Political Affairs and Partnerships Section
As the Secretary-General’s representative and in support of his efforts, the Director-General maintains relations with Member States, regional organizations and arrangements and other intergovernmental organizations, as well as research and academic institutions.
The Director-General also liaises with United Nations agencies, funds and programmes at Geneva and facilitates inter-agency cooperation.
The Director-General’s political, external and inter-agency activities are in line with the Secretary-General’s reform efforts and his vision for a United Nations actively engaged in facilitating partnerships among all stakeholders in the multilateral processes.
In discharging these functions, the Director-General is supported by a core political, external and inter-agency affairs team that undertakes in-depth analysis and advises on regional and international political issues.
With regards to the Conference on Disarmament, the Director-General oversees the work of the Conference in his capacity as Secretary-General of the Conference and the Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to the Conference. As such, he provides the Secretary-General with advice on the work of the Conference. In these functions, the Director-General is supported by the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament Secretariat.
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Multilateral Diplomacy and Policy Making
As a centre for international negotiations, Geneva attracts a large number of heads of State and Government, ministers, dignitaries and experts who come to exchange views, examine priorities and elaborate strategies. Such interaction and information sharing are important in the formulation of integrated, inclusive and innovative policies to address the inter-related dimensions of peace, security and development.
In his capacity as the Secretary-General’s representative and in support of his efforts, the Director-General meets with high-level political representatives in order to promote the Organization’s priorities and share information. Through these exchanges and in facilitating contacts, he contributes to the wider multilateral efforts of the Organization.
Exchanges with partners are complemented by alignment of priorities and coordination of efforts across the wider United Nations system. Key forums for policy discussion and development are the Senior Management Group (SMG) and the Executive Committee on Peace and Security (ECPS). Through participation in the meetings of both groups, the Director-General contributes to the wider policy-setting processes within the Organization.
Cooperation with Regional Organizations
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 2007 annual meetings, chaired by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, took place in Vienna from 13 to 14 February. The main theme of the meetings was the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
The 2008 annual meetings will take place in Strasbourg and will be chaired by the Council of Europe.
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.
Cooperation with Research and Academic Institutions
The impact of the United Nations’ efforts depends on quality of the data and analysis that inform decisions. Policies must be underpinned by comprehensive and cutting-edge research. In line with the Secretary-General’s reform efforts, the Director-General contributes to facilitating partnerships between the research and academic community and the United Nations family.
In cooperation with partners, including the United Nations University, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and the University for Peace, he also acts as an interface between research and policy entities within the United Nations system. These efforts contribute towards ensuring that policy and decision-making is based on detailed analysis and takes into account the broadest possible range of perspectives.
Geneva, in particular, and Switzerland as a whole are home to a wide range of research and academic institutions with particular analytical expertise in areas of relevance to the work of the United Nations. The Office of the Director-General maintains dialogues with these Geneva and Swiss-based entities to stimulate research and debate that may serve policy planning within the Organizations as well as its partners.
Through joint seminars and other events as well as publications that encourage exchange across institutional and thematic boundaries, UNOG contributes to distilling and disseminating ideas that may help towards realizing the aims of the United Nations.