Definition: International organization

SNA

The special characteristics of an "international organization" may be summarized as follows:

a. The members of an international organization are either national states or other international organizations whose members are national states; they thus derive their authority either directly from the national states that are their members or indirectly from them through other international organizations; 

b. They are entities established by formal political agreements between their members that have the status of international treaties; their existence is recognized by law in their member countries;

c. Because they are established by international agreement, they are accorded sovereign status; that is, international organizations are not subject to the laws or regulations of the country, or countries, in which they are located; they are not treated as resident institutional units of the countries in which they are located;

d. International organizations are created for various purposes including, among others, the following types of activities:
   • The provision of non-market services of a collective nature for the benefit of their members;
   • Financial intermediation at an international level, that is, channelling funds between lenders and borrowers in different countries (SNA 2008, § 4.173).

International organizations are entities established by formal political agreements between their members that have the status of international treaties; their existence is recognised by law in their member countries; they are not treated as resident institutional units of the countries in which they are located (SNA 1993, § 4.164).
Source:
European Commission (Eurostat), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations (Statistics Division), World Bank, "System of National Accounts 2008", United Nations, New York, 2009
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