The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 191 Member States and Territories. WMO originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was founded in 1873 to facilitate the exchange of weather information across national borders. Established by the ratification of the WMO Convention on 23 March 1950, the WMO became the specialised agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences in 1951.
The Secretariat, headquartered in Geneva, is headed by the Secretary-General. Its supreme body is the World Meteorological Congress. Its mandate is in the areas of meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. Since its establishment, WMO has played a unique and powerful role in contributing to the safety and welfare of humanity. It has fostered collaboration between the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of its Members and furthered the application of meteorology in many areas.
WMO continues to facilitate free and unrestricted exchange of data and information, products and services in real- or near-real time on matters relating to safety and security of society, economic welfare and the protection of the environment. It contributes to policy formulation in these areas at national and international levels.
The Organization plays a leading role in international efforts to monitor and protect the environment through its Programmes. In collaboration with other United Nations agencies and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, WMO supports the implementation of a number of environmental conventions and is instrumental in providing advice and assessments to governments on related matters. These activities contribute towards ensuring the sustainable development and well-being of nations.