The World Meteorological Organization is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 187 Member States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was founded in 1873. Established in 1950, WMO became the specialized agency of the United Nations for 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 welfare of humanity. Under WMO leadership and within the framework of WMO programmes, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services have contributed substantially to the protection of life and property against natural disasters, to safeguarding the environment and to enhancing the economic and social well-being of all sectors of society in areas such as food security, water resources and transport. It has a unique role within the UN system it facilitates the 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 well being and the prevention of the environment. As weather and climate know no national boundaries, international cooperation at a global scale is essential for the development of meteorology and operational hydrology as well as to reap the benefits from their applications. WMO provides the framework for such international cooperation.
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