Chronography of International Organisations; key historical events

Page last modified 31/10/2022


See separate page for European Union


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1) Graphic of Crude Birth / Death rates, selected countries, evolution over time.

2) Choropleth map of world fertility rates by country 1970 & 2005

3) Choropleth map of world population % growth by country 1950-2009

4) Choropleth map of world life expectancy by country, 1960 & 2010

5) Chart of changing global age structure 1950 - 2100

6) Choropleth map of world literacy rate by country, 1960 & 2005

7) Male-Female Literacy Differential Map Choropleth map of male-female differential literacy rates (% male compared to % female literacy)

8) Choropleth map of world % agricultural employment by country, 1960 & 2005

9) Choropleth map of world GDP by country, relative to USA, national and per capita, 1960-2005


Local regional level population within countries,

Socio-demographic world clocks,


�It tends to be people with something to lose, and not merely something to gain, who think most eagerly of improving the existing state of society� (and start a Revolution), David Thomson, p.25, Europe since Napoleon, Penguin, 1983.


See appendix 0 below for Red Cross

See Appendix 2 below for NATO

See Appendix 3 below for United Nations and League of Nations


Colour key:




League of Nations


International Trade


International Financial


International Environmental Organisations

International Humanitarian and Justice Organisations

International military organisations


31/10/2011, The global population officially reached 7 billion.

25/2/2006, The global population officially reached 6.5 billion.

2/7/2005, Live8 Concerts, to raise funds for Africa, were held in Berlin, Edinburgh, London, Moscow, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome, and other cities.

2002, The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established. Replacing earlier ad-hoc United Nations tribunals, the ICC was set up to try individuals accused of crimes against humanity, genocide or war crimes. It is located in The Hague, Netherlands.

9/7/2002, The African Union (AU) was founded, as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity(founded 1963, dissolved 2002).The AU was idealistically modelled upon the European Union, with plans for a supranational government, administration, a Court of Justice, financial institutions and a peace and security council. There was also to be a pan-African Parliament, based in South Africa. However the required co-operation between African states has not so far been achieved,

30/11/2000, Major demonstrations in Seattle against the World Trade Organisation meeting there.

8/9/2000, Albania officially joined the WTO.

30/4/1999, Cambodia joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), bringing the total number of members to ten.

12/10/1999, According to the UN, the world population reached 6 billion.

18/6/1999, Anti-Globalisation protests in many cities around the world, some of which became riots.

1/1/1995, The World Trade Organisation was created to replace GATT.

8/12/1994, US President Clinton signed for the USA to agree to the Uruguay Round of the GATT trade liberalisation agreement, This replaced GATT by the WTO in 1995.

1993, NAFTA, North American Free Trade Association, was founded.

15/12/1993. Completion of the GATT Uruguay Round (began 1986 in Punta del Este, Uruguay). 117 countries signed the economic liberalisation agreement in Marrakesh, Morocco.

9/11/1993. The UN said the number of refugees worldwide rose from 2.5 million in 1973 to 19.7 million today

21/3/1992, The US Census Bureau officially estimated the world population to be 5.4 billion, of whom 1.2 billion were Chinese. It projected a world population of over 8 billion by 2020.

1989, APEC, Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation, was founded.

1989, The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was set up, following a G7 Summit. It is an inter-governmental organisation aimed at preventing money-laundering. After the 9-11 attacks of 2001, the FATF also took on the role of preventing funds reaching terrorist groups.

11/7/1987, The world population was officially stated to have attained 5 billion.

21/9/1986. The Stockholm Accord was signed, at a 35-nation conference. Advance warning of troop movements by NATO or the Warsaw pact was agreed.

25/12/1985, Comic Relief, a global poverty relief charity, was founded.

7/7/1982, Hungary became a member of the World Bank.

6/5/1982, Hungary joined the International Monetary Fund.

1981, World population reached 4.5 billion, of whom 960 million were Chinese.

1975, The �G7� was founded. A group of seven countries, later to become 8 with the addition of Russia, who met to decide economic policy and sometimes to co-ordinate strategy.

28/5/1975, 15 West African states signed the Treaty of Lagos, setting up the Economic Community of West African States.

1974, World population reached 4 billion.

1972, The UK charity Action Aid was founded, to help improve living conditions in Global South countries.

8/8/1967, ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) was founded. The original members were Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei joined in 1984, Vietnam in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997,and Cambodia in 1999. East Timor attempted to join, post-independence, but was blocked by Indonesia.

11/1966, The Asian Development Bank was set up.

1963, The African Development Bank was founded. Based in Abidjan, Cote d�Ivoire, its function was to make loans at preferential rates for African development schemes. Funded by both individual countries and other multinational organisations, it began operations in 1966.

25/5/1963, The OAU (Organisation of African Unity) was founded at Addis Ababa.

30/9/1961, The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) was founded in Paris.

28/5/1961. Amnesty International was founded in London.

14/9/1960, OPEC was set up by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

supply to Tunisia by the USSR; France feared Tunisian support for Algerian Nationalists.

26/10/1956, The United Nations approved the creation of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

1955, CENTO (Central Treaty Organisation) was formed. It was a political/military alliance, comprising the UK along with Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan, whose purpose was to defend against any possible aggression from the USSR. Iraq withdrew in 1958 and CENTO ceased to exist when Iran also withdrew after the 1979 Revolution.

27/4/1955, The First Bandung Conference ended (started 18/4/1955). This was a meeting of 29 newly-independent African and Asian countries who were keen to distance themselves from the USA/USSR superpower rivalry. Nations in attendance included China (Zhou Enlai), India (Nehru), Cambodia (Sihanouk), Burma (U Nu), and Egypt (Gamal Abd-al-Nasser). The presence of China signalled that country�s determination to pursue its own brand of Communism, independent of Russia, The Summit, held in Bandung, Indonesia, was a major foreign policy triumph for Indonesian President Sukharno.

8/9/1954, The Treaty setting up SEATO (South East Asia Treaty Organisation) was signed at Manila.

18/5/1954. The European Convention on Human Rights came into force.

31/12/1951, The Organisation of American States was founded in Washington DC.

1/7/1951. The Colombo Plan was founded in Sri Lanka, to aid the development of south east Asia.

6/6/1950, Trygve Lie was appointed to a new term as United Nations Secretary General. He announced a 20-year peace programme, more meetings with foreign ministers, creation of a permanent UN military force, admission of new members, and more aid for poorer countries.

27/4/1949, The Commonwealth was founded in London.

25/1/1949. COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance) was founded in Moscow.

2/9/1947, The Organisation of American States (OAS) was set up.

1945, Christian Aid was set up, to provide relief operations in developing countries.

1945, The International Monetary Fund was founded. The World Bank was founded. The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) was founded.

11/1939, The Nobel Peace Prize Committee decided that the annual Nobel Peace Prize would not be awarded this year.

1930, The Bank for International Settlements was founded.

3/10/1928, Shridrath Ramphal, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, was born

17/6/1925, Geneva arms Conference closed.

4/5/1925, Geneva Conference on arms traffic and the use of poison gas inwar opened.

15/2/1922. The first session of the Permanent Court of International Justice was held in The Hague, Netherlands.

16/12/1920. Permanent Court of International Justice established at The Hague.

11//4/1919. The International Labour Organisation was established.

1913, Plans were drawn up for a worldwide map at a scale of 1:1,100,000. The project was interrupted by World War One, but the United Nations revived the project in 1953. The entire map series was never completed.

18/10/1907, Plans were announced for an International Court of Justice, to be set up in The Hague.

29/7/1899. At The Hague, a conference of 26 countries established a permanent international court of arbitration.

2/10/1889, The first Pan-American Congress met, in Washington. Its aim was to create closer relations between the States of the Americas.

6/6/1882, The three-mile limit for territorial waters was established by the Hague Convention.

16/4/1855, The Declaration of Paris was signed.


Appendix 0 � Red Cross


30/10/1910. Henri Durant, Swiss founder of the Red Cross in 1863, died.

1904, The Chinese Red Cross was founded.

1896, The Canadian Red Cross was founded.

1881, The American Association of the Red Cross was founded.

1877, The Japanese Red Cross was founded.

1876, The Danish Red Cross was founded.

5/8/1870, At a public meeting in London, a resolution was passed calling for the formation of a British National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War. This was the forerunner to the British Red Cross. This was seven years after the founding of the International Red Cross.

1867, The Austrian Red Cross was founded.

1865, The Swedish Red Cross was founded.

1865, The Norwegian Red Cross was founded.

29/10/1863. Swiss philanthropist Henri Dunant founded the International Red Cross after witnessing the tending of the wounded at the Battle of Solferino, near Mantua, north Italy. Its fundamental principles were to aid wounded soldiers and oteyhr victims of war.

17/2/1863, Swiss philanthropist Jean Henri Dunant proposed the International Red Cross in Geneva.

1859, Henri Dunant travelled through the site of the Battle of Solferino, a few days after the actual battle in June; 15,000 lay dead and wounded, and many of the wounded lay for days before anyone came to care for them. Many of these died of their wounds before medical attention arrived. This sight led him to establish the Red Cross.

8/5/1828. Jean Henri Dumont, Swiss philanthropist and founder of the International Red Cross, was born in Geneva.


Appendix 2 � NATO

1/4/2009, Albania and Croatia were admitted to NATO.

29/3/2004, NATO was expanded to include Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

22/11/2002, NATO agreed to invite Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to join in 2004.

12/3/1999, Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic joined NATO.

30/4/1998, The US Senate voted to admit Hungary, Poland and the Czech republic to NATO.

8/7/1997, NATO invited the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to join the alliance.

22/5/1990, NATO Ministers cut defence spending, the so-called �Peace Dividend�.

31/3/1967, The Supreme Headquarters of NATO moved from France to Casteau, Belgium.

28/9/1960, NATO introduced a unified system of air command.

3/10/1954, A Nine-Power conference in London agreed that in the interests of European unity, Germany could join NATO.

4/4/1949, The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington. NATO was set up on 18/3/1949, by Britain and seven other European countries. Denmark had agreed to join on 25/3/1949. Eleven countries signed in total.

25/3/1949, Denmark agreed to join NATO.


Appendix 3 � United Nations and League of Nations

United Nations Statistics,


7/3/2012, The UN presented its report on violations of the human rights of gay people worldwide. Representatives of several African and Arab States walked out.

14/9/2009, The UN adopted the principles of Responsibility to Protect� or R2P. This says that the sovereignty of States is not absolute in that the UN can choose to intervene when a state fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities and human rights violations.

26/8/2002. The start of a ten-day �Earth Summit� held by the UN in South Africa. Delegates promised �action not words�. The Summit was snubbed by President George Bush, who refused to attend.

21/9/2001, The United Nations designated this day every year as International Day of Peace, and called for a ceasefire in all conflicts on this day.

1999, Nauru joined the United Nations.

13/12/1996, Kofi Anan became the 7th Secretary General of the UN.

1992, Kazakhstan was admitted to the United Nations.

1992, Armenia was admitted to the United Nations.

22/5/1992, Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia joined the United Nations

1/1/1992, Butros Butros Ghali, a 69-year-old Egyptian, became the 6th General Secretary of the United Nations.

1991, South Korea joined the United Nations.

11/11/1981, Antigua and Barbuda joined the United Nations.

25/11/1974, U Thant, Burmese diplomat and Secretary-General to the UN 1962-71, died.

18/9/1973, The UN admitted East and West Germany.

21/12/1971, Kurt Waldheim succeeded U Thant as Secretary-General to the UN.

7/1/1965, Indonesia left the United Nations, under President Sukarno. This was in protest at Malaysia becoming a Security Council member.

23/3/1964, The first United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) opened at Geneva.

14/5/1963, Kuwait was admitted to the United Nations.

25/10/1962, Uganda was admitted to the United Nations, as the 110th member.

3/11/1961, The Burmese diplomat U Thant was elected UN Secretary-General.

27/10/1961, Mauritania and Mongolia were admitted to the United Nations.

18/9/1961, Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Prize Winner, was killed a plane crash near Ndola in Northern Rhodesia.He had been flying from Leopoldville, Congo.

26/9/1957, Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden was re-elected Secretary-General of the United Nations for a further 5 years.

14/12/1955. Ireland joined the United Nations.

7/4/1953, Swedish civil servant Dag Hammarskold succeeded Trygve Lie as secretary of the United Nations.

31/3/1953, Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjold was elected Secretary-General of the United Nations.��

4/2/1952, The United Nations Disarmament Commission first met.

28/9/1950, Indonesia was admitted to the UN.

10/1/1950, In the UN, the Soviet envoy walked out in protest at the Chinese Nationalists retaining the UN seat.

9/4/1949, The International Court of Justice of the UN handed down its first judgement. It held Albania responsible for incidents in the Corfu Channel, 1946, and awarded damages to the UK.

10/12/1948, The United Nations issued the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

30/9/1947, Pakistan and Yemen joined the UN.

1946, Afghanistan joined the United Nations.

14/12/1946, The UN accepted a US$ 8.5 million donation from John D Rockefeller to finance the construction of its headquarters in East River, New York, USA.

13/12/1946, The UN approved the creation of 8 trust territories, to see their final independence. They were New Guinea (under mandate of Australia); Western Samoa (New Zealand); Ruanda-Urundi, which later split as the nations of Rwanda and Burundi (Belgium); Tanganyika, later merged with Zanzibar as Tanzania (United Kingdom); and the Cameroons (Cameroon) and Togoland (Togo), under a British and French mandate.

11/12/1946, The UN International Children�s Emergency Fund was set up to provide aid to children in war-torn countries.

5/12/1946. New York was chosen as the permanent site of the UN.

19/11/1946, The first General Conference of UNESCO was held at Paris.

4/11/1946. UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation, was established, with headquarters in Paris.

23/10/1946, The first New York meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation took place.

18/4/1946. The League of Nations was formally dissolved, after the United Nations had been set up on 24/10/1945. See 26/6/1945.

25/3/1946, The UN Security Council met in New York.

30/1/1946. UN General Assembly met for the first time, in London.

29/1/1946, The United Nations Security Council agreed to recommend Trygve Lie as Secretary General of the Security Council.

12/1/1946. The United Nations General Assembly voted to admit Brazil, Poland and Australia to a 2 year term on the Security council, and to admit Mexico, Egypt and The Netherlands for 1 year terms.

10/1/1946, The League of Nations was officially dissolved, after 26 years, and replaced by the United Nations.

24/10/1945. The United Nations Charter came into force, see 18/4/1946.

26/6/1945, The Charter for the United Nations was signed by the US.

25/6/1945. The Charter for the United Nations was drawn up in San Francisco, and signed by 50 countries. This was the successor to the League of Nations. See 18/4/1946.

25/4/1945, An international conference to establish a world security organisation, the �United Nations�, opened in San Francisco.

20/10/1943, The United Nations War Crimes Commission was formed.

18/5/1943, UNRRA was founded.

14/8/1941, The UK Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and the US President, Woodrow Wilson signed the Atlantic Charter, a further step towards the establishment of the United Nations.

12/6/1941, The Allies signed the Inter-Allied Declaration, setting the scene for the future United Nations.

8/4/1938, Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, was born.

20/2/1937. Paraguay left the League of Nations.

1936, Italy left the League of Nations.

1934, The USSR joined the League of Nations.

11/6/1934, The League of Nations Disarmament Conference at Geneva ended in failure.

1933, Germany left the League of Nations.

27/3/1933, Japan announced it would leave the League of Nations, effective 1935.

16/3/1933, At the League of Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Britain�s plan for a reduction in the size of national armies failed, because of Germany�s insistence that its Stormtroopers not be included in the totals.

3/10/1932, Iraq joined the League of Nations.

2/2/1932, The World Conference on Disarmament opened in Geneva,

12/9/1931, Mexico was admitted to the League of Nations.

10/2/1926, Germany applied to join the League of Nations, Brazil and Spain blocked Germany�s admission, in protest at the plan to give Germany a seat on the Council, which they thought they should have instead.

10/9/1923. The Irish Free State was admitted to the League of Nations.

22/9/1921. The Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia joined the League of Nations.

17/12/1920, Albania joined the League of Nations.

16/12/1920. Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Finland and Latvia joined the League of Nations.

3/12/1920, Austria joined the League of Nations.

13/11/1920. The first full session of the League of Nations opened, attended by 5,000 representatives from 41 countries worldwide.

27/10/1920, The League of Nations headquarters moved to Geneva,

16/6/1920. At The Hague, the League of Nations Permanent Court of Justice opened.

25/5/1920, The Hague was chosen as the permanent seat of the League of Nations.

10/3/1920, The Netherlands joined the League of Nations.

8/3/1920. Denmark joined the League of Nations.

5/3/1920, Norway joined the League of Nations.

1/2/1920, The first full session of the League of Nations opened at St James Palace, London, overseen by the British Prime Minister, Arthur Balfour. Plans were made for an International Court of Justice.

13/2/1920, Switzerland joined the League of Nations.

19/1/1920, Javier Perez de Cuellar, Secretary of the United Nations from 1982, was born.

13/1/1920, Argentina joined the League of Nations.

10/1/1920. The League of Nations, whose function was defined on 28/4/1919, legally came into being at Geneva. It first met in Paris on 16/1/1920, but was boycotted by the USA, partly over the votes given to Britain and the dominions, partly over the obligation by one member to defend another if attacked in war.

25/1/1919. The League of Nations was founded.

22/1/1917, US President Woodrow Wilson delivered a speech to the Senate, �Peace Without Victory�, condemning European imperialism and militarism and calling for a League of Nations.

27/5/1916, In the USA, a peacekeeping League of nations was proposed, to be created at the end of the Great War.

22/1/1909, U Thant, diplomat and Secretary General to the United Nations, was born in Pantanaw, Burma.


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