The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), is the voice of businesses worldwide, working towards the enhancement of economic growth, job creation and overall prosperity of businesses globally. The ICC carries out a host of activities, from imposing business self-regulation, to promoting open trade and market system, to working towards eliminating corruption and crime from the commercial world.
It has direct access to the national governments of countries around the world through their national economics committees. It has a Paris-based international secretariat, who keeps watch on the latest happenings in the business world that have a direct impact on operations, and feeds these issues into intergovernmental organizations.
The ICC World Council is similar to a general assembly made up of many intergovernmental organizations. The only thing setting the ICC apart is that their delegates are mostly business executives and not government bureaucrats. The Council is the ICC’s supreme governing body, the members of which are delegated by various national Committees. Ten members from countries without national committees are also invited to participate in the Council’s functions. The Council meets twice a year.
The International Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1919 with the sole motive of enhancing world business by promoting trade and investment, supporting open markets for goods and services, and ensuring a free flow of capital all around the world.
Its first President, Etienne Clementel, a former French Minister of Commerce, was instrumental in providing the ICC the much needed force in the initial days after its formation. It was under Clementele’s watch that the ICC established its international secretariat in Paris. Clementele also played a major role in establishing the ICC International Court of Arbitration in 1923.
There has been a substantial amount of evolution in the functioning of the ICC since its early days, when business leaders from all of the allied nations met for the very first time in post-war Atlantic City. The ICC was originally comprised of private sector members from countries such as Britain, Belgium, Italy, France and the United States of America. This small clique has now become a global business organization consisting mostly of influential companies representing every major secondary and tertiary economic sector, with thousands of member companies and associations from 120 countries.
Several business associations and member companies participate in the work of the ICC commissions. These commissions are the backbone of the ICC, consisting of more than 500 business experts who volunteer their time to help ICC in framing policies and broadening its rules. The main function of the commission is to evaluate the proposed national and international government initiatives, which have a direct impact on the subject areas in which the ICC is concerned. The commissions also prepare the ICC’s formal stance and business positions, and submit them to the international governments and organizations. Some of the most important commissions of ICC are listed below:
- Banking Technique and Practice
- Business in Society
- Commercial Practice
- Customs and Trade Regulations
- E-business, IT and Telecoms
- Environment and Energy
- Financial Services and Insurance
- Intellectual Property
- Marketing and Advertising
- Trade and Investment Policy
- Transport and Logistics
Relation with ICANN
The ICC has commended several of ICANN's DNS efforts. Considering the reliance of businesses across all the sectors on stable, consistent and secure functioning of DNS, the ICC has, from time to time, raised awareness for and has endeavored in engaging comprehensive businesses in ICANN activities.