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Non-Governmental Organization - Essay Example

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Summary
Although non-governmental organization (NGO) does not have a unanimously accepted definition, it does have a few basic characteristic features. Obviously, it should not be affiliated with, or under the control of any form of government. Other characteristics that differentiate NGOs from the various types of bodies are that it will not be approved as a political party, it will be non-profit organization, it will not be a criminal group, and will exhibit zero violence…
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Non-Governmental Organization
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Non-Governmental Organization

In spite of that, an NGO is never constituted as a political party, a criminal group, a government body, or a violent guerilla agency. (Willetts, 2002); (Baehr; Gordenker, 1986)
In 1910, around 132 international NGOs formed a coalition under the name, the Union of International Associations. At that time, the NGOs had a variety of names for themselves including international institutes, international unions, and international organizations. Although the initial scheme of the UN charter did not consider any plan to combine forces with private organizations, a grand meeting at the San Francisco conference changed this fact. Thence came into being the United Nations, in 1945. The participation of NGOs in UN greatly increased its role in the social and economic issues around the world, and it also raised the status of the Economic and Social Council to a principal organ. So, in order to differentiate the two types of organizations involved in the UN, specialized agencies was the term set for organizations formed by intergovernmental agreements, while non-governmental organizations was set for private agencies. Both these terms were entered into the official UN vocabulary, but NGO gained a much larger popularity, especially since the 1970's, and so entered into general use. (Willetts, 2002)

Growth
The number of NGOs increased exponentially after the Second World War, at the national and local level. On the international level, NGOs came into being supporting global issues like human rights, rights of women, and maintenance of the environment. Along with these issues, international NGOs also gained importance in the matter of global politics associated with the UN and its subsidiary organizations. (Karns, 2008); (Ahmed; Potter, 2006)
Some of the factors that have contributed to the growth of NGOs worldwide are given below (Karns, 2008); (Baylis; Smith, 2001):
Globalization.
A rise in popularity of global issues like human rights, environmental protection, etc.
An increase in international conferences held under the sponsorship of the United Nations.
The boom in technology, which lead to smooth communications between individuals or organizations through facsimile (fax), Internet, and e-mail.
An increase in the popularity of democracy, which gave rise to the civil society and provided the opportunity to every person to constitute and manage organizations more freely.

General Role
NGOs take part in a variety of activities. They provide significant information and consultancies to both governmental and international organizations, for instance agencies affiliated with the UN, regarding current global issues. The data supplied to these organizations is often not available to the local government. (Karns, 2008)
NGOs may decide to have a particular policy to tread on, like banning of landmines, acted upon by the International Campaign to Ban ... Read More
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