Established in 1945, the United Nations is the foremost intergovernmental organization and arena within which global intergovernmental dialogue is carried out. The General Assembly is the nucleus of intergovernmental dialogue. As of December 1994, the United Nations has 185 member nations.
The European Union (EU), established in 1993 and replacing the European Community, is the foremost setting within which intergovernmental dialogue is undertaken among western European countries. As of January 1995, the European Union has 15 member nations. The principle centre of EU intergovernmental dialogue is in Brussels.
The Commonwealth Secretariat, set up in 1965, is the focus for multilateral intergovernmental consultation and information exchange among members. Member nations are defined as once being or are still territories of the UK. The Commonwealth is made up of 50 member nations and 1,500 million people.
Established 1890, the Organization of American States (OAS) members include the 35 independent countries of the Americas, except Cuba. The supreme organ, the General Assembly, holds a regular session each year, either in one of the member states or at headquarters. In special circumstances, a special session of the General Assembly may be held.
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), established in 1991, includes 12 countries of the former Soviet Union. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, however, are not members. The Council of CIS Heads of State meets twice a year, and the Council of CIS Heads of Government meets 4 times a year.