The UN and Regional Organisations for Peace: Tracking a Slippery Partnership

  • Luk Van LangenhoveEmail author
  • Tânia Felício
  • Ademola Abass
Part of the United Nations University Series on Regionalism book series (UNSR, volume 3)


The United Nations (UN) is in principle exclusively based upon state membership. This means that only states and no other entities of governance can be members of the UN. However, developments in regional integration have led to the emergence of new forms of governance and new entities with concerted voices – which do cooperate with and are represented within the UN system. A number of regional organisations have even obtained observer status within the global organisation. A special case is the European Union, having attained voting rights in the WTO (World Trade Organisation) and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) plus full participation in the UN Convention on Climate Change. This shows that regional governance is not seen as incompatible with UN global governance. So much that, as previously stated, the UN Charter even foresees a potential role for regional organisations in the area of peace and security, and this has led to much discussion on how the existing regional organisations can and should cooperate with the global body in this field and how this cooperation should be framed and structured, considering the lack of clarity provided in the Charter.


United Nations Security Council Regional Organisation Chapter VIII International Peace 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luk Van Langenhove
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tânia Felício
    • 2
  • Ademola Abass
    • 1
  1. 1.United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS)BrugesBelgium
  2. 2.United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor Leste (UNMIT)DiliTimor Leste

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