Which International Organizations use Spanish?

Spanish is used in several international institutions, including the United Nations, the European Union and NAFTA. So if you’re aiming at a career in international organizations, you should definitely brush up your Spanish!

International organizations that use Spanish as an official language

Spanish is an official language of the following organizations:

  • United Nations (UN/ONU), together with Chinese, English, French, Russian and Arabic;
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), together with Chinese, English, French and Arabic;
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), also known as CEPAL in Spanish, together with Portuguese, English and French;
  • Interpol, together with Arabic, English and French;
  • European Union, together with the official languages of other member states. At the moment, French, English and German are the preferred working languages;
  • MercoSur, together with Portuguese;
  • NAFTA, together with English and French;
  • Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), together with English, French, German, Italian and Russian;
  • Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), together with English, French and German;
  • International Criminal Court (ICC), together with Arabic, Chinese, English, French and Russian. However, English and French are considered the working languages;
  • International Labour Organization (ILO), together with English and French;
  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU), together with English and French;
  • Latin Union, together with other Romance Languages: Portuguese, French, Italian, Romanian and Catalan.
  • Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI), together with Portuguese;
  • Organization of American States, together with Portuguese, English and French;
  • Union of South American Nations (Unasul - Unasur), together with Portuguese, Dutch and English;
  • World Rugby, together with English and French;
  • World Trade Organization, together with English and French;
  • Central American Common Market;
  • Caribbean Community (CARICOM), together with English, French and Dutch.

Furthermore, the following organizations must provide simultaneous interpretation or translations to Spanish:

 

  • International Monetary Fund (IMF);
  • World Bank;
  • International Olympic Committee;
  • Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU);
  • Universal Postal Union (UPU).