Independent organizations are collections of independent political entities or sovereign states, who help maintain stability and peace by encouraging cooperation and shared benefits, such as tariff elimination between member countries. In 2004, the EU (European Union) trade bloc had its largest single expansion and included many new countries from eastern Europe. By 2004, ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Nations), was a burgeoning global hub. By 2004 NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement), founded in 1994, was the largest global free market. OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, was founded in 1965 and was created to unify petroleum policies between member countries and to ensure fair and stable prices, and profits. The OAS (Organization of American States), CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), OAU (Organization of African Unity), and Arab League were all formed post World War II, with an emphasis on regional cooperation and solidarity. NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is a military alliance between North America and Europe.
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