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United Nations General Assembly observers: Wikis


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In addition to the current 192 member states, the United Nations welcomes many international agencies, entities, and one non-member state as observers. Observers have the right to speak at United Nations General Assembly meetings, participate in procedural votes, and to sponsor and sign resolutions, but not to vote on resolutions and other substantive matters.

Observer status is granted by a United Nations General Assembly resolution at some point in time. Refer also to Category:United Nations General Assembly observers

Non-member states

Non-member observer states are recognized as sovereign entities, and are free to submit a petition to join as a full member at their discretion. For example, Switzerland was a permanent observer state from 1948 to 2002, until becoming a full member on September 10, 2002. Currently, the only such state, the Holy See, is described as a "Non-member State having received a standing invitation to participate as observer in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly and maintaining permanent observer mission at Headquarters".[1]

Non-member state Date observer status was granted
Holy See (sovereignty over the territory of Vatican City) April 6 1964: became a permanent observer state
July 1, 2004 (A/RES/58/314): gained all the rights of full membership except voting

Former non-member observer states

Several current or former UN member states were also granted observer status before being admitted, such as:

International organizations and entities

Many international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and entities whose statehood or sovereignty are not precisely defined, are invited to become observers at the General Assembly. Some of them maintain a permanent office in the United Nations headquarters in New York City, while others do not; however, this is the choice of the organization and does not imply differences in their status.[5]

Organization or entity Date observer status was granted
African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States October 15, 1981 (A/RES/36/4)
African Development Bank October 28, 1987 (A/RES/42/10)
African Union (formerly the Organisation of African Unity) October 11, 1965 (A/RES/2011(XX))
15 August 2002 (General Assembly decision 56/475)
Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean October 17, 1988 (A/RES/43/6)
Andean Community of Nations October 22, 1997 (A/RES/52/6)
Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (formerly the Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee) October 13, 1980 ( A/RES/35/2)
Asian Development Bank November 19, 2002 (A/RES/57/30)
Association of Caribbean States October 15, 1998 (A/RES/53/17) [6]
Association of Southeast Asian Nations December 4, 2006 (A/RES/61/44)
Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization October 8, 1999 (A/RES/54/5)
Caribbean Community October 17, 1991 (A/RES/46/8)
Central American Integration System October 19, 1995 (A/RES/50/2)
Collective Security Treaty Organization December 2, 2004 (A/RES/59/50)
Common Fund for Commodities November 23, 2005 (A/RES/60/26)
Commonwealth of Independent States March 24, 1994 (A/RES/48/237)
Commonwealth Secretariat October 18, 1976 (A/RES/31/3)
Community of Portuguese Language Countries October 26, 1999 (A/RES/54/10)
Community of Sahelo-Saharan States December 12, 2001 (A/RES/56/92)
Council of Europe October 17, 1989 (A/RES/44/6)
East African Community December 9, 2003 (A/RES/58/86)
Economic Community of Central African States December 12, 2000 (A/RES/55/161)
Economic Community of West African States December 2, 2004 (A/RES/59/51)
Economic Cooperation Organization October 13, 1993 (A/RES/48/2)
Eurasian Economic Community December 9, 2003 (A/RES/58/84)
European Union October 11, 1974 (A/RES/3208 (XXIX))
GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development December 9, 2003 (A/RES/58/85)
Hague Conference on Private International Law November 23, 2005 (A/RES/60/27)
Ibero-American Conference November 23, 2005 (A/RES/60/28)
Indian Ocean Commission December 4, 2006 (A/RES/61/43)
Inter-American Development Bank December 12, 2000 (A/RES/55/160)
Inter-Parliamentary Union November 19, 2002[7]
International Centre for Migration Policy Development November 19, 2002 (A/RES/57/31)
International Committee of the Red Cross October 16, 1990 (A/RES/45/6)
International Criminal Court July 1, 2002
International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) October 15, 1996 (A/RES/51/1)
International Development Law Institute December 12, 2001 (A/RES/56/90)
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies October 19, 1994 (A/RES/49/2)
International Hydrographic Organization December 12, 2001 (A/RES/56/91)
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance December 9, 2003 (A/RES/58/83)
International Olympic Committee October 20, 2009 (A/RES/64/3)
International Organization for Migration October 16, 1992 (A/RES/47/4)
International Organization of la Francophonie November 10, 1978 (A/RES/33/18)
December 18, 1998 (General Assembly decision 53/453)
International Seabed Authority October 24, 1996 (A/RES/51/6)
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea December 17, 1996 (A/RES/51/204)
International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (or the World Conservation Union) December 17, 1999 (A/RES/54/195)
Islamic Development Bank Group March 28, 2007 (A/RES/61/259)
Latin American Economic System (SELA) October 13, 1980 (A/RES/35/3)
Latin American Integration Association November 23, 2005 (A/RES/60/25)
Latin American Parliament October 13, 1993 (A/RES/48/4)
League of Arab States November 1, 1950 (A/RES/477 (V))
OPEC Fund for International Development December 4, 2006 (A/RES/61/42)
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development October 15, 1998 (A/RES/53/6)
Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States December 2, 2004 (A/RES/59/52)
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe October 13, 1993 (A/RES/48/5)
Organization of American States October 16, 1948 (A/RES/253 (III))
Organisation of the Islamic Conference October 10, 1975 (A/RES/3369 (XXX))
Pacific Islands Forum October 17, 1994 (A/RES/49/1)
Palestine Liberation Organization November 22, 1974 (A/RES/3237 (XXIX)): observer status
December 9, 1988 (A/RES/43/160): designation "Palestine"
December 15, 1988 (A/RES/43/177): right to circulate communications without intermediary
July 7, 1998 (A/RES/52/250): right to participate in general debate and additional rights
Partners in Population and Development November 19, 2002 (A/RES/57/29)
Permanent Court of Arbitration October 13, 1993 (A/RES/48/3)
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation December 2, 2004 (A/RES/59/48)
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation December 2, 2004 (A/RES/59/53)
Southern African Development Community December 2, 2004 (A/RES/59/49)
Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta August 24, 1994[8]
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria December 16, 2009 (A/RES/64/122)
World Customs Organization (formerly the Customs Cooperation Council) March 23, 1999 (A/RES/53/216)


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