UN- The United Nations is an international organisation that works to facilitate international cooperation, promotes socio-economic development and strives for world peace. It was established in October 1945, after the conclusion of the Second World War. It was felt that the existence of such an organisation was necessary to prevent future large scale conflicts. It was intended to replace the failed League of Nations that was unable to prevent the outbreak of the Second world War. Presently, it has 193 member countries. Its headquarters are located in New York while other offices are located at Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi. It has many organs. The General Assembly is the main assembly of the United Nations comprising of all member countries. The Security Council is an exclusive group comprising five permanent members having veto power and ten non-permanent members who serve a term of two years. It is responsible for taking action to make binding decisions. Other organs of the UN are UNICEF and UNESCO that work for children's welfare and in cultural and educational fields respectively. The Secretary-General is the leader of the United Nations. The UN is partially democratic in its practices. While the resolutions of the General Assembly are democratic in nature, the Security Council, which wields most power, is skewed in favour of five original nuclear-power states. These are USA, Russia, China, UK and France. Thus, its functioning cannot be exactly called democratic and there have been calls for it to permanently include emerging powers like India, South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia which represent large sections of world population.
World Bank- It is a Bretton Woods institution and a financial organisation that provides loans to developing countries. Its stated goal is the reduction of poverty in the world and its decisions are guided by a commitment to increase foreign investment and international trade. It comprises two institutions- The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). The IBRD has 188 member countries while the IDA has 170 member countries. The President of the World Bank is nominated by the President of the US and is always a citizen of the US. The voting pattern of World Bank is skewed in favour of developed countries. Thus, it is still some distance away from being entirely democratic in its affairs.
IMF- The International Monetary Fund or the IMF is a Bretton Woods institution that was established in 1944 after the Bretton Woods conference. However, it formally came into existence only a year later. The objectives of the organisation are to promote international trade, employment and exchange rate stability. At present, it has a membership of 188 nations and is one of the biggest moneylenders for any country. However, the member countries do not have equal voting rights in the organisation. The weightage of a country's vote is determined by its contribution to the IMF. In this respect, the USA, Japan, France, Russia, China, UK and Saudi Arabia, which are the biggest donors to the IMF, have almost half of the voting powers. The President of the IMF is generally nominated from among the members of the European Union and mostly belongs to France. Thus, much needs to be done to establish a democratic decision-making process in this organisation.