The World Esperanto Association (in Esperanto UEA: Universala Esperanto-Asocio) is the largest international organization of Esperanto speakers, with members in 119 countries (as of 2000) and in official relations with the United Nations and UNESCO. In addition to individual members, 95 national Esperanto organizations are affiliated to UEA. Its current president is Probal Dasgupta.
UEA was founded in 1908 by the Swiss journalist Hector Hodler and others, and is now headquartered in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The organization has an office at the United Nations building in New York City.
Since the foundation of UEA, the presidency has been held by members of the following countries (as of 2004):
|Country of origin||Years of presidency|
The annual World Congress of Esperanto (Universala Kongreso de Esperanto), which attracts 1500-3000 people to a different city each year, is held under the direction of UEA.
UEA also publishes books and has the largest mail-order Esperanto bookstore in the world (with over 4000 books, CDs and other items), maintains an information center and a significant Esperanto library. The organisation also maintains a network of representatives from around the world, the Delegita Reto, who are available to provide information about their geographical area or professional field.
TEJO, the World Esperanto Youth Organization, is the youth section of the UEA. Similar to the Universala Kongreso of UEA, TEJO organizes an International Youth Congress of Esperanto (Internacia Junulara Kongreso) each year in a different location. The IJK is a week-long event of concerts, presentations, excursions, and general having fun that attracts hundreds of young people from all over the world.
In addition to the UN and UNESCO, UEA also has consultative relations with UNICEF and the Council of Europe, and a general working relationship with the Organization of American States. It works in an official capacity with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). UEA is active in public information in the European Union and as necessary at other interstate and international organizations and conferences. The organisation is a member of the European Language Council, a common forum of universities and language associations for the awareness of languages and cultures in and outside of the European Union.