The UN and Regional Public Goods


Nowadays, global challenges such as climate change, terrorism, conflicts and poverty tend to be tackled globally. Evidence however suggests that some issues are more effectively dealt with at a regional level. The provision of public goods and services needed for development is one of those. Regional health programmes, regional energy cooperation or regional social policy are just a couple of examples. Regions therefore have or must have an important role in global governance: ensuring an adequate provision of global public goods.

Regions were part of the UN from its inception. In their different forms, they are present in the UN Charter and in the development of the UN structures. Linkages between supranational regions and the UN are varied, multiple and of increasing intensity, but one should also realise that there are still many unresolved political, institutional and operational challenges.

This research programme therefore has the following objectives:

  • to study the interactions between regional and global forms of governance;
  • to study the functioning of Chapter VIII arrangements between the UN and regional organisations;
  • to analyse the potential contributions of regions to realising the post-2015 sustainable development goals and to assess and support their capacity to provide regional public goods; and
  • to analyse and support the role of the UN regional economic commissions.

Related Projects

Within the framework of this research programme, these projects are currently ongoing:

Recently closed projects in this programme:

Other activities include:

  • Assessing the Role of Regional Organisations under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter in the Twenty-First Century