Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Jan Klabbers and Åsa Wallendahl
Chapter 4: Membership in International Organizations
Konstantinos D. Magliveras INTRODUCTION International organizations are made up of at least three members. The reason for this is that, if a member chose to withdraw, the organization would not be forced to dissolve. Even though traditionally only independent states have become members, in the last 15 years a trend has developed whereby international organizations have come to join other organizations as members.1 The purpose of this chapter is to examine how organizations acquire members (either as original participants or through subsequent admission and accession); the correlation between the enjoyment of the rights and benefits conferred by membership and the fulfilment of the duties and obligations assumed by virtue of membership; the ways and means through which organizations react when members fail to perform their duties and/or deliberately violate them and in particular the measures of a punitive nature that they may adopt; and, finally, the procedure that has to be followed when members decide to terminate their participation by withdrawing from the organization. Two general comments should be made to the reader. The first is that the constitutive instruments of international institutions deal with admission, sanctions and withdrawal in an extremely large variety of ways,2 all of which could not be covered within the confines of this chapter. It follows that a selection had to be made and, even though the organizations included herein may not offer a complete picture of all variations, they do represent the main tendencies. The second is that there exists little practice as...
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