Regional Coordination Mechanism
The RCM was established pursuant to ECOSOC Resolution 1998/46 to hold "regular interagency meetings in each of the 5 regions (Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America & Caribbean and Western Asia) with a view to improving coordination among the work programmes of the organizations of the United Nations system in each region". The first RCM in the Arab Region was convened by ESCWA in 1999. Since then, meetings have been held annually at the rate of one or two meetings per year. The Regional Coordination Mechanism operates in a plenary discussion fashion.
The meetings focus on regional development priorities and call for a common vision and approach among RCM members. The meetings are often chaired by the UN Deputy Secretary General.
The Mandate of the RCM is to:
- Promote strategic coordination and information sharing at the regional and sub-regional levels among UN entities and other regional and sub-regional partners;
- Promote and maximize collective action, through the use of thematic working groups (TWG) and task forces, on a limited number of regional/sub-regional initiatives in specific areas, particularly those of a trans-boundary nature or emerging global issues that require coordinated efforts by multiple agencies.
- Ensure thematic and policy coherence across UN agencies in the Arab region and support the alignment of operational work with analytical and normative work, and cooperation between the UN system and the League of Arab states (LAS).
RCM Thematic Working Groups
The RCM has established a number of TWGs and one Task Force (on Statistics). Each TWG is led by the relevant regional entity, coordinates its own activities and reports back to the RCM.
Membership of the RCM includes the League of Arab States and all regional bureaus of UN agencies working in the Arab World, including but not limited to the ESCWA region. The RCM meetings are also open to UN Country Offices in Lebanon as observers, and to regional and international financial institutions as well as multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. The RCM may periodically and collectively approve new members or open the meeting to new observers. The Islamic Development Bank and other regional financial institutions are invited and the Economic Commission for Africa is also a regular participant in RCM meetings.
ESCWA is mandated to convene the meetings of the RCM. To that end, ESCWA provides administrative and logistical support for the annual meetings. ESCWA also follows up on and monitors the implementation of recommendations and decisions made at the RCM.