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United Nations at glance

center
Flag Emblem
Headquarters
International territory in New York City, USA
Official languages
Arabic
Chinese
English
French
Russian
Spanish
Membership
193 member states
Leaders
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed
General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande
Economic and Social Council President Mona Juul
Security Council President Vasily Nebenzya
Establishment
United Nations Charter signed 26 June 1945
Entry into force of Charter 24 October 1945

Last updated on: 18/10/2019

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International Treaties and Agreements

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT or NNPT) is a treaty to limit the spread (proliferation) of nuclear weapons.

The treaty came into force on 5 March 1970, and currently there are 189 states party to the treaty, five of which are recognized as nuclear weapon states: the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China (also the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council).

Four non-parties to the treaty are known or believed to possess nuclear weapons: India, Pakistan and North Korea have openly tested and declared that they possess nuclear weapons, while Israel has had a policy of opacity regarding its own nuclear weapons program.

North Korea acceded to the treaty, violated it, and in 2003 withdrew from it.

The NPT consists of a preamble and eleven articles. Although the concept of "pillars" is not expressed anywhere in the NPT, the treaty is nevertheless sometimes interpreted as a three-pillar system, with an implicit balance among them:
  • 1. non-proliferation,
  • 2. disarmament, and
  • 3. the right to peacefully use nuclear technology.
    Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

    The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans all nuclear explosions in all environments, for military or civilian purposes.

    It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 September 1996 but it has not entered into force.

    It opened for signature in New York on 24 September 1996, when it was signed by 71 States, including five of the eight then nuclear-capable states.

    As of September 2011, 155 states have ratified the CTBT and another 27 states have signed but not ratified it. The treaty will enter into force 180 days after the 44 states listed in Annex 2 of the treaty have ratified it.

    These "Annex 2 states" are states that participated in the CTBT’s negotiations between 1994 and 1996 and possessed nuclear power reactors or research reactors at that time.

    As of April 2009, nine Annex 2 states have not ratified the treaty: China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Israel and the United States have signed but not ratified the Treaty; India, North Korea and Pakistan have not signed it. On 3 May 2010, Indonesia stated it had initiated the CTBT ratification process.

    Biological Weapons Convention

    The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (usually referred to as the Biological Weapons Convention, abbreviation: BWC, or Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, abbreviation: BTWC) was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the production of an entire category of weapons. It was the result of prolonged efforts by the international community to establish a new instrument that would supplement the 1925 Geneva Protocol.

    The BWC was opened for signature on April 10, 1972 and entered into force March 26, 1975 when twenty-two governments had deposited their instruments of ratification.

    It currently commits the 163 states that are party to it to prohibit the development, production, and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons.

    Outer Space Treaty

    The Outer Space Treaty, formally known as the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a treaty that forms the basis of international space law. 

    The treaty was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on January 27, 1967, and entered into force on October 10, 1967. 

    As of 1 January 2008, 98 countries are states-parties to the treaty, while another 27 have signed the treaty but have not yet completed ratification.

    Antarctic Treaty System

    The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System or ATS, regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth's only continent without a native human population.

    The main treaty was opened for signature on December 1, 1959, and officially entered into force on June 23, 1961. The original signatories were the 12 countries active in Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957–58. 

    The 12 countries had significant interests in Antarctica at the time: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries had established over 50 Antarctic stations for the IGY. The treaty was a diplomatic expression of the operational and scientific cooperation that had been achieved "on the ice".

    The treaty, entering into force in 1961 and currently has 48 signatory nations, sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, establishes freedom of scientific investigation and bans military activity on that continent. 

    The treaty was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat headquarters have been located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, since September 2004.

    Seabed Arms Control Treaty

    The Seabed Arms Control Treaty (or Seabed Treaty) is a multilateral agreement between the United States, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and 84 other countries banning the emplacement of nuclear weapons or "weapons of mass destruction" on the ocean floor beyond a 12-mile (22.2 km) coastal zone. 

    It allows signatories to observe all seabed "activities" of any other signatory beyond the 12-mile zone in order to ensure compliance.

    The full name of the treaty is the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Sea-Bed and the Ocean Floor and in the Subsoil Thereof.

    Maastricht Treaty

    The Maastricht Treaty (formally, the Treaty on European Union, (TEU)) was signed on 7 February 1992 by the members of the European Community in Maastricht, Netherlands. On 9–10 December 1991, the same city hosted the European Council which drafted the treaty.

    Upon its entry into force on 1 November 1993 during the Delors Commission, it created the European Union and led to the creation of the single European currency, the euro. The Maastricht Treaty has been amended to a degree by later treaties.

    The treaty led to the creation of the euro, and created what was commonly referred to as the pillar structure of the European Union. This conception of the Union divided it into the European Community (EC) pillar, the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) pillar, and the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) pillar.

    The first pillar was where the EU's supra-national institutions — the Commission, the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice — had the most power and influence. The other two pillars were essentially more intergovernmental in nature with decisions being made by committees composed of national politicians and officials.

    Simla Agreement

    The Shimla Agreement was signed between India and Pakistan at 12:40am on July 2, 1972. It followed from the war between the two nations in the previous year that had led to the independence of East Pakistan as Bangladesh.

    The agreement laid down the principles that should govern their future relations. It also conceived steps to be taken for further normalization of mutual relations. Most importantly, it bound the two countries "to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations". 

    The Kashmir dispute again came to the core-issue when India and Pakistan signed the controversial Shimla Accord in July 1972 in the wake of the Indo-Pak war on 1971. The accord converted the 1949 UN "Cease-fire Line" into the Line of Control (LOC) between Pakistan and India which however did not affect the status of the disputed territory:

    "In Jammu and Kashmir, the line of control resulting from the ceasefire of December 17, 1971, shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognized position of either side. Neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations."

    The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, known in India as the Panchsheel, are a set of principles to govern relations between states. Their first formal codification in treaty form was in an agreement between by China and India in 1954. They were enunciated in the preamble to the "Agreement (with exchange of notes) on trade and intercourse between Tibet Region of China and India", which was signed at Peking on 29 April 1954.

    This agreement stated the five principles as:
    • 1. Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty,
    • 2. Mutual non-aggression,
    • 3. Mutual non-interference in each other's internal affairs,
    • 4. Equality and mutual benefit, and
    • 5. Peaceful co-existence.

      Indo-Soviet Treaty

      The Indo–Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation was a treaty signed between India and the Soviet Union in August 1971 that specified mutual strategic cooperation.

      The treaty was a significant deviation from India's previous position of Non-alignment in the Cold War and in the prelude to the Bangladesh war, it was a key development in a situation of increasing Sino-American ties and American pressure. The treaty was later adopted to the Indo-Bangladesh Treaty of Friendship and cooperation in 1972

      India's relation to the Soviet Union initially after the former's independence was ambivalent, guided by Nehru's decision to remain non-aligned, and his government's active part in the Commonwealth of Nations. However, in February 1954, the U.S. administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced the decision to provide arms to Pakistan, followed a month later by Pakistan joining the SEATO and subsequently the CENTO. These agreements assured Pakistan the supply of sophisticated military hardware and economic aid.

      Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation

      The Indo–Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation was a treaty signed between India and the Soviet Union in August 1971 that specified mutual strategic cooperation.

      The treaty was a significant deviation from India's previous position of Non-alignment in the Cold War and in the prelude to the Bangladesh war, it was a key development in a situation of increasing Sino-American ties and American pressure.

      The treaty was later adopted to the Indo-Bangladesh Treaty of Friendship and cooperation in 1972.

      Montreal Protocol

      The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer (a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer) is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion.

      The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987, and entered into force on January 1, 1989, followed by a first meeting in Helsinki, May 1989. Since then, it has undergone seven revisions, in 1990 (London), 1991 (Nairobi), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1993 (Bangkok), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing).

      It is believed that if the international agreement is adhered to, the ozone layer is expected to recover by 2050. Due to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international co-operation, with Kofi Annan quoted as saying that "perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date has been the Montreal Protocol". It has been ratified by 196 states

      Law of the Sea treaty

      The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place from 1973 through 1982.

      The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world's oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.

      The Convention, concluded in 1982, replaced four 1958 treaties. UNCLOS came into force in 1994, a year after Guyana became the 60th state to sign the treaty.

      To date, 161 countries and the European Community have joined in the Convention. However, it is uncertain as to what extent the Convention codifies customary international law.

      START - I  Treaty

      START (for Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) was a bilateral treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.

      The treaty was signed on 31 July 1991 and entered into force on 5 December 1994. The treaty barred its signatories from deploying more than 6,000 nuclear warheads atop a total of 1,600 ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and bombers.

      START negotiated the largest and most complex arms control treaty in history, and its final implementation in late 2001 resulted in the removal of about 80 percent of all strategic nuclear weapons then in existence.

      Proposed by United States President Ronald Reagan, it was renamed START I after negotiations began on the second START treaty.

      The START I treaty expired 5 December 2009. On 8 April 2010, the replacement New START treaty was signed in Prague by U.S. President Obama and Russian President Medvedev. Following ratification by the U.S. Senate and the Federal Assembly of Russia, it went into force on 26 January 2011.

      START II Treaty

      START II (for Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) was a bilateral treaty between the United States of America and Russia on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. 

      It was signed by United States President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin on 3 January 1993, banning the use of multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs) on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

      Hence, it is often cited as the De-MIRV-ing Agreement. It is not currently in effect. On 14 June 2002, Russia withdrew from the treaty in response to U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty.

      START III Treaty

      START III (for Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) was a proposed bi-lateral nuclear disarmament treaty between the United States and Russia.

      It meant to drastically reduce the deployed nuclear weapons arsenals of both countries and to continue the weapons reduction efforts that had taken place in the START I and START II negotiations.

      The framework for negotiations of the treaty began with talks in Helsinki between President Bill Clinton and President Boris Yeltsin in 1997. However, negotiations broke down and the treaty was never signed.

      New START

      New START (for Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) (Russian: СНВ-III, SNV-III) is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation with the formal name of Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms

      It was signed on 8 April 2010 in Prague, and, after ratification, entered into force on 5 February 2011. It is expected to last at least until 2021.

      New START replaced the Treaty of Moscow (SORT), which was due to expire in December 2012. In terms of name, it is a follow-up to the START I treaty, which expired in December 2009, the proposed START II treaty, which never entered into force, and the START III treaty, for which negotiations were never concluded.

      Chemical Weapons Convention

      The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. 

      Its full name is the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction.

      The agreement is administered by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is an independent organization based in The Hague, Netherlands.

      Kyoto Protocol

      The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC), aimed at fighting global warming. 

      The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty with the goal of achieving the "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."

      The Protocol was initially adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, and entered into force on 16 February 2005. As of August 2011, 191 states have signed and ratified the protocol. The only remaining signatory not to have ratified the protocol is the United States. Other states yet to ratify Kyoto include Afghanistan, Andorra and South Sudan, after Somalia ratified the protocol on 26 July 2010.

      Under the Protocol, 37 countries  commit themselves to a reduction of four greenhouse gases (GHG) (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride) and two groups of gases (hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) produced by them, and all member countries give general commitments. Annex I countries agreed to reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% from the 1990 level.

      Emission limits do not include emissions by international aviation and shipping, but are in addition to the industrial gases, chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which are dealt with under the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.


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      International Organisations - Head Quarters

      Organisation Headquarters
      UNO New York, United States
      UNICEF New York, United States
      UNESCO Paris, France
      UNIDO Vienna, Austria
      WHO Geneva, Switzerland
      UNFPA New York, United States
      ILO Geneva, Switzerland
      IMF Washington DC, United States
      WTO Geneva, Switzerland
      International Court Of Justice The Hague, Netherlands
      International Atomic Energy Agency Vienna, Austria
      World Bank Washington D.C, United States
      International Committee of the Red Cross Geneva, Switzerland
      International Maritime Organisation London, England
      Universal Postal Union Berne, Switzerland
      Food and Agricultural Organisation Rome, Italy
      World Meteorological Organisation Geneva, Switzerland
      SAARC Kathmandu, Nepal
      Amnesty International London, England
      Transparency International Berlin, Germany
      World Intellectual Property Organization Geneva, Switzerland
      International Renewable Energy Agency Abu Dhabi (UAE) (Interim HQs)
      Commonwealth of Nations London, England
      International Standards Organisation Geneva, Switzerland

      Last updated on: 21/10/2019

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      Other International Organisations :

      The Common Wealth
      • It was originally known as ‘The British Commonwealth of Nations’. It is an association of sovereign and independent states which formally made up the British Empire.
      • Headquarters: London.
      • Members: 53
      • The British Monarch (Queen Elizabeth II) is the symbolic head of the commonwealth.
      • Commonwealth heads of government meet (CHOGM) is held in every 2 years.
      Arab League
      • Established: March 22, 1945.
      • Objective: To promote economic, social, political and military cooperation.
      • Members: 22
      • Headquarters: Cairo
      Asia Public Economic Corporation (APEC)
      • Established: Nov, 1989
      • Objective: To promote trade and investment in the Pacific basin.
      • Members: 21
      Asian Development Bank (ADB)
      • Established: Dec. 19, 1966
      • Objective: To promote regional economic cooperation.
      • Members: 68 countries
      • Headquarters: Manila
      Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
      • Established: Aug. 8, 1967
      • Objective: Regional, economic, social and cultural cooperation among the non-communist countries of South-East Asia.
      • Members: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia.
      • Headquarters: Djakarta.
      Common Wealth of Independent States (CIS)
      • Established: Dec. 8, 1991
      • Objective: To coordinate inter-common wealth relations and to provide a mechanism for the orderly dissolution on the USSR.
      • Members: 9
      • Headquarters: Kirava (Belarus)
      Group of 8 or G-8
      • Established: Sept. 22, 1985
      • Objective: To promote co-operation among major non-communist economic powers.
      • Members: France, Germany, Japan, UK, US, Canada, Italy, European Union, Russia (suspended).
      Group of 15 or G-15
      • Established: 1889
      • Objective: To promote economic co-operation among developing nations.
      • Members: 17
      Group of 77 or G-77
      • Established: Oct. 1967
      • Objective: To promote economic co-operation among developing nations.
      • Members: 134
      International Criminal Police Organization For (INTERPOL)
      • Established: 1914
      • Objective: To promote the international cooperation among criminal police authorities.
      • Members: 194
      • Headquarters: France.
      International Olympic Committee (IOC)
      • Established: June 23, 1894
      • Objective: To promote the Olympic ideals and administer Olympic Games.
      • Members: 105 active members, 45 honorary members, 2 honour members (Senegal and United States), 206 individual National Olympic Committees
      • Headquarters: Switzerland.
      International Organization For Standardization (ISO)
      • Established: Feb., 1947
      • Objective: To promote development of international standards.
      • Members: 164
      • Headquarters: Switzerland.
      International Red Cross And Crescent Movement
      • Established: 1928
      • Objective: To promote worldwide humanitarian aid.
      • Headquarters: Geneva.
      Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)
      • Established: Sep., 1961
      • Objective: Political co-operation and separate itself from both USA and USSR (in the cold-war era).
      • Members: 120 member states; 17 states (observers); 10 international organisations
      • The credit of evolving the concept goes to Pt. Jawahar lal Nehru. The other contributors were Marshal Tito (President of Yugoslavia), Dr. Sukamo (President of Indonesia) and General Nasser (President of Egypt). Bandung conference in Indonesia became the forum for the birth of NAM.
      European Union
      • Established: Apr.8, 1965. Effective on July 1, 1967
      • Objective: To create a united Europe in which member countries would have such strong economic and political bonds that war would cease to be a recurring fact.
      • Members: 28
      • Headquarters: Brussels (Belgium). The common European, currency, Euro, was launched on Jan. 1, 1999
      North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
      • Established: April 4, 1949
      • Objective: Mutual defense and cooperation
      • Members: 29
      • Headquarters: Brussels
      Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
      • Established: Sept,1959
      • Objective: Attempts to set world prices by controlling oil production and also persues member interest in trade and development.
      • Members: 14 ( Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia (the de facto leader), United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.).
      • Headquarters: Vienna (Austria).
      South Asian Association For Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
      • Established: Dec. 8, 1985
      • Objective: To promote economic, social and cultural cooperation.
      • Members: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Srilanka, Afghanistan.
      • Headquarters: Katmandu.
      World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
      • Established: Oct. 11, 1947, Effective from April 4, 1951.
      • Objective: Specialized UN Agency concerned with meteorological cooperation.
      • Members: 193
      • Headquarters: Geneva
      Amnesty International (AI)
      • Established: 1961
      • Objective: To keep a watch over human rights violation worldwide.
      • Headquarters: London
      • Got Nobel Prize in 1977 for Peace.
      Organization Of The Islamic Conference (OIC)
      • Established: 1969
      • Objective: To promote Islamic solidarity among member states and to consolidate cooperation among members.
      • Members: 57
      • Headquarters: Saudi Arabia.
      Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
      • Established: June 7, 2002.
      • Objective: To develop mutual cooperation.
      • Members: Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrghiztan and Tajikistan.
      Scouts and Guides
      • Established: 1907 by Lt. Gen. Baden Powell.
      • Objective: To encourage good character, loyalty to god and country, service to other people and physical and mental fitness.
      • Members: About 13 million members of around 115 nations.
      • World Scouts Bureau: Geneva (Switzerland).
      World Wildlife Fund For Nature (WWF)
      • Established: Sept. 11, 1961
      • Objective: To save the wildlife from extinction
      • Members: All the countries of the world
      • Headquarters: Gland (Switzerland)

      Last updated on: 21/10/2019

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      South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)


      The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an organisation of South Asian nations, founded in December 1985 and dedicated to economic, technological, social, and cultural development emphasising collective self-reliance.

      It is headquartered in Kathmandu, Nepal.

      It has 8 member countries. Its seven founding members are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Afghanistan joined the organization in 2005.

      Meetings of heads of state are usually scheduled annually; meetings of foreign secretaries, twice annually.

      The 11 stated areas of cooperation are agriculture; education, culture, and sports; health, population, and child welfare; the environment and meteorology; rural development (including the SAARC Youth Volunteers Program); tourism; transport; science and technology; communications.

      SAARC was founded in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 8 December 1998. Its secretariat is based in Kathmandu, Nepal. The organization promotes development of economic and regional integration. It launched the South Asian Free Trade Area in 2006. SAARC maintains permanent diplomatic relations at the United Nations as an observer and has developed links with multilateral entities, including the European Union.

      History

      The concept of SAARC was first adopted by Bangladesh during 1977, under the administration of President Ziaur Rahman. 

      In the late 1970s, SAARC nations agreed upon the creation of a trade bloc consisting of South Asian countries. The idea of regional cooperation in South Asia was again mooted in May 1980. 

      The foreign secretaries of the seven countries met for the first time in Colombo in April 1981. 

      The Committee of the Whole, which met in Colombo in August 1985, identified five broad areas for regional cooperation. New areas of cooperation were added in the following years.

      Objectives

      The objectives of the Association as defined in the Charter are:
      • to promote the welfare of the people of South Asia and to improve their quality of life;
      • to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and to provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realize their full potential;
      • to promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia;
      • to contribute to mutual trust, understanding and appreciation of one another's problems;
      • to promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields;
      • to strengthen cooperation with other developing countries;
      • to strengthen cooperation among themselves in international forums on matters of common interest; and
      • to cooperate with international and regional organisations with similar aims and purposes.

      Secretariat

      The SAARC Secretariat was established in Kathmandu on 16 January 1987 and was inaugurated by Late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah of Nepal.

      It is headed by a Secretary General appointed by the Council of Ministers from Member Countries in alphabetical order for a three-year term. He is assisted by the Professional and the General Services Staff, and also an appropriate number of functional units called Divisions assigned to Directors on deputation from Member States.

      SAARC Youth Award

      The SAARC Youth Award is awarded to outstanding individuals from the SAARC region. The award is notable due to the recognition it gives to the Award winner in the SAARC region. The award is based on specific themes which apply to each year. 

      1997: Outstanding Social Service in Community Welfare - Mr. Md. Sukur Salek (Bangladesh)

      1998: New Inventions and Discoveries - Dr. Najmul Hasnain Shah (Pakistan)

      2001: Creative Photography: South Asian Diversity - Mr. Mushfiqul Alam (Bangladesh)

      2002: Outstanding contribution to protect the Environment - Dr. Masil Khan (Pakistan)

      2003: Invention in the Field of Traditional Medicine - Mr. Hassan Sher (Pakistan)

      2004: Outstanding contribution to raising awareness for TB and/or HIV/AIDS - Mr. Ajij Prasad Poudyal (Nepal)

      2006: Promotion of Tourism in South Asia - Mr. Syed Zafar Abbas Naqvi (Pakistan)

      2008: From Himalayan glaciers to verdant plains to coral reefs – protecting the Environment in South Asia - Ms. Uswatta Liyanage Deepani Jayantha (Sri Lanka)

      2009: Outstanding contribution to humanitarian works in the aftermath of Natural Disasters - Dr. Ravikant Singh (India)

      2010: Outstanding contribution for the Protection of Environment and mitigation of Climate Change - Ms. Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne (Sri Lanka)

      2011: Youth leadership in the fight against social ills - Mr. Mohamed Faseen Rafiu from the Maldives

      SAARC summits

      No. Date Country Host Host leader
      1st 7–8 December 1985  Bangladesh
      Dhaka
      Ataur Rahman Khan
      2nd 16–17 November 1986  India
      Bangalore
      Rajiv Gandhi
      3rd 2–4 November 1987  Nepal Kathmandu
      Marich Man Singh Shrestha
      4th 29–31 December 1988  Pakistan Islamabad
      Benazir Bhutto
      5th 21–23 November 1990  Maldives Malé
      Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
      6th 21 December 1991  Sri Lanka Colombo
      Dingiri Banda Wijetunge
      7th 10-11 April 1993  Bangladesh Dhaka
      Khaleda Zia
      8th 2–4 May 1995  India New Delhi
      P. V. Narasimha Rao
      9th 12–14 May 1997  Maldives Malé
      Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
      10th 29–31 July 1998  Sri Lanka Colombo
      Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike
      11th 4–6 January 2002  Nepal Kathmandu
      Sher Bahadur Deuba
      12th 2–6 January 2004  Pakistan Islamabad
      Zafarullah Khan Jamali
      13th 12–13 November 2005  Bangladesh Dhaka
      Khaleda Zia
      14th 3–4 April 2007  India New Delhi
      Manmohan Singh
      15th 1–3 August 2008  Sri Lanka Colombo
      Ratnasiri Wickremanayake
      16th 28–29 April 2010  Bhutan Thimphu
      Jigme Thinley
      17th 10 - 11 November 2011  Maldives Addu
      Mohamed Nasheed
      18th 26 - 27 November 2014  Nepal Kathmandu
      Sushil Koirala
      19th 9 – 10 November 2016  Pakistan Islamabad Cancelled


      Secretaries-General of SAARC
      Abul Hasan16 January 1985 to 15 October 1989
      Kant Kishore Bhargava17 October 1989 to 31 December 1991
      Ibrahim Hussein Zaki1 January 1992 to 31 December 1993
      Yadav Kant Silwal1 January 1994 to 31 December 1995
      Naeem U. Hasan1 January 1996 to 31 December 1998
      Nihal Rodrigo1 January 1999 to 10 January 2002
      Q. A. M. A. Rahim11 January 2002 to 28 February 2005
      Chenkyab Dorji1 March 2005 to 29 February 2008
      Sheel Kant Sharma1 March 2008 to 28 February 2011
      Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed1 March 2011 to 11 March 2012
      Ahmed Saleem12 March 2012 to 28 February 2014
      Arjun Bahadur Thapa1 March 2014 to 28 February 2017
      Amjad Hussain B. Sial 1 March 2017 to present

      Last updated on: 21/10/2019

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      European Union


      The European Union is a geo-political entity covering a large portion of the European continent. It is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe.

      Its members have a combined area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 513 million.

      The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.

      The EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), established, respectively, by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome.

      The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany. The Communities and their successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to their remit. The latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. No member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations (Greenland, an autonomous territory within Denmark, left the Communities in 1985). However, the United Kingdom signified its intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal. The United Kingdom and its independent territories are scheduled to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019.

      Containing 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting approximately 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a very high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme.

      In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence. The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union was described in 2006 as an emerging superpower.

      To join the EU a country must meet the Copenhagen criteria, defined at the 1993 Copenhagen European Council.

      There are five official candidate countries, Croatia, Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia are officially recognised as potential candidates. Kosovo is also listed as a potential candidate but the European Commission does not list it as an independent country because not all member states recognise it as an independent country separate from Serbia.

      Four Western European countries that are not EU members have partly committed to the EU's economy and regulations: Iceland (a candidate country for EU membership), Liechtenstein and Norway, which are a part of the single market through the European Economic Area, and Switzerland, which has similar ties through bilateral treaties. The relationships of the European microstates, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican include the use of the euro and other areas of cooperation.

      The European Union Symbols

      The European flag : The 12 stars in a circle symbolise the ideals of unity, solidarity and harmony among the peoples of Europe.

      The European anthem: The melody used to symbolise the EU comes from the Ninth Symphony composed in 1823 by Ludwig Van Beethoven.

      The Europe Day: The ideas behind the European Union were first put forward on 9 May 1950 by French foreign minister Robert Schuman. This is why 9 May is celebrated as a key date for the EU.

      The EU motto: "United in diversity" is the motto of the European Union. It signifies how Europeans have come together, in the form of the EU, to work for peace and prosperity, while at the same time being enriched by the continent's many different cultures, traditions and languages.

      Objectives

      3 intermediate objectives – milestones towards this goal:
      • Effective application of EU rules on worker protection and equality
        Promoting better standards of inspection, monitoring and enforcement by EU countries and reviewing how EU legislation has been applied
      • Shared understanding and ownership of EU objectives
        EU countries have agreed to common guidelines and goals to inform, coordinate and strengthen national-level reforms
      • Effective partnerships
        Involving stakeholders throughout the policy process: problem definition, information gathering, consultation, development of options, decision-making, implementation and evaluation
      5 immediate objectives – met throughout the process:
      • Effective information sharing and learning
        EU and national policy- and decision-makers and stakeholders together identify best practice, and assessment tools to help improve policy-making, implementation processes and outcomes
      • Evidence-based EU policies and legislation
        Providing high-quality comparative policy research and analysis, collecting information that is relevant, credible and accurate in the interest of stakeholders
      • Integration of cross-cutting issues and consistency
        Incorporating gender equality into all policy sections and activities and collecting data on gender participation when relevant
      • Greater capacity of national and EU networks
        Investing in the capacity of national and EU networks to participate in and influence decision-making and policy implementation at EU and national level.
      • High-quality and participatory policy debate
        Ensuring there is productive debate at EU and national levels on law, policies and objectives, including all those affected
      The European Union has seven institutions
      • The European Parliament
      • The Council of the European Union
      • The European Commission
      • The European Council
      • The European Central Bank
      • The Court of Justice of the European Union and
      • The European Court of Auditors

      The monetary policy of the eurozone is governed by the European Central Bank.

      The interpretation and the application of EU law and the treaties are ensured by the Court of Justice of the European Union.


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      The Commonwealth of Nations


      The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states. All but two of these countries (Mozambique and Rwanda) were formerly part of the British Empire, out of which it developed.

      The member states cooperate within a framework of common values and goals as outlined in the Singapore Declaration. These include the promotion of democracy, human rights, good governance, the rule of law, individual liberty, egalitarianism, free trade, multilateralism, and world peace.

      The Commonwealth is not a political union, but an intergovernmental organisation through which countries with diverse social, political, and economic backgrounds are regarded as equal in status.

      Activities of the Commonwealth are carried out through the permanent Commonwealth Secretariat, headed by the Secretary-General, and biennial meetings between Commonwealth Heads of Government. The symbol of their free association is the Head of the Commonwealth, which is a ceremonial position currently held by Queen Elizabeth II. Elizabeth II is also monarch, separately and independently, of sixteen Commonwealth members, which are known as the "Commonwealth realms".

      The Commonwealth is a forum for a number of non-governmental organisations, collectively known as the Commonwealth Family, which are fostered through the intergovernmental Commonwealth Foundation. The Commonwealth Games, the Commonwealth's most visible activity, are a product of one of these organisations.

      These organisations strengthen the shared culture of the Commonwealth, which extends through common sports, literary heritage, and political and legal practices. Due to this, Commonwealth countries are not considered to be "foreign" to one another. Reflecting this, diplomatic missions between Commonwealth countries are designated as High Commissions rather than embassies.

      Objectives and activities

      The Commonwealth's objectives were first outlined in the 1971 Singapore Declaration, which committed the Commonwealth to the institution of world peace; promotion of representative democracy and individual liberty; the pursuit of equality and opposition to racism; the fight against poverty, ignorance, and disease; and free trade.

      To these were added opposition to discrimination on the basis of gender by the Lusaka Declaration of 1979, and environmental sustainability by the Langkawi Declaration of 1989. These objectives were reinforced by the Harare Declaration in 1991.

      The Commonwealth's current highest-priority aims are on the promotion of democracy and development, as outlined in the 2003 Aso Rock Declaration, which built on those in Singapore and Harare and clarified their terms of reference, stating, "We are committed to democracy, good governance, human rights, gender equality, and a more equitable sharing of the benefits of globalization."

      The Commonwealth website lists its areas of work as: Democracy, Economics, Education, Gender, Governance, Human Rights, Law, Small States, Sport, Sustainability, and Youth.

      The Commonwealth has long been distinctive as an international forum where developed economies (such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Singapore, and New Zealand) and many of the world's poorer countries seek to reach agreement by consensus. This aim has sometimes been difficult to achieve, as when disagreements over Rhodesia in the late 1960s and 1970s and over apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s led to a cooling of relations between the United Kingdom and African members.

      Through a separate voluntary fund, Commonwealth governments support the Commonwealth Youth Programme, a division of the Secretariat with offices in Gulu (Uganda), Lusaka (Zambia), Chandigarh (India), Georgetown (Guyana) and Honiara (Solomon Islands).

      Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

      The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, abbreviated to CHOGM, is a biennial summit meeting of the heads of government from all Commonwealth nations. Every two years the meeting is held in a different member state, and is chaired by that nation's respective Prime Minister or President, who becomes the Commonwealth Chairperson-in-Office.

      Year Date Country City Retreat Chairperson
      1971 14 January – 22 January Singapore Singapore none Lee Kuan Yew
      1973 2 August – 10 August Canada Ottawa Mont-Tremblant Pierre Trudeau
      1975 29 April – 6 May Jamaica Kingston none Michael Manley
      1977 8 June – 15 June United Kingdom London Gleneagles James Callaghan
      1979 1 August – 7 August Zambia Lusaka none Kenneth Kaunda
      1981 30 September – 7 October Australia Melbourne Melbourne Malcolm Fraser
      1983 23 November – 29 November India Goa Fort Aguada Indira Gandhi
      1985 16 October – 22 October Bahamas Nassau Lyford Cay Lynden Pindling
      1986 3 August – 5 August United Kingdom London none Margaret Thatcher
      1987 13 October – 17 October Canada Vancouver Okanagan Brian Mulroney
      1989 18 October – 24 October Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Langkawi Mahathir bin Mohamad
      1991 16 October – 21 October Zimbabwe Harare Victoria Falls Robert Mugabe
      1993 21 October – 25 October Cyprus Limassol none George Vasiliou
      1995 10 November – 13 November New Zealand Auckland Millbrook Jim Bolger
      1997 24 October – 27 October United Kingdom Edinburgh St Andrews Tony Blair
      1999 12 November – 14 November South Africa Durban George Thabo Mbeki
      2002 2 March – 5 March Australia Coolum none John Howard
      2003 5 December – 8 December Nigeria Abuja Aso Rock Olusegun Obasanjo
      2005 25 November – 27 November Malta Valletta Golden Sands, Mellieha Lawrence Gonzi
      2007 23 November – 25 November Uganda Kampala Munyonyo Yoweri Museveni
      2009 27 November – 29 November Trinidad and Tobago Port of Spain Laventille Heights Patrick Manning
      2011 28 October - 30 October Australia Perth Kings Park Julia Gillard
      2013 15 - 17 November Sri Lanka Colombo Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Mahinda Rajapaksa
      2015 27 – 29 November Malta Valletta; Mellieha Fort St Angelo Joseph Muscat
      2018 19 – 20 April United Kingdom London Windsor Castle Theresa May
      2020 To Be Announced Rwanda TBA TBA TBA

      Last updated on: 21/10/2019

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      The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)



      The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc.

      As of 2018, the movement had 125 members and 25 observer countries.

      The Non-Aligned movement was never established as a formal organization, but became the name to refer to the participants of the Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries first held in 1961. The term "non-alignment" itself was coined by V.K. Krishna Menon in 1953 remarks at the United Nations. Menon's friend, Jawaharlal Nehru used the phrase in a 1954 speech in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

      A significant milestone in the development of the Non-Aligned Movement was the 1955 Bandung Conference, a conference of Asian and African states hosted by Indonesian president Sukarno, who gave a significant contribution to promote this movement.

      The attending nations declared their desire not to become involved in the Cold War and adopted a "declaration on promotion of world peace and cooperation", which included Nehru's five principles. Six years after Bandung, an initiative of Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito led to the first Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, which was held in September 1961 in Belgrade. 

      The founding fathers of the Non-aligned movement were: Sukarno of Indonesia, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, and Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. Their actions were known as 'The Initiative of Five'.

      Principles

      The five principles were:
      • Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty
      • Mutual non-aggression
      • Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs
      • Equality and mutual benefit
      • Peaceful co-existence
        Summits

        The conference of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Countries, often referred to as Non-Aligned Movement Summit is the main meeting within the movement and are held every few years.
          DateHost countryHost city
          1st1–6 September 1961 YugoslaviaBelgrade
          2nd5–10 October 1964 United Arab RepublicCairo
          3rd8–10 September 1970 ZambiaLusaka
          4th5–9 September 1973 AlgeriaAlgiers
          5th16–19 August 1976 Sri LankaColombo
          6th3–9 September 1979 CubaHavana
          7th7–12 March 1983 IndiaNew Delhi
          8th1–6 September 1986 ZimbabweHarare
          9th4–7 September 1989 YugoslaviaBelgrade
          10th1–6 September 1992 IndonesiaJakarta
          11th18–20 October 1995 ColombiaCartagena de Indias
          12th2–3 September 1998 South AfricaDurban
          13th20–25 February 2003 MalaysiaKuala Lumpur
          14th15–16 September 2006 CubaHavana
          15th11–16 July 2009 EgyptSharm El Sheikh
          16th26–31 August 2012 IranTehran
          17th13–18 September 2016 VenezuelaPorlamar
          18th25–26 October 2019 AzerbaijanBaku


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          National Days


          Many countries worldwide commemorate the date when they gained independence after being part of another state or colony. 

          The annual holiday is called independence day and each country celebrates the specific date it achieved its freedom.

          Definition: Independence or National Days are perhaps the most important day for a country to commemorate as a national holiday.

          For many nations the date is the country's day of independence, often in hard fought battles to claim their freedom.

          Some national holidays commemorate a significant day in the history of the country, or the birth of a national hero who helped establish the day the country's independence was declared.

          The following list signifies the month each country listed below celebrates Independence Day, National Day or other significant day.

          Country Date Independence Event
           Abkhazia July 4 De facto independence from Georgia in 1993. Officially declared as such in 1999.(Only partially recognized.) End of the 1992-1993 War in Abkhazia; also known as "liberation day".
           Afghanistan August 19 Independence from United Kingdom control over Afghan foreign affairs in 1919. Afghan Independence Day
           Albania November 28 Declared by Ismail Qemali in 1912 and signalled the end of five centuries of Ottoman rule. Dita e Pavarësisë
           Algeria July 5 Independence from France in 1962.
           Angola November 11 Independence from Portugal in 1975.
           Antigua and Barbuda November 1 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1981.
           Argentina July 9 Independence declared from the Spanish Empire in 1816.
           Armenia May 28
          September 21
          Declaration of independence from Ottoman Empire in 1918.
          Independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

          National Day
           Austria October 26 Restoration of sovereignty in 1955 National Day
           Azerbaijan May 28
          October 18
          Independence from the Russian Empire in 1918.
          Independence re-declared from the Soviet Union in 1991

           Bahamas July 10 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1973.
           Bahrain December 16 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1971 National Day
           Bangladesh March 26 Independence was declared from Pakistan and this led to a nine-month war ending on December 16, 1971. National Day
           Barbados November 30 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1966.
           Belarus July 3 The liberation of Minsk after several years of German occupation in 1944.
           Belgium July 21 Independence from the Netherlands (Belgian revolution) on October 4, 1830. Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld takes the oath as first king of the Belgians on July 21, 1831. National Day
           Belize September 21 Independence from the United Kingdom on September 21, 1981. September Celebrations
           Benin August 1 Independence from France in 1960.
           Bolivia August 6 Independence from Spain in 1825.
           Bosnia and Herzegovina March 1 Independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992.
           Botswana September 30 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1966.
           Brazil September 7 Independence from Portugal in 1822. Recognized on August 29, 1825. Independence Day (Brazil)
           Brunei January 1and September 22 Independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1908
           Burkina Faso August 5 Independence from France in 1960
           Burundi July 1 Independence from Belgium in 1962
           Cambodia November 9 Independence from France in 1953
           Cameroon January 1 Independence from France and Britain.
           Cape Verde July 5 Independence from Portugal in 1975.
           Central African Republic August 13 Independence from France in 1960.
           Chad August 11 Independence from France in 1960.
           Chile February 12 and September 18 Declared Independence from Spain on that date in 1818. Actually, Chileans celebrate the date of the first Government Junta, September 18. This date was not recognized as such until April 25, 1844.
           Colombia July 20 and August 7 Independence from Spain in 1810.
           Democratic Republic of the Congo June 30 Independence from Belgium in 1960.
           Costa Rica September 15 Independence from Spain in 1821.
           Côte d'Ivoire August 7 Independence from France in 1960.
           Croatia October 8 Independence from SFR Yugoslavia in 1991. Independence was declared, after the May 19 referendum, by the Parliament on June 25 - the date is celebrated as Statehood Day; but a three-month moratorium was imposed as a result of the Brijuni Agreement, and on October 8 the ties with SFR Yugoslavia were formally severed.
           Cuba May 20 Independence from the United States in 1902.
           Cyprus October 1 Independence from the United Kingdom on August 16, 1960, but Cyprus Independence Day is commonly celebrated on October 1.
           Czech Republic October 28 and January 1 As Czechoslovakia, marking independence from Austria-Hungary on October 28, 1918. As the Czech Republic after the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993.
           Djibouti June 27 Independence from France in 1977
           Dominica November 3 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1978
           Dominican Republic February 27 Independence from Haiti in 1844, after a 22-year occupation.
           East Timor May 20 Independence from Portugal in 2002 (recognition, East Timor was invaded by Indonesia from 1975 to 1999, officially it never ceased to be considered as administrated by Portugal).
           Ecuador August 10 and May 24 Proclaimed independence from Spain on August 10, 1809, but failed with the execution of all the conspirators of the movement on August 2, 1810. Independence finally occurred on May 24, 1822 at the Battle of Pichincha.
           El Salvador September 15 Independence from Spain in 1821
           Eritrea May 24 Independence from Ethiopia in 1993.
           Estonia February 24
          August 20
          Independence from the Russian Empire in 1918.
          Independence re-declared from the Soviet Union in 1991

           Fiji October 10 Independence from United Kingdom in 1970.
           Finland December 6 Independence from Russia in 1917. Recognized on January 4, 1918. Independence Day (Finland)
           Gabon August 17 Independence from France in 1960.
           The Gambia February 18 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1965.
           Georgia May 26 April 9 Day of First Republic in 1918. Independence from USSR in 1991.
           Ghana March 6 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1957.
           Greece March 25 Declaration of independence from Ottoman Empire in 1821. Start of the Greek War of Independence
           Grenada February 7 Independence from United Kingdom in 1974.
           Guatemala September 15 Independence from Spain in 1821.
           Guinea October 2 Independence from France in 1958.
           Guinea-Bissau September 24 Declaration of independence from Portugal in 1973.
           Guyana May 26 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1966.
           Haiti January 1 Declaration of independence from France in 1804.
           Honduras September 15 Independence from Spain in 1821.
           Iceland December 1 Independence from Kingdom of Denmark in 1918.
           India August 15 (Fifteenth of August) Independence from the United Kingdom in 1947.
           Indonesia August 17 Declaration of Independence day (Hari Proklamasi Kemerdekaan R.I.) from the Netherlands in 1945. The Netherlands acknowledged Indonesian independence and sovereignty in 1949.
           Iraq October 3 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1932.
           Ireland April 24 Proclamation of the Irish Republic commencing the Easter Rising on April 24, 1916. Independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
           Israel Iyar 5
          (On or between April 15 and May 15, depending on the Hebrew calendar).
          (Yom Ha'atzmaut) Independence from the British Mandate of Palestine which took place on May 14, 1948 (5 Iyar 5708 in the Hebrew calendar). It is actually celebrated on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday nearest to 5 Iyar, so it actually occurs between the 3rd and 6th of Iyar, which may fall between April 15 and May 15 in the Gregorian calendar.
           Jamaica August 6 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1962.
           Jordan May 25 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1946.
           Kazakhstan December 16 Independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
           Kenya December 12 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1963.
           Korea, North September 9 Founding of the DPRK in 1948.
           Korea, South August 15 (Gwangbokjeol) Independence from Japan in 1945. (Independence from Japan was declared on March 1, 1919. August 15, 1945 is the official Liberation Day of Korea.)
           Kosovo February 17 Independence from Serbia in 2008. (Not universally recognized).
           Kuwait June 19 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1961.
           Kyrgyzstan August 31 Independence from USSR in 1991.
           Laos July 19 Independence from France on July 19, 1949.
           Latvia November 18 and May 4 Independence from Russia on November 18, 1918.
          Independence from Soviet Union on May 4, 1990

           Lebanon November 22 Independence from France in 1943.
           Lesotho October 4 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1966.
           Liberia July 26 Independence from the United States in 1847.
           Libya December 24 Independence from Italy on December 24, 1951. However, celebration of this day was abolished after the revolution of September 1, 1969.
           Lithuania February 16 and March 11 Act of Independence of Lithuania: Independence from the Russian and German Empires in February 1918;
          Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania: independence from the Soviet Union in March 1990.

           Macedonia September 8 (Den na nezavisnosta or Ден на независноста) Independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
           Madagascar June 26 Independence from France in 1960.
           Malawi July 6 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1964.
           Malaysia August 31 (Hari Merdeka) Independence from the United Kingdom in 1957 (as the Federation of Malaya).
           Maldives July 26 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1965.
           Mali September 22 Independence from France in 1960.
           Malta September 21 (Independence Day (Malta)) Independence from the United Kingdom in 1964.
           Mauritius March 12 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1968.
           Mexico September 16 (Grito de Dolores) Independence from Spain declared in 1810. Recognized on September 27, 1821.
           Moldova August 27 (Independence Day) Declaration of Independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. National Day
           Mongolia December 29 Independence from the Qing Dynasty in 1911. However, the newly established Mongolian government was weak to resist the occupation of the ROC in 1919 and later White Russia in early 1921. After ousting Ungern's forces, the new communist government was officially established on June 11, 1921.
           Montenegro May 21 Independence from State union with Serbia, in 2006
           Morocco November 18 Independence from France and Spain in 1956
           Mozambique June 25 Independence from Portugal in 1975
           Myanmar January 4 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1948
           Nagorno-Karabakh September 2 Independence from Azerbaijan in 1991. De facto independent. National Day
           Namibia March 21 Independence from South African mandate in 1990
           Nauru January 31 Independence from Australia in 1968
           Netherlands May 5 (Bevrijdingsdag) Liberation from Nazi Germany in 1945 National Day
           Nicaragua September 15 Independence from Spain in 1821
           Niger August 3 Independence from France in 1960
           Nigeria October 1 Independence from United Kingdom in 1960
           Pakistan August 14 (Yaum e Azadi) Independence from the United Kingdom on 27 Ramadan ul Mubarik, August 14, 1947.
           Panama November 28 Independence from Spain, celebrated on November 28, 1821, but after that Panama was member of the "Gran Colombia" until 1903. The 1903 separation from Colombia is also celebrated as a official holiday day on November 3.
           Papua New Guinea September 16 Independence from Australia of the former Territories of New Guinea, and Papua, in 1975.
           Paraguay May 14 (Día de Independencia) Independence from Spain in 1811.
           Peru July 28 Independence from Spain in 1821.
           Philippines June 12 (Araw ng Kalayaan) The proclamation date of the 1898 Declaration of Independence by Emilio Aguinaldo during the Philippine Revolution is celebrated as Independence Day. The Republic of the Philippines was recognized as an independent nation on July 4, 1946.
           Poland November 11 (Święto Niepodległości) Restoration of Poland's independence in 1918 after 123 years of partitions by Russia, Prussia, and Austria.
           Portugal December 1 Restoration of Portugal's independence (from Iberian Union with Spain) in 1640. The country's original independence (from the Kingdom of León) was recognized on October 5, 1143. That day is a holiday in Portugal, but for a different reason. (Implantation of the Republic, or Republic Day. Event of 1910.) Note that none of these events are similar to today's declarations or recognition of independence as these are in fact the recognition of the rule of a king to the land. Portugal existed as a separate entity before 1143 and during the union with Spain between 1580 and 1640.
           Qatar December 18 The assumption of power of Sheikh Jassem bin Mohamed al-Thani, ancestor of the current ruling family, in 1878.
           Romania May 9 Independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877 (see the Romanian War of Independence).
           Rwanda July 1 Independence from Belgium in 1962.
           Saint Kitts and Nevis September 19 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1983.
           Samoa June 1 Independence from New Zealand in 1962.
           São Tomé and Príncipe July 12 Independence from Portugal in 1975.
           Senegal April 4 Independence from France in 1960.
           Seychelles June 29 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1976.
           Sierra Leone April 27 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1961.
           Singapore August 9 (National Day (Singapore)) Marks separation from Malaysia in 1965.
           Slovakia July 17 Declaration of Independence in 1992 (only a remembrance day), de jure independence came on January 1, 1993 after the division of Czechoslovakia (public holiday).
           Slovenia December 26 and June 25 (Independence and Unity Day) Date of the release of the official results of the independence plebiscite in 1990, confirming secession from Yugoslavia. (Statehood Day) Declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
           Solomon Islands July 7 Independence from United Kingdom in 1978.
           Somaliland May 18 Declared independence from Somalia on May 18, 1991 as the Republic of Somaliland, but remains unrecognized internationally. Independence Day
           South Africa December 11 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1931. Not a public holiday. Union of South Africa formed on May 31, 1910 and Republic of South Africa declared on May 31, 1961
           South Sudan July 9 Independence from Sudan in 2011.
           Sri Lanka February 4 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1948.
           Sudan January 1 Independence from Egypt and the United Kingdom in 1956.
           Suriname November 25 Independence from the Netherlands in 1975.
           Swaziland September 6 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1968.
           Sweden June 6 (National Day of Sweden) celebrates the election of King Gustav Vasa in 1523 and some governmental change in 1809.
           Switzerland August 1 (Swiss National Day) Alliance against the Holy Roman Empire in 1291.
           Syria April 17 (Evacuation Day) End of the French Mandate of Syria in 1946
           Tajikistan September 9 Independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
           Tanzania December 9 Independence of Tanganyika from United Kingdom in 1961.
           Togo April 27 Independence from France in 1960.
           Tonga June 4 Termination of protectorate status under the United Kingdom in 1970.
           Trinidad and Tobago August 31 Independence from the United Kingdom in 1962.
           Tunisia March 20 Declaration of independence from France in 1956.
           Turkey October 29 Turkey becomes a republic following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire Turkish War of Independence in 1923.
           Turkmenistan October 27 Declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
           Ukraine August 24 and January 22 Independence from the Soviet Union on August 24, 1991. Unification of Ukraine on January 22, 1919.
           United Arab Emirates December 2 (National Day) Independence from the United Kingdom in 1971.
           United States July 4 (Fourth of July) Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776.
           Uruguay August 25 (Día de la Independencia) Declaration of independence from Brazil in 1825.
           Uzbekistan September 1 Independence from USSR in 1991.
           Vanuatu July 30 Independence from United Kingdom and France in 1980.
           Vatican City February 11 Lateran Treaty signed with Italy in 1929.
           Venezuela July 5 Declaration of independence from Spain in 1811.
           Vietnam September 2 Proclamation of independence from Japan and France in 1945.
           Yemen November 30 South Yemen Declaration of independence from United Kingdom in 1967.
           Zambia October 24 Independence from United Kingdom in 1964.
           Zimbabwe April 18 Independence from United Kingdom in 1980.

          Last updated on: 21/10/2019

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