Global Learning Programme Wales

International organisations

International organisations such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank play an Flags of member nations flying at United Nations Headquarters © UN Photo on flickrimportant role in development.

The United Nations aims: to keep peace; foster friendly relations between countries; reduce poverty and hunger; and improve respect for human rights. (See UN at a glance.)

The IMF oversees the international monetary system; whilst the World Bank promotes economic development, and supports poorer countries through loans and financial assistance. (See The IMF and the World Bank: How do they differ?)

Pupils could explore how these organisations operate and make decisions, or even get involved in a Model United Nations meeting with pupils from other schools.

Recommended reading

The following links and articles provide useful background information to help you teach about international organisations:

BBC News –Profile: IMF and World Bank

BBC News –Profile: United Nations

Bretton Woods Project: What are the main concerns and criticism about the World Bank and IMF?

Global Dimension: The United Nations Feature article on the UN

Teaching resources

Useful teaching resources about (and produced by) international organisations:

Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO): Feeding Minds, Fighting Hunger Global initiative for creating greater awareness and understanding of hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity

IMF: Information and online learning activities about the IMF, money and macroeconomics

UNICEF is the United Nations Children’s Fund: UNICEF UK Teaching Resources (see also UNICEF USA’s website for teachers TeachUNICEF)

United Nations Association: Model UN Portal Portal supporting UK schools and universities running Model UN meetings

United Nations: Outreach Programme on the Rwanda Genocide Includes educational materials

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): UNDP for Beginners (PDF) see also Human Development Reports and Human Development Index These are not specifically teaching resources but very useful for teaching about development and the role of the UN

World Bank: Youthink! About Development Resources to help pupils understand some of the issues around development and help teachers explain these concepts in the classroom

Browse through all teaching resources on international organisations

We welcome your suggestions for useful articles and teaching resources on the topic of International organisations. Please email them to