The UN Regional Commissions


The Regional Commissions New York Office serves as the focal point for all aspects of the substantive and operational activities of the five Regional Commissions with departments, offices and funds and programmes at the United Nations Headquarters, New York.  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 non-governmental organizations, liaison offices of organizations of the UN system and the public in New York.


The office provides substantive and representational activities to the GA and ECOSOC under agenda items relevant to the work of the Regional Commissions.  Through its participation in these global intergovernmental meetings, the office ensures that the mandates and activities of the Regional Commissions which address a wide variety of economic and social issues are taken into account in the deliberations and recommendations of the GA, ECOSOC and subsidiary bodies.  It participates in interagency and inter-secretariat meetings such as CEB, 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, including the funds and programmes and the specialized agencies.  It provides the Commissions with analysis and synthesis of developments as they occur during the intergovernmental and interagency meetings held at Headquarters, as well as policy recommendations relating to these developments.


The office 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.  It acts as the global coordinating secretariat for cooperation and interregional activities among the Regional Commissions; services the Meetings of the Executive Secretaries and provides support to the functions of the rotating Coordinator of the Regional Commissions.

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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