Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)

Commission océanographique intergouvernementale (COI)
Comisión Oceanografica Intergubernamental (COI)
Mezpravitelstvennaja Okeanograficeskaja Komissija (MOK)

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1960 Paris France


Established as a body with functional autonomy within B-XB3383 - UNESCO, in accordance with a resolution of Intergovernmental Conference on Oceanographic Research, Jul 1960, Copenhagen (Denmark), by decision of 11th General Conference of UNESCO, Nov 1960. The only competent organization for marine science within the UN System. First met at UNESCO Headquarters, 19-27 Oct 1961. Initially 40 states became members. Statutes modified: 1970; 1987; 1999 by General Conference of UNESCO at its 30th session.


Promote international cooperation and coordinate programmes in research, services and capacity-building, in order to learn more about the nature and resources of the ocean and coastal areas, and apply that knowledge for the improvement of management, sustainable development, the protection of the marine environment, and the decision-making processes of Member States.


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Assembly (every 2 years) in Paris (France); Executive Council (meeting annually). Technical and regional subsidiary bodies, including joint bodies with other organizations:

Other joint groups: E-XE4186 - Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP); E-XE1593 - Joint IOC/IHO Guiding Committee for the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO); E-XE3456 - Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM); F-XF9983 - World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). Together with IHO, provides joint committees for: International Bathymetric Chart of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico (IBCCA); International Bathymetric Chart of the Central Eastern Atlantic (IBCEA); International Bathymetric Chart of the Mediterranean (IBCM); International Bathymetric Chart of the Western Indian Ocean (IBCWIO). Contributes to: T-XT9210 - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).


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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

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Type I Classification

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Subjects *

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UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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