The Role and Functions of the IMF and the World Bank

To relate the role of IMF and WB to international relations it is proper to define the latter term first. Wikipedia, (2006), said, defined international relations (IR) as “ a branch of political science, is the study of foreign affairs of and relations among states within the international system, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multinational corporations (MNCs). It is both an academic and public policy field, and can be either positive or normative as it both seeks to analyze as well as formulate foreign policy.” It also referred to IR as drawing upon such diverse fields as economics, history, law, philosophy, geography, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and cultural studies and that it involves a diverse range of issues, from globalization and its impacts on societies and state sovereignty to ecological sustainability, nuclear proliferation, nationalism, economic development, terrorism, organized crime, human security and human rights. (Paraphrasing made)

As to how international relations originated, one cannot avoid talking about the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. It is with Westphalia that e the modern state system was developed since it encouraged the rise of the nation-state and the institutionalization of diplomacy and armies. (Wikipedia-IR, 2006) (Paraphrasing made)

Having a background therefore of IR, we are confronted with the questions: What are the institutions involved? The United Nations assumes a major role in IR as it describes itself as a "global association of governments facilitating co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, and social equity". Wikipedia, (2006) stated that it is the most prominent international institution and many of the legal institutions follow the same organizational structure as the UN. (Paraphrasing made)

UN has, therefore, affiliations with several legal institutions which include the International Court of Justice, European Court of Justice and the African Court of Justice. It has also affiliations with human rights organisations which include, United Nations Human Rights Council, Human Rights Committee, European Court of Human Rights, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and International Criminal Court.&nbsp.&nbsp.

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