The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is the successor to the International Meteorological Organization, which was established in 1873. It formally came into existence in 1950 and became a UN specialised agency in 1951.
Article 2 of the WMO Convention, which was signed in Washington in 1947 and came into force on 23 March 1950, defined the Organization's purposes as being to:
- Facilitate worldwide cooperation in the establishment of networks of stations for making meteorological observations, as well as hydrological and other geophysical observations related to meteorology, and to promote the establishment and maintenance of centres charged with the provision of meteorological and related services
- Promote the establishment and maintenance of systems for rapid exchange of meteorological and related information
- Promote standardisation of meteorological and related observations, and ensure the uniform publication of observations and statistics
- Further the application of meteorology to aviation, shipping, water problems, agriculture and other human activities
- Promote activities in operational hydrology and further close cooperation between meteorological and hydrological services
- Encourage research and training in meteorology and, as appropriate, in related fields, and assist in coordinating the international aspects of such research and training.
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