Special Reports on Intergovernmental Organizations

IAEA: The International Atomic Energy Agency has no comprehensive policy on disclosing information. (April 23, 2015) Follow Up: Freedominfo.org/Nuclear Vault obtain the proposal made in 1996 for a more liberal disclosure policy that has not been implemented. (April 24, 2015)

ICSID: The World Bank arbitration body has fallen behind on transparency compared with the UN arbitration body.

ITU: The existence of a special website for leaked documents from international standard-setting body would appear to suggest major transparency problems. The reality is more complex. The leaks come with a wink.

UNCITRAL: New transparency rules will go into effect April 1 for the world’s second largest arbiter of international investment treaty disputes, but their impact will be minimal. The rules will apply only to the disputes under future treaties, not the 3,000 existing treaties.

WIPO: The World Intellectual Property Organization is lauded for the openness of a recent, successful treaty negotiation, but the Secretariat has annoyed some members by denying them access to specific reports.

UPOV: A new strategy to contest the opacity of an international organization emerging this year, a watchdog group obtained undisclosed documents through a national access to information laws and posted them online. The impact of this technique remains to be seen, but the goal is to prod the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants.

UNEP: The United Nations Environmental Programme has yet to produce a disclosure policy mandated by its government body in early 2013, but it’s coming soon, a UNEP spokesman says.

G20: If the G20 is viewed as “a big hot tub party” for world leaders, as one observer put it, then transparency might not seem too desirable. But if viewed as an influential international policy-making institution, the application of transparency standards seems more logical. Not necessarily an easy fit, however, given the peculiarities of the nomadic institution.

Financial Stability Board: The Financial Stability Board, a small organization with significant influence on the world’s financial sector, has moved to be more open in recent years, but is still too secret according to critical observers.

Trans-Pacific Trade Talks: The explosive WikiLeaks disclosure of a draft text from the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks has brought renewed attention to the secrecy of trade negotiations.

The G8: The eight largest developed nations have made uneven progress toward more transparency in recent years, according to critical CSOs.

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