The UN Regional Commissions

About

The Regional Commissions New York Office (RCNYO) is a joint office for policy advice and representation at the global level for the five UN Regional Commissions (ECA, ESCAP, ECLAC, ECE and ESCWA). In this regard, the office provides substantive and representational functions to the global UN intergovernmental bodies, notably GA and ECOSOC, under agenda items relevant to the work of the Regional Commissions. The Office monitors, analyses, reports and provides policy recommendations to the Commissions on global substantive deliberations and legislative processes with a bearing on their programme of work, individually and/or collectively. The office also assists in identifying global trends, challenges and opportunities with a bearing on the work and positioning of the Regional Commissions and provides strategic advice in this regard.

In addition, RCNYO serves as the focal point for substantive and coordination activities of the five Regional Commissions with departments, offices and funds and programmes at the United Nations Headquarters, New York. It represents the Commissions in interagency and inter-secretariat meetings including at the CEB machinery, notably its policy and operational pillars through HLCP and UNDG respectively, their subsidiary bodies, as well as EC-ESA, to ensure coherent, efficient and cost effective representation of all the Commissions, as well as improved harmonization and cooperation between the Regional Commissions and relevant UN organizations. It provides the Commissions with analysis and synthesis of developments within the global interagency machineries, as well as policy recommendations relating to these developments. As part of its outreach role on behalf of the Commissions, it maintains regular contact with the permanent missions of Member States to the United Nations, relevant intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, liaison offices of organizations of the UN system and the public in New York.

RCNYO also plays a catalyst role for promoting interregional cooperation among the five Regional Commissions. The Director of the Office is the Secretary of the regular annual Meetings of the Executive Secretaries of the Regional Commissions, the highest instance of coordination among the Commissions. RCNYO is also an ex-officio member of the Meetings of the Chiefs of Programme Planning of the Commissions, the network seeking programmatic coordination and cooperation, as well as harmonization of business practices and exchange of best practices among the Commissions. In addition, the Office holds regular coordination meetings, through VTC or teleconferences, among a number of substantive focal points of the Commissions. RCNYO plays a clearing house role for the Commissions in their initial submissions of Development Account projects with a view to identify opportunities for synergies and interregional cooperation through the Commissions’ projects. The Office prepares, initiates and/or coordinates joint policy papers and publications for the Commissions, as appropriate.

The Regional Commissions are the regional outposts of the United Nations in their respective regions. They are also an integral part of their regional institutional landscape. Stationed in five regions of the world, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) share key objectives aiming to foster economic integration at the subregional and regional levels, to promote the regional implementation of internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and to support regional sustainable development by contributing to bridging economic, social and environmental gaps among their member countries and subregions. To achieve these objectives, the five Regional Commissions promote multilateral dialogue, knowledge sharing and networking at the regional level, and work together to promote intra- regional and inter-regional cooperation, both among themselves and through collaboration with other regional organisations.

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