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World Meteorological Organisation (WMO): Functions and Structure of Organisation

18-MAR-2016 14:43

    The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was founded in 1873. It became the specialized agency of the United Nations in 1951and named as World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. It is the mouth-piece of UN system’s of authoritative voice related to the state and behaviour of the Earth's atmosphere- its interaction with the oceans, the climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources.


    WMO has a membership of 191 Member States and Territories (on 1 January 2013).

    Functions of World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

    • To facilitate worldwide cooperation in the establishment of networks of stations for the making of meteorological observations as well as hydrological and other geophysical observations related to meteorology, and to promote the establishment and maintenance of centres charged with the provision of meteorological and related services;

    • To Promote the establishment and maintenance of systems for the rapid exchange of meteorological and related information;

    • Promote standardization of meteorological and related observations and to ensure the uniform publication of observations and statistics;

    • Application of meteorology to aviation, shipping, water problems, agriculture and other human activities;

    • To promote activities in operational hydrology and to further close cooperation between Meteorological and Hydrological Services;

    • To encourage research and training in meteorology and, as appropriate, in related fields, and to assist in coordinating the international aspects of such research and training.

    Organisational Structure of World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

    World Meteorological Congress: It is the apex body of WMO which decide the general policies for the fulfilment of the purposes of the Organization, to approve long-term plans, to authorize maximum expenditure for the following financial period, to adopt Technical Regulations relating to international meteorological and operational hydrological practice, to elect the President and Vice-Presidents of the Organization and members of the Executive Council and to appoint the Secretary-General.

    The Executive Council: This is responsible to Congress for the coordination of the programmes of the Organization and the utilization of its budgetary resources in accordance with the decision of Congress. Composed of 37 directors of National Meteorological or Hydro-meteorological Services, it meets at least once a year to implement the programmes approved by Congress and review the activities of the Organization.

    The Secretariat: It is headed by the Secretary-General, serves as the administrative, documentation and information centre of the Organization. It prepares edits, produces and distributes the publications of the Organization, carries out the duties specified in the Convention and other Basic Documents and provides support to the work of the constituent bodies of WMO described above. It hosts Regional Offices for Africa, Asia and the South-West Pacific, the Americas, and Europe. The Regional Offices supervise related WMO offices in the field.

    There are two liaison offices: one in New York and one in Brussels.

    Contribution of World Meteorological Organization (WMO)


    • Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction adopts Sendai framework
    • By recommendation of WMO, U.N. Sustainable Development Summit adopts sustainable development goals and 2030 agenda


    • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report published
    • Small Island Developing States Conference focuses on building weather and climate resilience among SIDS
    • WMO Conference on Gender Dimensions of Weather and Climate Services


    • High-level meeting on National Drought Policy, hosted by WMO
    • IBCS-1 established its Partner Advisory Committee (PAC)


    • Extraordinary World Meteorological Congress establishes the Intergovernmental Board on Climate Services


    • WMO-UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, jointly with Mr Al Gore, former US Vice-President and environmental campaigner
    • Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    • 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol: WMO receives the Montreal Protocol Partners Award
    • Launch of International Polar Year 2007-2008 co-sponsored by the International Council for Science and WMO
    • International Conference on Secure and Sustainable Living: Social and Economic Benefits of Weather, Climate and Water Services (Madrid, Spain)


    • WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin launched
    • WMO Arctic Ozone bulletin launched
    • Antarctic ozone hole most serious on record


    • First World Conference on Disaster Reduction (Kobe, Japan)
    • International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (Mauritius)
    • Secretariat of the international Group of Earth Observations established in the WMO Secretariat


    • Celebration of 150th anniversary of the Brussels Conference (1853)
    • Second Technical Conference on the Participation of Women in Meteorology and Hydrology (Geneva)
    • Launch of Natural Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Programme, WMO Space Programme and Programme for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) (under Technical Cooperation Programme)


    • World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, South Africa)


    • Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)


    • World Meteorological Organization celebrates 50 years of service


    • Inauguration of new WMO Headquarters in Geneva


    • Kyoto Conference establishes target and timetable for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions
    • International Meeting on the Participation of Women in Meteorology and Hydrology (Bangkok, Thailand)


    • Climate Information and Prediction Services (CLIPS) established
    • Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    • Foundation stone of WMO new Headquarters building laid


    • First World Conference on Disaster Reduction


    • World Hydrological Cycle Observing System (WHYCOS) launched


    • United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
    • The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) established
    • International Conference on Water and the Environment (Dublin, Ireland)


    • First meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change


    • Second World Climate Conference initiates the Global Climate Observing System
    • International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction begins
    • First Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


    • Global Atmosphere Watch established to monitor atmospheric composition
    • WMO and UNEP initiate the process which leads to negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


    • WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change established


    • Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer


    • Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer


    • WMO long-term planning process established


    • First World Climate Conference, leading to the establishment of the WMO World Climate Programme


    • Global Weather Experiment and Monsoon Experiments under the Global Atmospheric Research Programme


    • Integrated Global Ocean Services System (IGOSS) established jointly by WMO and the International Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)


    • WMO conducts first international assessment of the state of global ozone


    • WMO's activities in the field of operational hydrology designated as the WMO Operational Hydrology Programme


    • Tropical Cyclone Project established, later upgraded to Tropical Cyclone Programme


    • World Weather Watch launched


    • Launch of International Geophysical Year 1957-1958
    • Global Ozone Observing System set up

    DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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