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International Law And Organisations In The Global World

The term International Law was first used in 1780 and it was coined by English philosopher, Jeremy Bentham. At times, it is even referred as public international law or law of nations. It is the collection of rules by which the relations and transactions between different countries are governed. International Law has been there in existence since long time back but is evolving with the time and is dynamic in nature. In today’s era, it is not just described as some fixed set of rules, but is a wider concept, like the idea of cosmopolitan society consisting of more realistic and sophisticated norms, various practices and principles followed in various parts of the world.

It provides the world with the normative principles as well as with the modus operandi, techniques and a common language for the international players. The diversity of subjects and actors directly related with the international law has widened substantially, moving beyond the typical matters of armed conflicts, peace, and diplomacy to include human rights, economic activities, space law, and international organizations, although it is defined as a legal order and not an ethical one, it has been influenced significantly by ethical principles and concerns, particularly in the realm of human rights.[1]

The nature of international law, in contrast to the national law, is pretty vague as it is not written anywhere and is not passed by any authority like the laws passed by the parliament. It is only binding on those nations who accept and ratify it hence, it can be concluded that it cannot be enforced on any particular nations against its will. The prime objective of international law is the maintenance of law and order all over the world and the attainment of fundamental objectives of promoting peace, fraternity, prosperity, human rights, trade and policies between nations and environmental challenges across the world.

Yet, it has been attacked several times for the promotion of hegemony of a particular nation. It not only helps in the promotion of peace but even facilitates for the easy transactions of trade between various countries. It helps in the promotion of social, economic, and cultural development and even helps in in advancing the security of nations. It has a major role to play, when dispute arises between nation on several issues. It helps in the achievement of global justice and resolves disputes between the nations in an amicable way.

International laws are basically framed by the international organisations and the main reason behind the formation of these organisations is to set international agendas, objectives, rules, etc. They look over the political, social, economic and cultural issues that might affect the peace and prosperity in the world. It is their duty to ensure equality to every other nation with respect to its standing in the international organisations. It even regulates the international trade and sets the policies accordingly, considering the condition of every other nation.

Few of the examples of these organisations are:
Uniten Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), consisting of approximately 190 members), is a permanent organ of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, which was established in 1964 for the promotion of trade, investment, and development in various developing countries and its headquarter is located in Geneva, Switzerland. Negotiations at UNCTAD’s meetings resulted in the Global System of Trade Preferences (1988), an agreement that reduced tariffs and removed or reduced nontariff trade barriers among participating developing countries; the Common Fund for Commodities (1989), an intergovernmental financial institution that provides assistance to developing countries that are heavily dependent on commodity exports; and various agreements for debt relief.[2]

Lately, its efforts were directed towards the underdeveloped and developing countries which were largely impacted by the globalization. It adopted various measure to help the poorest of the nations and the developing countries to integrate in the world economy and pace towards the development. Its policy making bodies meet after every four years to set new guidelines and rectify the policies accordingly. The Trade and Development Board is UNCTAD’s executive body, that is looks after the working of the organization when the Conference is not in session.

The World Trade Organisation was preceded by GATT and came into force on January 1, 1995. It is headquartered at Geneva in Switzerland. The current director general of WTO is Roberto Azevedo and is also referred as the first officer of the world trade organisation, responsible of the discretion of the administrative operations. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations and at its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments.[3]

Its aim is to help the seller and buyer to export and import the required goods and services. It even provides easy ways for the producers to conduct their business worldwide. It helps the government of different countries to sort out the problem that they face while dealing with each other internationally.

The WTO agreements are pretty lengthy and complex because they are legal texts covering wide range of activities and even a number of simple, fundamental principles run throughout all of these documents, therefore, these principles are the foundation of the multilateral trading system. [4]All major decisions in the world trade organisations are made by the members as a whole, represented by either the head of the states or their representatives.

The policies framed by these organisations represent the standards, objectives, rules and regulations that amounts to trade relations between different countries. The aim behind the formulation of these policies is to boost the trade between the countries and to ensure its easy practice.

It focuses on the greater integration of products across the globe and easy imports and exports from one country to another. It regulates the imports and exports of the country. These policies are specific to every individual country, framed by the country’s public officials and at times they are employed to promote and protect internal businesses.

On any ordinary day, you may wear a perfume produced in Persia, travel on a bus manufactured in Germany, and talk to your friends on cell phones designed in the United States and manufactured in China. Now the questions that arise are: how did all of these products (things or materials manufactured, consumed, and transported among various economies) reached in your city? If your answer is international trade, then you totally are correct.

Majority of the goods and services (tangible and intangible) that we use in our daily life are acquired primarily through trade with different countries. However, international trade is not just governed by certain rules but also by the international organizations and international agreements.

End-Notes:
  1. Malcolm Shaw, Sir Robert Jennings “International Law”, University of Leicester, England https://www.britannica.com Accessed: 10-01-2021.
  2. Karen Mingst, Professor Emeritus, University of Kentucky, Lexington,” United Nations Conference on Trade and Development”, international organization, https://www.britannica.com/ , Accessed: 14-01-2021.
  3. EVAN TARVER, Reviewed By ROBERT C. KELLY , "World Trade Organisation WTO” https://www.investopedia.com/. Accessed: 15-0102021.
  4. Id.

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