Cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations is based on Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter
. Regional efforts are a central complement to international initiatives and action through the United Nations. Regional organizations are important partners of the United Nations, as each organization has its particular role and expertise. The Secretary-General has therefore encouraged closer and more effective cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations.
Facilitating cooperation with regional organizations is part of the mandate of the United Nations Office at Geneva, and reinforcing relations with regional arrangements remains one of the priorities of the Office.
UNOG represents the United Nations in the “Tripartite Process”, a framework of informal consultations with the Council of Europe
and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
. The Process was initiated in 1993 to provide a forum for discussion of issues of common concern. The original partners of the group – the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe – have grown to include, on an “affiliated basis”, the Commission of the European Union
, the Council of the European Union, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Organization for Migration.
The “Tripartite” consultations represent a good example of how the United Nations and regional organizations can coordinate more effectively their efforts to in support of peace, security and development.
The annual informal discussions are divided into two parts: a working-level Target-Oriented Meeting and a High-Level Meeting. The Chairmanship rotates among the original three partners.
The 2008 annual High-Level Meeting
, chaired by the Council of Europe, took place in Strasbourg on 7 July. The main theme of the meetings was intercultural dialogue.
The 2009 annual meetings will take place in Geneva and will be chaired by the United Nations Office at Geneva.
In addition to consultations within the framework of the “Tripartite Process”, the Director-General maintains bilateral contacts with the Heads of a number of other regional organizations.