International Squads

August 26, 2019

This past weekend, international leaders lounged (read: held a bunch of meetings) on the coast of France for the annual G7 summit. We’ve got everything you need to know about what exactly international squads like the G7 do, and their impact around the world. 

Trump and Merkel
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The Story

Things the international community loves: group projects and work retreats.

The Background

Thanks to industrialism and developments in transportation and communication in the 19th century, the need grew for agencies with specific purposes. Meet, international organizations, which helped governments collaborate and problem solve. After WWI, the League of Nations was established in 1919 to give countries a forum to resolve international disputes. Then WWII happened and the League realized it needed a revamp if it wanted to get real about preventing international conflict. Enter, the United Nations, which became official in 1945. Hello, intergovernmental organization (IGO), a specific type of squad that's formed by treaty.

Why does that matter?

Because it means they’re subject to international law and have the ability to enforce agreements between member countries. An IGO involves two or more countries that are working on issues of common interest, with the goal of making the world a better place. 

Ah yes, the elusive world peace.

Exactly. An IGO may work on issues like peace, security, the economy, or even social issues. We say all this because not all international groups are technically IGOs. Groups including the G7 and the G20 – which we'll get into in a minute – are not bound by treaty. This means that while they may make joint statements and work towards common goals, they may be less effective since there aren’t ways to enforce those statements and goals.

Got it got it. I’m ready to get into the groups.

Let’s do this…

If you want a basic refresher on who is part of each of these groups and what their overall purpose is, we Skimm’d that below. You’re welcome.

But it can be difficult to pin down what exactly all of these groups do, what they’ve accomplished, and whether they are effective. That’s what we’re going to break down here.

BTW, the most recent G7 summit was on the coast of France. And from the back and forth over US-China trade talks, to a surprise visit by the Iranian foreign minister, things were pretty eventful. Our daily podcast gets into the main issues leaders discussed, and what happens next.

That's a wrap

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The Debate

Some say, others say

Some of these orgs are at a crossroads when it comes to their influence on global world order.


International squads facilitate diplomacy, uphold international laws and standards, and help countries do business in an increasingly global world. They can have a large-scale impact on countries’ economies and security. Given many were founded decades ago, the question some of them now face is whether they’ll continue to play an influential role in international relations as global power shifts.

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