prevention and treatment. At the national level the Bank is financing programs critical to achieving the Millennium Development Goals under common arrangements with other development partners. With support from the World Bank and other donors.financers of India’s National Aids Control Program (NACP) with a commitment of around US$275 million in interest-free credits. expanding surveillance to understand the scope of the problem. It ensures balanced international trade. on currency convertibility and stabilization problems. and increasing accountability of state governments. A key focus of its work has been supporting fiscal reforms. eliminate or to minimize exchange restrictions by promoting the system of multilateral payments. International Monetary Fund (IMF) Since its establishment in 1946.

strict price controls. India and International Monetary Fund joint training programme at the National Institute of Bank Management. and to follow exchange rate policies compatible with these commitments. or significantly over-valued or under-valued currencies run the risk of facing balance of payment crises in their future. The IMF has three principal functions and activities: (1) surveillance of financial and monetary conditions in its member countries and of the world economy. Member states with balance of payments problems may request loans and/or organizational management of their national economies. Surveillance IMF members agree to pursue economic and financial policies that will produce orderly economic growth with reasonable price stability. an example of which is the "Washington Consensus". and (3) technical assistance and advisory services to member countries. and political practices which may lead to the crisis itself. the countries are usually required to launch certain reforms. not to manipulate their exchange rates in order to attain unfair competitive advantage or shift economic burdens to other countries. India was among the first five nations having the highest quota with the International Monetary Fund and due to this status India was allotted a permanent place in Executive Board of Directors. In July 2004. rampant inflation. For example.quantum and duration of international trade. Thus. (2) financial assistance to help countries overcome major balance of payments problems. Till 1970. Pune was established. to avoid erratic disruptions in the international monetary system. the structural adjustment programs are at least ostensibly intended to ensure that the IMF is actually helping to prevent financial crises rather than merely funding financial recklessness. In return. monetary. The member states are required to provide the IMF with information and to consult with the IMF upon its request. nations with severe budget deficits. IMF has played an important role in Indian economy by providing economic assistance from time to time and has also provided appropriate consultancy in determination of various policies in the country. The IMF staff generally meets each year with each member country regarding its 10 . These reforms are generally required because countries with fixed exchange rate policies can engage in fiscal.

its exchange rate situation. and other relevant concerns. some analysts now term this as IMF’s most important function. Financial assistance When its member countries experience balance of payments (BOP) difficulties. Many subdepartments are reporting increased demand for assistance in areas such as government transparency. The IMF’s reports on its annual consultations with each country are presented to the IMF executive board along with the staff’s observations and recommendations about possible improvements in the country’s economic policies and practices. strengthening domestic financial systems and poverty reduction. either through capital account or current account crises. While the specific types of reform vary from case to case.current fiscal and monetary policies. United Nations Educational. the IMF can make loans designed to help them stabilize their international payments situation and adopt policy changes sufficient to reverse their situation and overcome their problems. the latter areas help them build the institutions needed to support and implement them. Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 11 . The IMF’s Technical Assistance department plays a key role in the implementation of the IMF’s development-oriented strategy. Indeed. Demand has been especially great in the areas of fiscal policy and administration of technical assistance. In addition to helping countries design appropriate fiscal policies. the state of its economy. IMF technical assistance operations focus primarily on its core areas of expertise which is financial and macroeconomic policy management. Technical assistance The IMF’s technical assistance and advisory programs have become increasingly important in recent years. Any member country may request that the IMF provide it with technical assistance. compliance with international standards and codes.

education. Bosnia and Herzegovina. UNESCO's major education activities have focused on basic education. rural development. Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1946 with its headquarters in Paris. UNESCO also promotes studies and teaching in the fields of drugs. From originally helping to reconstruct educational systems in war-torn Europe and carrying out isolated. natural sciences. international science programmes. Lebanon. and communication and information. science teaching.The United Nations Educational. Emergency assistance programs and reconstruction operations in the field of education were carried out in such countries as Afghanistan. UNESCO's work is supported by three separate institutes which conduct research and training programs. modest projects elsewhere. the renewal of educational systems and educational advancement and policy. Iraq. culture. and the environment. technical. France. international cooperation agreements to secure the world cultural and natural heritage (World Heritage Sites) and to preserve human rights. The International Bureau of Education (IBE). Cambodia. Slovenia. serves as an international center for studies and publications on comparative education. UNESCO has progressed to largescale undertakings. and attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide. located in Geneva. it works in the global fields of education. population. Mozambique. UNESCO's largest sectoral activity. regional and cultural history projects. Croatia. educational planning and administration. is the field for constant but changing endeavor. In specific educational areas. such as literacy campaigns. Angola. The International Institute 12 . the Organization has elaborated a joint prototype curriculum for AIDS education in schools and disseminated documents and guidelines to support AIDS education programs in member states. the promotion of independent media and freedom of the press. Projects sponsored by UNESCO include literacy. UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programs: education. As its name cites. and teacher training. and culture With Palestine added as a member in November 2011. information & communication. Albania. the promotion of cultural diversity. In cooperation with WHO. social and natural sciences. and Somalia. social and human sciences. and teacher-training programmes. UNESCO has 196 Member and eight Associate Members.

as well as international exchanges." 13 . dissemination of information and publications. consolidation of peace and democracy. preserving and fostering respect for cultural identities and diversity.for Educational Planning (IIEP). enabling access to current scientific information. physics. In the fields of peace. financing and management of education. within the framework of lifelong learning. UNESCO encourages the development of the social and human sciences at the international and regional levels by promoting training and research activities. and organization of meetings in cooperation with governments. human resources development. UNESCO's activities in this field have led to the elaboration of important international instruments UNESCO's main cultural activities are devoted to safeguarding the cultural heritage. UNESCO's activities are aimed at the promotion and protection of human rights. located in Hamburg. UNESCO is the only organization within the UN system to have a mandate for the basic sciences. human rights. and promoting creative and intellectual expression. The Institute for Education (UIE). UNESCO was entrusted with the task of "ensuring the preservation and protection of the world heritage of works of art and monuments of historic or scientific interest. in Paris. and biology. international. chemistry. and regional cooperation for the training of specialists from developing countries in university science education and basic research in the four core areas of basic science. as well as at the prevention and elimination of all forms of discrimination by means of research and education. namely mathematics. and offers training courses in the planning. interdisciplinary areas are selected for the impact they will have on strengthening national capacities. focuses on adult and non-formal education. intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. and democracy. and their real or potential impact on sustainable development. Projects to be implemented in these and allied. Under the terms of its constitution. This mandate implies UNESCO's commitment to the promotion of multilateral. organizes an annual nine-month training program for education planners and administrators.

World Health Organization (WHO) Established on 7 April 1948. over these years. The WHO supports the development and distribution of safe and effective vaccines. the Department of Science and Technology of Government of India is the nodal office for interaction with UNESCO. and drugs. It oversees the implementation of the International Health Regulations. musicians and students to create awareness about various social and cultural issues.UNESCO has particularly close relationship with India. The agency trains health workers at all levels and promotes international medical research while working in cooperation with civil society and a wide range of NGOs across the globe.The WHO regularly publishes a World Health Report including an expert assessment of a 14 . Switzerland. the International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI) and the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework (PIP Framework). UNESCO's Regional Office of Science and Technology for South and Central Asia (ROSTSCA) is located in New Delhi. Out of these about 70 per cent has been supported in India. norms and standards to support Member States to inform health policy options. with headquarters in Geneva. such as through the Expanded Program on Immunization The organization develops and promotes the use of evidencebased tools. it is estimated that. WHO helps to launch campaigns to eradicate mass diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis while coordinating efforts to control the spread of epidemics such as HIV/AIDS. (a) Strengthening the capabilities in science. the International Classification of Functioning. (c) Information systems for science and technology. Data made available by Regional Office of Science and Technology for South and Central Asia (ROSTSCA). Disability and Health (ICF). (b) Science policy related activities. society and development. more than 900 specific activities have been undertaken by UNESCO in the south Asia region. It undertakes several activities including a round table with lawmakers. and publishes a series of medical classifications including the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD). pharmaceutical diagnostics. These activities could be discussed broadly wider four heads. In the field of science. The World Health Organization (WHO) works toward the goal of the highest possible levels of health for all. cultural events involving famous artists. and (d) Science.

WHO conducts or supports health research in areas of communicable diseases. to boost the consumption of fruits and vegetables worldwide and to discourage tobacco use. social and economic system. the role of International Agencies has become quite vital in policy-making process. the organization marks World Health Day focusing on a specific health promotion topic. the WHO carries out various health-related campaigns – for example. International Agencies are quite capable to transform economies and financial systems of a state and even change its political and institutional landscapes. by bolstering national health research systems and promoting knowledge translation platforms such as the Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet). Each year. health policy and systems. They deemed vital in governance and management of a political. non-communicable conditions and injuries. development and other partners. REVIEW QUESTIONS: 15 . The organization has published tools for monitoring the capacity of national health systems and health workforces to meet primary health care goals. CONCLUSION With the globalization of world economy. create their agendas and implement policies based on their knowledge and expertise. and working to place health as an integral part of sustainable socio-economic development for the people of India. reproductive health. It provides technical expertise in public health through partnerships with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In addition. Today. state and local governments. neglected tropical diseases. International Agencies construct social norms and values.specific global health topic. The World Health Organisation works towards attainment of the highest possible level of health by the people of India. and civil society. with focus on: promoting health as a fundamental human right. The WHO also promotes the development of capacities in Member States to use and produce research that addresses national needs.

SUGGESTED READINGS: • David Armstrong. with a foreword by Robert W. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 3. International Organisation in World Politics. political and economic change in developing countries. London : Routledge. Discuss. John Redmond. New York. Palgrave Macmillan. 2004. 2004. Alexander Thompson. 2. 16 . Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Lorna Lloyd. • Bob Reinalda. Haftel. Discuss the policy making role of various international agencies in India. 5. Martha Finnemore. 1994. • Michael Barnett. • Yoram Z. International Organization and Industrial Change: Global Governance Since 1850. Journal of Conflict Resolution 2006. 4. Cox. Describe the organizational structure of the United Nations and its role in fast changing economic. Has international agencies lived up to its role as a medium of social.1. 2004. Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics. Discuss the role and importance of various international agencies in policy making. Decision making within international organizations. 50. Discuss viability of international agencies like UN Security Council and its role in fostering democratic practices. Third Edition. Bertjan Verbeek (eds). • Craig Murphy. “The Independence of International Organizations: Concept and Applications”. social and political environment in world.

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