with links to Wikipedia.
Click here for current World Leaders in 2022.
Click here for the Appendix with its links to US organizations: FBI, CIA, DEA, and ATF, and the Australian equivalents: ASIO, AFP, ASIS, and the newly formed ONI.
League of Nations 1920-1946 based in Geneva, Switzerland
Click here for its Wikipedia entry. The League had had strong support by US President Woodrow Wilson, but many in the US Congress had reservations, and Wilson was unable to achieve the two-thirds vote required for the US to become a member.
The League Council acted as a type of executive body directing the Assembly's business. It began with four permanent members - Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan - and four non-permanent members that were elected by the Assembly for a three-year term. Initially established in London, it held its first council meeting in Paris on 16 January 1920,
In November 1920, the headquarters of the League moved from London to Geneva.
Most countries became members. The official languages were French and English. Germany joined in 1926 but withdrew in 1933, alongside Japan.
Italy withdrew in 1937. The Soviet Union joined in 1934, but was expelled after invading Finland in 1939.
The United Nations (UN) in New York replaced the League at the end of the Second World War and inherited several of its agencies and organisations.
United Nations is currently 193 member states plus two observer states West Bank and Vatican City.
Click here for its Wikipedia entry. Following the surprise Japanese attack on the US Territory of Pearl Harbour (on Dec 7 1941) coupled with Germany's declaration of war on the USA (on Dec 11 1941), on New Year's Day 1942 President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, Ambassador Litvinov of Russia, and Foreign Minister Soong of China signed a short document which later came to be known as the United Nations Declaration. At that time, the Russian leader Joseph Stalin with Chinese leaders Chiang Kai Shek and Mao Zedong had formed a somewhat "uneasy" alliance (Click here for some History) against their most powerful enemy, Japan.
Japan, with its proud Samurai traditions, had been involved in wars with China (starting inside Korea) since 1895, and with Russia ever since 1904.
The day after that US-UK-Russia-China Declaration, the representatives of twenty-two other nations added their signatures. In mid-1944 when France joined the original four, these five nations became the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
On 25 October 1971, over US opposition but with the support of many Third World nations, the mainland People's Republic of China was given the Chinese seat on the Security Council in place of the Republic of China that now just occupied Taiwan. The vote was seen by many as a sign of waning US influence in the organization. With an increasing Third World presence and the failure of UN mediation in conflicts in the Middle East, Vietnam, and Kashmir, the UN increasingly shifted its attention to ostensibly secondary goals of economic development and cultural exchange.
Click here for further history of the Security Council.
IMF International Monetary Fund created in 1944.
Click here for its Quotas Allocations and SDRs, and a current status and balance sheet for Australia. Click here for the names of its 190 members reconciled with the 193 members at the UN.
Click here for Happiness Ranking report in 2022, of 146 of these countries. Many of the missing countries are very small, or chose not to participate.
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization created in 1949.
In 2020 with the admission of North Macedonia, NATO consists of 30 member states.
Background In April 1949, the US Canada Iceland Norway and the UK, Denmark and Portugal, France Italy and Benelux were its original members, in a formal military alliance. It came after 1948's
West German banks had minimal gold and silver and were over their heads in debt. The object then was to create a new currency, and the banknotes finished printing for that in March 1948. Next cancel all liabilities to free the country's indebtedness, and greatly reduce the volume of paper money in the new currency to somewhat steady the market.
On Sunday, 20th June 1948, it was announced that all government debt in Reichsmarks was cancelled starting Monday 21st June. Privately owned banknotes and private bank deposits on that day would be credited in Deutschmark at the ratio of 10:1 via a newly forming "Bundesbank" (Federal Bank) in Frankfurt, half of this amount initially remaining out of reach in a blocked account, with 70% of the blocked amount subsequently cancelled on 4th October 1948, that freed up the final 30%.
To tide everyone over, 60 Deutschmark notes maximum per capita (in two instalments: 40 then 20) were made available in immediate exchange for Reichsmark notes to the general population, 80 Deutschmarks per employee quota to businesses, and one-sixth of 6 months revenue (based on Oct 1947-Mar 1948 revenue) to public authorities. Coins and notes up to 1 Reichsmark were legal tender, one-tenth value. Wages, rents, pensions were to be converted 1:1. And with rationing relaxed and 12 years of price controls (imposed by Hitler back in 1936) immediately abolished, major price increases did occur but shop windows immediately started to fill, fed by very high velocity of this new, more valuable money.
Click here for further details. Click here for a US dollar and UK £ conversion table up to the euro.
Dreading an influx of now worthless Reichsmark notes, East Germany angrily responded by issuing their own Ostmark notes (later called the "DDR" Mark) using a 1:1 rate at 70 Ostmarks maximum per capita, and providing no debt monetization for private contracts including real estate. Awkwardly for both sides, while there was an area of Berlin overseen by the western allies, the city itself was inside the East German state of Brandenburg. In an endeavour to prevent people (and capital) abandoning the Ostmark for a more valuable Deutschmark, on Thursday 24th June the Russians implemented the Berlin Blockade, cutting off all electricity and rail transport to West Berlin citing "technical difficulties" — thus no traffic was allowed in or out — one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. On Saturday 26th June the "Berlin Airlift" commenced, delivering regular provisions to West Berlin.
In May 1949, with NATO's formation, the blockade ended.
The heart of NATO was expressed in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, in which the signatory members agreed that:-
"an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all - and consequently they agreed that, if such an armed attack occurred, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deemed necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area."
West Berlin was recognised as under the rule of these "western allies". It was a de facto part of West Germany. East Berlin was ruled by a separate parliament under Russian control, as the de facto capital city of East Germany, and permitted only a restricted access to and from the west. Bonn became the de facto capital of West Germany.
Click here for further background to NATO's beginnings.
In 1952, Turkey and Greece joined NATO. In 1955 when West Germany joined, Russia formed the Warsaw Pact involving Poland and other countries on its western flank. As numerous East German citizens continued to emigrate through West Berlin at the rate of 2000 per day, in August 1961 a concrete wall was commenced inside the city. It became the symbol of the "Iron Curtain", a phrase first used by Winston Churchill in 1946. The structure was up to 5 metres high, topped with barbed wire, guarded with watchtowers, machine gun emplacements, and mines. By the 1980s this system of walls and electrified fences extended 45 kms through Berlin and 120 kms around the city's western border, separating it from the rest of East Germany. The East Germans also erected an extensive barrier along most of the 1360-kilometre border between East and West.
The wall remained for 28 years, not coming down until November 1989 (click here for details) after Hungary dismantled its border fence with Austria. Monetary reunification occurred in July 1990. The East German mark was converted at par for wages prices and basic savings (up to a limit of 4,000 marks per person, though a smaller number for children, and a larger number for pensioners). Larger amounts of savings, company debts and housing loans were converted at a 2:1 rate whilst so-called "speculative money", acquired shortly before unification, was converted at a rate of 3:1. Political reunification followed in October 1990. In June 1991, the vote (narrowly won) decided that the Bundestag and many government offices would ultimately and officially relocate from Bonn to Berlin. This occurred on April 19 1999.
That vote was followed by the Warsaw Pact disbanding, in July 1991.
The G7 a forum for the world's major industrialized countries. Click here for further details.
European Parliament with its de facto capital in Brussels formed in 1962.
Background In 1951 West Germany and France formed ECSC (The European Coal and Steel Community) along with Italy and the 3 smaller countries known as "Benelux" (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg).
In 1958 these six countries formed a second body called the EEC (European Economic Community) or Common Market, and a third body called Euratom (European Atomic Energy Community).
An elected Common Assembly for legislative purposes was shared by all three communities, named the European Parliamentary Assembly, and since 1962 the European Parliament.
Its current President is Roberta Metsola, from Malta.
European Commission formed in 1967
Background In 1951 it originated as the "High Authority" — the 9 member Executive of the ECSC. In 1967 it was disbanded, when it was merged into the Executive Commissions of the EEC and Euratom.
Its current President is Ursula von de Leyen, from Germany.
Council of European Communities today Council of the EU
In 1967, the EEC Council of Ministers from its member countries became the Council of European Communities, while merging into itself the Councils of the ECSC and Euratom.
The Presidency of the Council rotates every six months among the governments of its member states, with the relevant ministers of each respective country holding the Presidency at any given time, ensuring the smooth running of the meetings and setting the daily agenda.
Somewhat ambiguously, the heads of state of its member countries are formally referred to as the European Council.
Its current President is Charles Michel, from Belgium.
In 1993 the EEC changed its name to the EU. Since 2020 and UK's exit, the EU is currently 27 nations.
In 1995 the Schengen Agreement first implemented a proposal to abolish passport and any other type of border control at their mutual borders.
Initially signed in Luxembourg in 1985 by five of its then ten member countries Benelux France and Germany, this Schengen Area now includes 22 EU member countries, 4 extra non-EU countries, and 3 de facto member microstates. The 4 non-EU countries are Norway and Iceland since 2001, Switzerland since 2008, and tiny Liechtenstein since 2011. The 3 "micro-states" with their open (or semi-open) borders: Vatican City (inside Rome), San Marino (inside north-eastern Italy), and Monaco (on the French Riviera).
In 1999 the EU created the Eurozone for 11 of its member countries, using a new currency they call the euro, and its capital stock owned by the central banks of all 27 EU member states. The headquarters for the
Since 2007, 7 extra countries have been added, making 19 in this Eurozone in total.
Its current President since November 2019 is Christine Lagarde, from France.
Brexit In 2016, the UK voted in a plebiscite to leave the EU in 2019, which was implemented at the start of 2020.
Click here for the latest summary in Wikipedia.
Now for two lists of who joined NATO and the EU, and when.
Click a column heading, e.g. "Nation", to sort and align the two lists showing who is in one but not in the other. Click REFRESH to restore original layout.
Significant nations not included in NATO are Ireland (well for many years of course it was in conflict with England) and also Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland who have always preferred a "peaceable" neutrality.
With regards to the EU and the euro, Switzerland retains its own currency, the Swiss franc, but regularly accepts and exchanges euros in its business dealings.
Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI
The FBI is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States, and its principal federal law enforcement agency. It operates under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice. Click here for a timeline to all their Directors. Key men below.
President Richard Nixon appointed Louis Patrick Gray as his successor, but he failed to get Senate confirmation. Thus Gray was an acting Director only, and had to resign one year later after admitting to destroying documents related to the Watergate break-in, back in June 1972. He was succeeded by another acting director.
Two other investigative bodies in the US Dept of Justice are
Central Intelligence Agency CIA
The Central Intelligence Agency CIA was formed in 1947 from the National Intelligence Authority, formed in 1946 after World War 2 to do investigative work on national security matters in overseas countries. Since 2005, its director reports to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines since January 2021, who reports directly to the US President.
Department of Homeland Security
And in response to the September 11 attacks in 2001, a major development was the creation of this department, incorporating areas previously overseen by the FBI as well as the Departments of Administration, Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Justice, Treasury and Transportation.
Australian Security Intelligence Organization ASIO
In Australia, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization ASIO was formed after World War 2 as Australia's equivalent to the CIA and FBI, specifically to protect Australia from espionage, sabotage, foreign interference and politically motivated violence. Works closely with the Commonwealth Police (now known as Australian Federal Police) and Australian Border Force.
ASIO also has a smaller brother ASIS (Australian Secret Intelligence Service) whose employees are deployed in overseas intelligence, working with foreign intelligence agencies (such as the CIA or MI6). While that includes planning for paramilitary and violent operations, ASIS does not have permission to be involved in the execution of such operations.
Office of National Intelligence ONI
In December 2018 the Office of National Intelligence ONI was formed as a portfolio agency of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. It is an Australian statutory intelligence agency directly accountable to the Prime Minister of Australia, the Australian equivalent of the United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the United Kingdom Joint Intelligence Organisation.
Since November 2020 the director-general has been Andrew Shearer, succeeding Nick Warner, the inaugural director-general.
** End of List