International (intergovernmental) organizations are associations of three or more states established for the purpose of achieving common goals. They have their own international subjectivity, acting in their own name and through their own bodies. The first international organizations began in the 19th century; today there are about 300 of them in the world. International organizations can be divided according to their geographical scope (universal, regional, or subregional organizations) and their area of activity (general and specialized organizations – for example, those dealing with security, economics, human rights, etc.). Today, the Czech Republic is a member of about 60 international organizations, the most important of which include the UN, the EU, the Council of Europe and NATO. The IIR examines international organizations in general and also focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of the Czech membership in them.