|Antigua and Barbuda||20.5||20.5||20.5|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||41.7||42||42.2|
|Central African Republic||8.4||8.2||8.2|
|Congo, Dem. Rep.||11.4||11.4||11.4|
|Egypt, Arab Rep.||3.7||3.7||3.7|
|Hong Kong SAR, China|
|Iran, Islamic Rep.||29.8||29.9||30.1|
|Isle of Man||76.1||76.1||74.7|
|Korea, Dem. Rep.||21.2||21.2||21.2|
|Macao SAR, China|
|Micronesia, Fed. Sts.||30.1||30.1||30.1|
|Northern Mariana Islands||6.5||6.5||6.5|
|Papua New Guinea||2.6||2.6||2.6|
|Sao Tome and Principe||51||50.5||50.7|
|Sint Maarten (Dutch part)|
|St. Kitts and Nevis||21.2||21.9||23.1|
|St. Martin (French part)|
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines||25.6||25.6||25.6|
|Syrian Arab Republic||75.7||75.7||75.5|
|Trinidad and Tobago||10.5||10.5||10.5|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||1.1||1.1||1.1|
|United Arab Emirates||4.7||4.8||4.8|
|Virgin Islands (U.S.)||11.4||11.4||11.4|
|West Bank and Gaza||49.7||41.3||43.3|
Courtesy : http://data.worldbank.org
This is a list of countries without armed forces. The term “country” is used in the sense of independent states; thus, it applies only to sovereign states and not dependencies (e.g., Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Bermuda), whose defense is the responsibility of another country or an army alternative. The term “armed forces” refers to any government-sponsored defense used to further the domestic and foreign policies of their respective government. Some of the countries listed, such as Iceland and Monaco, have no armies, but still have a non-police military force.
Many of the 21 countries listed here typically have had a long-standing agreement with a former occupying country; one example is the agreement between Monaco and France, which has existed for at least 300 years. The Compact of Free Association nations of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and Palau have no say in their respective countries’ defense matters, and have little say in international relations. For example, when the FSM negotiated a defensive agreement with the United States, it did so from a weak position because it had grown heavily dependent on American assistance. Andorra has a small army, and can request defensive aid if necessary, while Iceland had a unique agreement with the United States that lasted until 2006, which required them to provide defense to Iceland when needed.
The remaining countries are responsible for their own defense, and operate either without any armed forces, or with limited armed forces. Some of the countries, such as Costa Rica, Haiti, and Grenada, underwent a process of demilitarization. Other countries were formed without armed forces, such as Samoa over 50 years ago; the primary reason being that they were, or still are, under protection from another nation at their point of independence. All of the countries on this list are considered to be in a situation of “non-militarization.”
Japan is not included in this list because, while the country may officially have no military according to Article 9 of its Constitution, it does have the Japan Self-Defense Forces, a military force for national territory defense that may only be deployed outside Japan for UN peacekeeping missions
Countries with absolutely no military forces
|Andorra||Andorra has no standing army but signed treaties with Spain and France for its protection. Its small volunteer army is purely ceremonial in function. The paramilitary GIPA (trained in counter-terrorism and hostage management) is part of the national police.|
|Costa Rica||The constitution has forbidden a standing military since 1949. It does have a public security force, whose role includes law enforcement and internal security. For this reason Costa Rica is the headquarters for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and also the United Nations University‘ for Peace.|
|Grenada||Has not had a standing army since 1983 because of an American-led invasion. The Royal Grenada Police Force maintains a paramilitary special service unit for internal security purposes. Defense is the responsibility of the Regional Security System.|
|Kiribati||Under the Constitution the only forces permitted are the police, which includes a Maritime Surveillance Unit for internal security. The Maritime Surveillance is equipped with small arms, and maintains one Pacific class patrol boat, the Teanoai. Defense assistance is provided by Australia and New Zealand under an informal agreement between the three countries.|
|Liechtenstein||Abolished its army in 1868 because it was deemed too costly. An army is only permitted in times of war, but that situation has never occurred. However, Liechtenstein maintains a police force and a SWAT team, equipped with small arms to carry out internal security duties.|
|Marshall Islands||Since the country’s foundation the only forces permitted are the police, which includes a Maritime Surveillance Unit for internal security. The Maritime Surveillance Unit is equipped with small arms, and maintains one Pacific class patrol boat, the Lomor. Under the Compact of Free Association, defense is the responsibility of the United States.|
|Federated States of Micronesia||Since the country’s foundation no military has been formed. The only forces permitted are the police, which maintain a Maritime Surveillance Unit for internal security. The Maritime Surveillance is equipped with small arms, and maintains one Pacific class patrol boat, theIndependence. Defense is the responsibility of the United States under the Compact of Free Association.|
|Nauru||Australia is responsible for Nauru’s defense under an informal agreement between the two countries. However, there is a relatively large armed police force, and an auxiliary police force for internal security.|
|Palau||Since the country’s foundation the only forces permitted are the police, which includes a 30-man Maritime Surveillance Unit for internal security. The Maritime Surveillance is equipped with small arms, and maintains one Pacific class patrol boat, the President H.I. Remeliik. Defense assistance is provided by the United States under the Compact of Free Association.|
|Saint Lucia||The Royal Saint Lucia Police maintain two small paramilitary forces consisting of 116 men and women, the Special Service Unit, and the Coast Guard, both units are responsible for internal security. Defense is the responsibility of Regional Security System.|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||The Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force maintain two small paramilitary forces consisting of 94 men and women, called the Special Service Unit, and the Coast Guard, both units are responsible for internal security purposes. All Coastguard Commanders with the exception of Lieutenant Commander David Robin have been officers from the Royal Navy. Defense is the responsibility of Regional Security System.|
|Samoa||Since the country’s foundation no military has been formed, however, there is a small police force, and a Maritime Surveillance Unit for internal security. The Maritime Surveillance Unit is equipped with small arms, and maintains one Pacific class patrol boat, the Nafanua. In accordance to a 1962 Treaty of Friendship, New Zealand is responsible for defense.|
|Solomon Islands||Maintained a paramilitary force until a heavy ethnic conflict, in which Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific countries intervened to restore law and order. Since then no military has been maintained, however, there is a relatively large police force, and a Maritime Surveillance Unit for internal security. The Maritime Surveillance Unit is equipped with small arms, and maintains two Pacific class patrol boats, the Aukiand the Lata. Defense and policing assistance is the responsibility of the RAMSI.|
|Tuvalu||Since the country’s foundation no military has been formed, however, there is a small police force, and a Maritime Surveillance Unit for internal security. The Maritime Surveillance Unit is equipped with small arms, and maintains one Pacific class patrol boat, the Te Mataili.|
|Vatican City||Maintains a Gendarmerie Corps for internal policing. The Swiss Guard is a unit belonging to the Holy See, not the Vatican City State. There is no defense treaty with Italy, as it would violate the Vatican’s neutrality, but informally the Italian military protects Vatican City. The Palatine Guard and Noble Guard were abolished in 1970.|
Countries with no standing army, but having limited military forces
|Haiti||The Haitian military was disbanded in June 1995, but rebels have demanded its re-establishment. The 9,000-strong Haitian National Police maintains some paramilitary units and a Coast Guard; these units are considered to be larger than what is required, considering the much smaller militaries of some neighboring countries. In April 2012, Haitian President Michel Martelly demanded the re-establishment of the Army, which he deems necessary for the stability of Haiti.|
|Iceland||Has not had a standing army since 1869, but is an active member of NATO. There was a defense agreement with the United States, which maintained an Iceland Defense Force and a military base in the country from 1951 to 2006. However, the US announced it would continue to provide for Iceland’s defense, but without permanently basing forces in the country; Naval Air Station Keflavikclosed in late 2006 after 55 years. Even though Iceland does not have a standing army, it still maintains a military expeditionary peacekeeping force, an air defense system, an extensive militarised coast guard, a police service, and a tactical police force. There are also agreements about military and other security operations with Norway, Denmark, and other NATO countries.|
|Mauritius||Mauritius has not had a standing army since 1968. All military, police, and security functions are carried out by 10,000 active duty personnel under the command of the Commissioner of Police. The 8,000 member National Police Force is responsible for domestic law enforcement. There is also a 1,500 member Special Mobile Force, and a 500 member National Coast Guard, which are both considered paramilitary units. Both units are equipped with small arms.|
|Monaco||Renounced its general military investment in the 17th century because the advancement in artillery technology had rendered it defenseless, but still self identifies as having limited military forces. Although defense is the responsibility of France, two small military units are maintained; one primarily protects the Prince, and judiciary, while the other is responsible for civil defense, and fire fighting. Both units are well trained and equipped with small arms. In addition to the military, an armed national police force is maintained for internal security purposes.|
|Panama||Abolished its army in 1990, which was confirmed by a unanimous parliamentary vote for constitutional change in 1994. ThePanamanian Public Forces, includes the National Police, National Borders Service, National Aeronaval Service, and Institutional Protection Service, which have some warfare capabilities.|
|Vanuatu||The Vanuatu Police Force maintain a paramilitary force, called the Vanuatu Mobile Force for internal security purposes. The Vanuatu Mobile Force is manned by almost 300 men and women, who are well equipped with small arms.|
Courtesy : Wikipedia
- Least Populated Nations (averagegeo.wordpress.com)
- SIDS discuss climate change in the 44th Pacific Islands Forum (jessicakarcz.wordpress.com)
- Senators Held Open Discussion Meeting With Yapese On Guam (concernedyapcitizens.wordpress.com)
- Costa Rica: No army, no problem (miamiherald.com)
- The Number of Countries in the World (visit-chiang-mai-online.com)
- Looking Back on Costa Rica Without A Military (costaricantimes.com)
- Costa Rica 3rd Most Powerful Army-less Nation, Study Shows (elpeji.com)
Member states and observers of the United Nations
States recognised by at least one United Nations member
States not recognised by any United Nations members
|State||Head of State||Head of Government|
|Nagorno-Karabakh||President – Bako Sahakyan||Prime Minister – Arayik Harutyunyan|
|Transnistria||President – Yevgeny Shevchuk||Prime Minister – Tatiana Turanskaya|
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.
The result is assurance. Consumers and producers know that they can enjoy secure supplies and greater choice of the finished products, components, raw materials and services that they use. Producers and exporters know that foreign markets will remain open to them.
The result is also a more prosperous, peaceful and accountable economic world. Virtually all decisions in the WTO are taken by consensus among all member countries and they are ratified by members’ parliaments. Trade friction is channelled into the WTO’s dispute settlement process where the focus is on interpreting agreements and commitments, and how to ensure that countries’ trade policies conform with them. That way, the risk of disputes spilling over into political or military conflict is reduced.
By lowering trade barriers, the WTO’s system also breaks down other barriers between peoples and nations.
At the heart of the system — known as the multilateral trading system — are the WTO’s agreements, negotiated and signed by a large majority of the world’s trading nations, and ratified in their parliaments. These agreements are the legal ground-rules for international commerce. Essentially, they are contracts, guaranteeing member countries important trade rights. They also bind governments to keep their trade policies within agreed limits to everybody’s benefit.
The agreements were negotiated and signed by governments. But their purpose is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business.
The goal is to improve the welfare of the peoples of the 159 member states.
The History :
The World Trade Organization came into being in 1995. One of the youngest of the international organizations, the WTO is the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) established in the wake of the Second World War. So while the WTO is still young, the multilateral trading system that was originally set up under GATT is well over 50 years old. (click here to read the complete history)
In 2000, new talks started on agriculture and services. These have now been incorporated into a broader agenda launched at the fourth WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001.
The work programme, the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), adds negotiations and other work on non-agricultural tariffs, trade and environment, WTO rules such as anti-dumping and subsidies, investment, competition policy, trade facilitation, transparency in government procurement, intellectual property, and a range of issues raised by developing countries as difficulties they face in implementing the present WTO agreements.
It does this by:
Administering trade agreements
Acting as a forum for trade negotiations
Settling trade disputes
Reviewing national trade policies
Assisting developing countries in trade policy issues, through technical assistance and training programmes
Cooperating with other international organizations
The WTO has about 150 members, accounting for about 95% of world trade. Around 30 others are negotiating membership.
Decisions are made by the entire membership. This is typically by consensus. A majority vote is also possible but it has never been used in the WTO, and was extremely rare under the WTO’s predecessor, GATT. The WTO’s agreements have been ratified in all members’ parliaments.
The WTO’s top level decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference which meets at least once every two years.
Below this is the General Council (normally ambassadors and heads of delegation in Geneva, but sometimes officials sent from members’ capitals) which meets several times a year in the Geneva headquarters. The General Council also meets as the Trade Policy Review Body and the Dispute Settlement Body.
At the next level, the Goods Council, Services Council and Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Council report to the General Council.
Numerous specialized committees, working groups and working parties deal with the individual agreements and other areas such as the environment, development, membership applications and regional trade agreements.
The WTO Secretariat, based in Geneva, has around 600 staff and is headed by a director-general (Roberto Azevêdo). Its annual budget is roughly 160 million Swiss francs. It does not have branch offices outside Geneva. Since decisions are taken by the members themselves, the Secretariat does not have the decision-making role that other inter-Secretariat, Genevanational bureaucracies are given.
The WTO agreements
How can you ensure that trade is as fair as possible, and as free as is practical? By negotiating rules and abiding by them. (Click here to read more about the WTO agreements)
The WTO is ‘rules-based’; its rules are negotiated agreements.
> Overview: a navigational guide
> Tariffs: more bindings and closer to zero
> Agriculture: fairer markets for farmers
> Standards and safety
> Textiles: back in the mainstream
> Services: rules for growth and investment
> Intellectual property: protection and enforcement
> Anti-dumping, subsidies, safeguards: contingencies, etc
> Non-tariff barriers: red tape, etc
> Plurilaterals: of minority interest
> Trade policy reviews: ensuring transparency
10 benefits of the WTO trading system
From the money in our pockets and the goods and services that we use, to a more peaceful world — the WTO and the trading system offer a range of benefits, some well-known, others not so obvious.
1. The system helps promote peace
2. Disputes are handled constructively
3. Rules make life easier for all
4. Freer trade cuts the costs of living
5. It provides more choice of products and qualities
6. Trade raises incomes
7. Trade stimulates economic growth
8. The basic principles make life more efficient
9. Governments are shielded from lobbying
10. The system encourages good government
10 common misunderstandings about the WTO
Is it a dictatorial tool of the rich and powerful? Does it destroy jobs? Does it ignore the concerns of health, the environment and development? Emphatically no. Criticisms of the WTO are often based on fundamental misunderstandings of the way the WTO works.
Courtesy and Source : www.wto.org, Wikipedia and Google