Intergovernmental organizations sometimes take on the same role as private sector actors. There are many examples of this such as IOs buying goods and sevices from others, or IOs themselves selling particular services. See the links below for more information!
IOs Themselves Operating as Private or Market Actors
The UN family member, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) provides services worldwide. There are especially two kinds of services who have a great impact around the entire globe.
Firstly, the IOM provides visa processing services, which benefit both migrants and governments:
In support of regular and complementary migration pathways, IOM Visa Application Centres (VACs) facilitate safe, regular and orderly migration and mobility by improving visa processing. Efficient and timely processes that safeguard the rights and needs of migrants while maintaining States’ security considerations, benefit both migrants and governments. States are finding it increasingly challenging to process the large volumes of visa applications, given that two-thirds of the world population require visas to travel. In response, governments are increasingly outsourcing migration management related tasks to external service providers, primarily seeking to improve service standards, lower costs, reduce wait times for migrants and to increase territorial coverage.
Another service with great worldwide significance provided by the IOM are the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programmes (AVRR). These operations assist migrants and governments with safe voluntary returns while at the same time aiming at avoiding the stigmatisation often connected to returns. According to the IOM the return journey should be organized in the most suitable and viable ways. As much as possible, returnees should travel on commercial lines like any other passengers, as this represents a cost- and time-effective option that preserves migrant dignity and anonymity.
Migration is often perceived as a one-way journey, starting from one’s homeland to a new country of destination. The reality can be more complex, however. For some, the need to go back home is felt at a certain point, triggered by the desire to reunite with family, changed conditions in either host countries or countries of origin, or the lack of legal status and work opportunities. Since 1979 IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has been implementing Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programmes worldwide, assisting more than 1.5 million migrants. For IOM, AVRR is an indispensable part of a comprehensive approach to migration management. Every year, IOM provides tailored AVRR assistance to tens of thousands of migrants returning home voluntarily under diverse circumstances. Beneficiaries may include stranded migrants in host or transit countries, irregular and regular migrants, asylum seekers who decide not to pursue their claims or are found not to be in need of international protection, as well as migrants in vulnerable situations, such as victims of human trafficking, unaccompanied and separated children, elderly migrants or those with health-related needs. The successful implementation of AVRR programmes requires the cooperation and participation of a broad range of actors, including the migrants, civil society, private sector, academia and the governments in host countries, transit countries and countries of origin.
IOM UN Migration
Interpol has established a Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore to facilitate cross-border cooperation on cybercrime. The IGCI aims at equipping the world’s police with the tools and knowledge to better tackle the crime threats of the 21st century, with a cutting-edge research and development facility for the identification of crimes and criminals, innovative training, operational support and partnerships. The IGCI works in collaboration with police, research laboratories, academia and public and private sectors. The Cyber Fusion Centre (CFC) brings together experts from law enforcement, industry and academia to actively identify and develop intelligence about emerging threats and criminal cyber entities.
In other words - a lot of private sector actors are involved and affected.
Nato is a huge intergovernmental organisation with many relationships with the private sector. On the Nato Business Portal you'll find links to Nato agencys and bodys who work tightly with the private sector.
Nato is also interesting because of its internal system of weapon-buying. A couple of years ago the Nato-member Turkey angered Nato and especially the USA when the Erdogan-administration chose to sign a contract with Russia to buy a missile defense system.
The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), managed by the World Food Programme (WFP), offers safe, reliable, cost-efficient and effective passenger and light cargo transport for the wider humanitarian community to and from areas of crisis and intervention. It is the only humanitarian air service that gives equal access to all humanitarian entities.
UNHAS takes a fee from their passangers. The fee is smaller than for normal flights, but this payment still gives the air service charasteristics of a private sector actor.
The Universal Postal Union (UPU) was established in 1874 and is the second oldest intergovernmental organization in the world. Today it is also a part of the UN family, as one of the United Nations specialized agencies.
Being the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players the UPU provides a lot of services in many different ways, anywhere from defining postal products to hiring out its conference facilities. The UPU charges fees for these services, constituting the second pillar of the financing system of the Union, and thus forming a perfect example of an IO operating as a private or market actor.
For most IOs procurement is an effective way to satisfy the needs of the organization. IOs need goods and services, often provided by the private sector, in order to ensure that the purposes of their activities are achieved. The buying of goods constitutes a great example of the second research angle. The World Trade Organization (WTO), The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are big IOs exemplifiying this activity.