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Inter-Governmental Organizations (IGOs)

What is an Inter-Governmental Organization?

An Intergovernmental Organization (IGO) is an organization that is composed principally of sovereign states or other intergovernmental organizations.  IGOs are established by treaty, which separates them from informal coalitions like the Group of Eight, and separates them from treaties, such as NAFTA, which do not create new organizations.  IGOs are important for establishing and maintaining international law.

Duke University Libraries hold significant collections of international organizations materials, especially from the United Nations and the European Union. Duke also has a collection of League of Nations documents.

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IGO Custom Search Engine

The IGO Custom Search Engine searches across hundreds of IGO websites, enabling users to research topics such as human rights, development, environment, education, HIV/AIDS and health from IGOs like the United Nations, World Bank, UN Development Program (UNDP), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), European Union, the Asian Development Bank and many others.


This Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) is a project of the International Documents Taskforce (IDTF) of the American Library Association (ALA). For more background on this project, including a growing list of IGOs included in the search, please see the IDTF wiki.



Nobel Prize for IGO


Recognizing the problem of potential global climate change, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. It is open to all members of the UN and WMO.

IPCC - How does it work?
IPCC - Meeting Documentation
IPCC Reports
IPCC Working Groups/Task Force