Research Matrial Team,,
Niger pursues a moderate foreign policy and maintains friendly relations with the West and the Islamic world, as well as nonaligned countries. It is a member of the United Nations and its main specialized agencies, and in 1980-81 served on the Security Council. Niger maintains a special relationship with France and enjoys close relations with its West African neighbors. Niger is once again a member in good standing of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and the African Union after having been suspended from late 2009 until the completion of the 2011 elections. It is a charter member of the African Union and the West African Monetary Union, and also belongs to the Niger River and Lake Chad Basin Commissions, the Nonaligned Movement, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. In 2010, Niger was elected to the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the International Telecommunications Union.