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ICC is the world business organization, the only
representative body that speaks with authority on behalf of enterprises from
all sectors in every part of the world.
ICC promotes an open international trade and investment system and the market economy. Its conviction that trade is a powerful force for peace and prosperity dates from the organization's origins early in the last century.
Because its member companies and associations are themselves engaged in international business, ICC has unrivalled authority in making rules that govern the conduct of business across borders. Although these rules are voluntary, they are observed in countless thousands of transactions every day and have become part of the fabric of international trade.
ICC also provides essential services, foremost
among them the ICC International Court of Arbitration, the world's leading
Within a year of the creation of the United Nations, ICC was granted consultative status at the highest level with the UN and its specialized agencies.
Business leaders and experts drawn from the ICC membership establish the business stance on broad issues of trade and investment policy as well as on vital technical and sectoral subjects. These include financial services, information technologies, telecommunications, marketing ethics, the environment, transportation, competition law and intellectual property, among others.
ICC was founded in 1919. Today it groups thousands of member companies and associations from over 130 countries. National committees in the world's major capitals coordinate with their membership to address the concerns of the business community and to convey to their governments the business views formulated by ICC.
How ICC works
The ICC World Council is the equivalent of the general assembly of a major intergovernmental organization. The big difference is that the delegates are business executives and not government officials. There is a federal structure, based on the Council as ICC's supreme governing body. National committees name delegates to the Council, which normally meets twice a year. Ten direct members - from countries where there is no national committee – may also be invited to participate in the Council's work.
National committees and groups
They represent the ICC in their respective countries. The national committees and groups make sure that ICC takes account of their national business concerns in its policy recommendations to governments and international organizations.
Presidency and Executive Board
The Council elects the President and Vice-President for two-year terms. The President, his immediate predecessor and the Vice-President form the Presidency. The Council also elects the Executive Board, responsible for implementing ICC policy, on the President's recommendation. The Executive Board has between 15 and 30 members, who serve for three years, with one third retiring at the end of each year.
The Secretary General heads the International Secretariat and works closely with the national committees to carry out ICC's work programme. The Secretary General is appointed by the Council at the initiative of the Presidency and on the recommendation of the Executive Board.
Member companies and business associations can shape the ICC stance on any given business issue by participating in the work of ICC commissions. Commissions are the bedrock of ICC, composed of a total of more than 500 business experts who give freely of their time to formulate ICC policy and elaborate its rules. Commissions scrutinize proposed international and national government initiatives affecting their subject areas and prepare business positions for submission to international organizations and governments.
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