New States and Functional International Organisations: a Preliminary Report

  • Harold Karan Jacobson


Few events have had such significant implications for universal international organisations as the decolonisation of Africa. It has fundamentally altered the balance of political forces within these organisations and has had an important impact on their operational activities. Starting in 1956 more than thirty African states have gained formal political independence. On gaining sovereignty each of these states has joined the United Nations and most of its related agencies, and African states now constitute the largest single geographical group of members in all of the organisations and consequently can be a major political force. While universal international organisations conducted few operational activities in African territories when they were under colonial rule, this situation changed with the granting of independence. Now all of the organisations have many programmes in African states, and several of them devote more of the resources at their disposal to Africa than to any other region. The emergence of Africa has therefore fundamentally altered the nature and role of universal organisations.


Operational Activity United Nations Development Program African State Consultative Committee United Nations Industrial Development Organisation 
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  1. 1.
    International Labour Conference Record of Proceedings (48th Session, 1964) p. 834.Google Scholar
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    International Labour Conference Record of Proceedings (47th Session, 1963) pp. 168–72.Google Scholar

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© Harold Karan Jacobson 1969

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  • Harold Karan Jacobson

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