WHAT IS THE INTERNATIONAL PROGRESS ORGANIZATION?

The International Progress Organization is an international non-governmental organization that enjoys consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and is associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information. The I.P.O. is not affiliated with any political party or organization. It is strictly non-partisan, and not aligned with any government. The I.P.O. cherishes its independence and its reputation for tackling complex international issues with candor, toughness and objectivity.

The organization based in Vienna, Austria, sponsors international conferences and research seminars on topics such as
democracy, human rights, dialogue of civilizations,  conflict resolution, international law, and economic development; monitors elections and the human rights situation in various countries; co-operates with academic institutions and international NGOs on all continents; and publishes the series "Studies in International Relations." The I.P.O.  was founded in 1972 in Innsbruck, Austria, by students from Austria, India and Egypt who were concerned about relations between cultures and civilizations and the growing North-South divide. Today it has members from over 70 countries.

The organization understands progress in its broadest sense: as advancement in the humanitarian, ethical, spiritual, cultural and economic fields.
It has made substantial contributions to the worldwide debate on United Nations reform, civilizational dialogue, globalization, and international terrorism. U.N. Secretaries-General Kurt Waldheim, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar and Boutros Boutros-Ghali have repeatedly expressed their appreciation of the I.P.O.'s initiatives. On the basis of a resolution of the United Nations Security Council, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has chosen the I.P.O. to send international observers to the Scottish Court in the Netherlands (2000-2002).

The I.P.O. is led by a
n Executive Board which consists of a President, three Vice-Presidents, and additional members who are elected by the General Assembly or appointed by the President. They serve four year terms of office. The President is Dr. Hans Koechler. One of the original founders of the I.P.O., Koechler, a citizen of Austria, is an author and a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Innsbruck. He is the former Head of the Philosophy Department of that University and Visiting Professor at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. The organization has representatives at the main offices of the United Nations.

The I.P.O. aims to encourage cultural exchange between all nations, attempts to promote tolerance towards all nationalities and cultures, and emphasizes human liberties, social and economic development, peace, and the international rule of law.

Statement by the President of the I.P.O.