chapter  2
International organizations: available information and documentation
ByJames Church, Michael McCaffrey
Pages 14

International governmental organizations (IGOs) are defi ned in the Yearbook of International Organizations (UIA 1992-3: 1649) as bodies that are “based on a formal instrument or agreement between the governments of nation states, include three or more nation states as parties to the agreement, and have a permanent secretariat performing ongoing tasks.” Few would dispute the essentials of this defi nition, but what constitutes an “IGO document” may be less well acknowledged. Most users consider “government information” or a “government document” to mean any publication produced at government expense. But with IGOs, an important distinction exists between the information IGOs publish for public consumption ( publications ) and information created for internal use in the exercise of their function ( documentation ).