Are International Organizations Useful?

With increased globalization, the creation of trade agreements and non-binding free trade alliances has grown more and more important in recent times.  There has now emerged non binding organizations that seek to promote certain goals and ideals. This has been seen with the establishment of the New Development Bank of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which is basically an agreement among flourishing countries to directly promote trade and investment.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, is a prime example of an organization established for the growth and well-being of countries, however in a sustainable matter. It is groups like this that promote change, while also supporting independent development for each signatory. The organization was established in 1961, and has since then been adding signatories.

Chile and Mexico are the only established OECD members from Latin America, but Brazil and Colombia have  recently increased involvement with the organization.

OECD official member countries, accession candidate countries and increased engagement countries. Photo: OECD website

Why mention the OECD, what is its importance? The importance of the OECD, is the persistence of certain economic and sustainable reforms that the organization pushes countries to promote. Reforms such as green policies. The OECD and organizations alike are becoming new types of influential/governmental sub-units that help guide the global community. The sovereignty of each nation is being supported, but within the global village each country is now like a city; the organization (OECD) serving as the governing head.

Imagine the United States, there are 50 states and within each of those states, a multitude of cities that have their own local governments. Each state has their own independent state regulations and policies, however when interacting and trading it is easier for there to be a general head that guides the goals and relations among each state. The same is true for examining in the world. Countries are no longer left to their regional relations, but have global relations and ties.

If Colombia and India are not neighbors and are in fact on different parts of the globe, as they are, how can they grow together and become sustainable together? If both countries were able to work towards the same goals, this in turn would promote a better inflow and outflow of goods between these two countries who were once strangers to each other. With an organization like OECD, not only are these relations established, but  are pushed to follow a similar doctrine and goal. It sets an international standard. A standard that is needed in order to increase sustainable development without complete chaos.

I used to firmly believe that the United Nations was unable to accomplish anything, a reflection of American government under the Articles of Confederation before the Constitution. The states had more power than the leading governmental head, the governmental head had no income from taxes and therefore no army to enforce the law. So is the story for world organizations like the United Nations. Despite this analysis, specialized organizations like OECD and others are functionally working, they are useful and important. They are useful and important because they tailor to a members specific interests.


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