The Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO) develops and implements U.S. policy in multilateral venues and works through multilateral engagement to advance strategic U.S. policies and interests.

IO was created in 1949 as part of the U.S. effort to meet the needs of post-World War II diplomacy. According to Department records, the new bureau’s primary responsibilities were to “…promote the most effective use of the machinery of international organizations in the conduct of foreign affairs…act as the official channel between the United States and international organizations of an inter-regional character…and to formulate United State positions on political and security matters of an inter-regional nature and on social, refugee, and displaced persons, health, human rights, freedom of information and trusteeship and dependent areas policies…”

Today, IO continues to spearhead multilateral engagement through its offices in Washington as well as through its Missions around the world.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future