Partnership world map

Background and glossary

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) views cooperation with other intergovernmental organizations, including those of the United Nations family and various non-State parties, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia and media, as essential for the fulfilment of the mandate of the Organization. Article 26 of the WMO Convention governs the relationship of the World Meteorological Organization with all international organizations other than the United Nations. It reads as follows:

The Organization shall establish effective relations and cooperate closely with other intergovernmental organizations as may be desirable. Any formal agreement entered into with such organizations shall be made by the Executive Council, subject to approval by two-thirds of the Members which are States, either in Congress or by correspondence.

The Organization may on matters within its purposes make suitable arrangements for consultation and co-operation with non-governmental international organizations and, with the consent of the government concerned, with national organizations, governmental or non-governmental.

Subject to approval by two-thirds of the Members which are States, the Organization may take over from any other internationl organization or agency, the purpose and activities of which lie within the purposes of the Organization, such functions, resources, and obligations as may be transferred to the Organization by international agreement or by mutually acceptable arrangements entered into between competent authorities of the respective organizations.

In this context, WMO maintains and seeks to expand working relations with international organizations, both governmental and non-governmental. Amongst these organizations, there are scientific and technical organizations, including the International Council for Science (ICSU), and those of the UN system, funding agencies and the relevant United Nations bodies, such as the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and the Chief Executive Board (CEB) and its subsidiary organs, namely the High-level Programme Committee (HLPC) and the High-Level Committee on Management Questions (HLCM). The overall cooperation can be broadly divided into the following categories:

Agreement: an agreement with other international organizations requires the approval by two-thirds of Member states of WMO through vote by correspondence or decision of the WMO Congress, such as agreements with the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the African Union (formerly the Organization for African Unity). In this context, WMO has close cooperation with UN Secretariat bodies and regional economic commissions. As 30 June 2008, there are 5 agreements with United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as intergovernmental organizations.

Working arrangements: working arrangements with other international organizations require the approval of the Executive Council of WMO. Examples of working arrangement include those with specialized agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); with intergovernmental organizations, such as the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Agency for Air Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA); with subregional economic groups such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); or with non-governmental organizations, such as ICSU and the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG). As of 30 June 2008, WMO had entered into working arrangements with 34 organizations.

Consultative status: according to the procedures established, those non-governmental international organizations interested in the work of WMO could be granted consultative status subject to the approval of the Executive Council, such as the International Association of Broadcast Meteorology (IABM). Those organizations granted Consultative Status with the Organization are invited to meetings of WMO constituent bodies as observers. As of 30 June 2008, 17 non-governmental organizations had been granted consultative status with WMO.

Memorandums of understanding (MoU): in addition to agreements, working arrangements and consultative status, the Secretary-General, on behalf of the Organization, signs MoU or relevant cooperation documents on specific or broader cooperation with international organizations, including NGOs, at subregional, regional and global levels. Such memorandums of understanding can be multi-organizational, such as that between WMO, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission/United Nations Educatinal, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC/UNESCO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and ICSU for the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). Memorandums of Understanding can also be with non-governmental and intergovernmetal organizations, such as that between WMO and UNEP on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Secretary-General also signs MoU which are known by various names.

Cooperation without formal agreement: in addition, WMO collaborates without a formal agreement with a number of organizations or bodies on specific projects or relevant matters which relate to the Programmes of the Organization such as the Global Water Partnership, the World Water Council and river basin authorities. WMO also cooperates actively with the Secretariats of Conventions such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention for Combat Desertification (UNCCD), etc.


Print Friendly and PDF


© World Meteorological Organization, 7bis, avenue de la Paix, Case postale No. 2300, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland - Tel.: +41(0)22 730 81 11 - Fax: +41(0)22 730 81 81 Contact us Copyright | Privacy | Scams | Disclaimer |  Guidelines | Procurement | UN System | Accessibility