Western European and Others Group

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Group of Western European and Other States
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
AbbreviationWEOG
Formation1961; 59 years ago (1961)
TypeRegional group
Legal statusActive
A coloured voting box.svg Politics portal
WEOG member and observer states

The Group of Western European and Other States, also known as the Western European and Other States Group or WEOG, is one of the five United Nations regional groups and is composed of 28 Member States mainly from Western Europe, but also from Oceania, North America and Western Asia.[1]

The Group is a non-binding dialogue group where subjects concerning regional and international matters are discussed. Additionally, the Group works to help allocate seats on United Nations bodies by nominating candidates from the region.[2][3][4]

Unlike most other Regional Groups, WEOG is unusual in that geography is not the sole defining factor of its membership. Instead, its membership is based on geopolitical breakdown, namely its member states share a Western-Democratic common denominator.[5] For example, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are WEOG members even though they are not geographically close to Western Europe, but are culturally and politically descended from Western European states, in particular, the United Kingdom.

Membership[edit]

Member states[edit]

The following are the current Member States of the Western European and Others Group:[6][7]

Observer states[edit]

  •  United States of America[f]
    • The United States of America is not formally a member of any regional group, but attends meetings of WEOG as an observer and is considered to be a member of the group for electoral purposes.[6]

Israel[edit]

While geographically located in Asia, Israel has been blocked from joining the Asia-Pacific Group by various Arab states. Since the regional groupings were created in the early 60s, Israel had been unable to participate in the political and professional consultations within the framework of the United Nations and its agencies. It was also unable to have its representatives elected to United Nations institutions due to the fact that it was not part of any regional group.[5][8]

This changed in May 2000, when Israel became a temporary member of the WEOG at the United Nations in New York, allowing it to put forward candidates for election to various United Nations General Assembly bodies. However, this temporary membership still precluded Israel from participating in activities at United Nations offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Rome and Vienna.[9]

On 30 April 2004, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution calling for the full inclusion of Israel in WEOG, directing the U.S. Government to pursue action to "ensure the extension and upgrade of Israel's membership in the Western European and Others Group at the United Nations."[10] This was accomplished in May 2004, when Israel was granted a permanent renewal for WOEG proceedings in New York.

However, it wasn't until November 2013 when Israel was finally admitted into WEOG proceedings at the United Nations Geneva Office, 1 January 2014.[11][12]

Suggested reform[edit]

In his address before the General Assembly at the 55th General Debate, Vinci Niel Clodumar, the head of the Nauru Delegation, advocated for the creation of a new Oceania regional group to include both Australia and New Zealand, as well as the ASEAN member countries, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Pacific island countries. In his speech he mentioned that "the 11 Pacific island countries are drowning in the Asian Group, while Australia and New Zealand...are marooned in the Group of Western European and other States."[13]

Representation[edit]

Security Council[edit]

The Western European and Other States Group holds 5 seats on the Security Council, 2 non-permanent and 3 permanent. The current members of the Security Council from the Group are:[14][15]

Country Term
 France Permanent
 United States of America Permanent
 United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Permanent
 Belgium 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2020
 Germany 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2020

Economic and Social Council[edit]

The Western European and Other States Group holds 13 seats on the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The current members of the Economic and Social Council from the Group are:[16][17]

Country Term
 France 1 January 2018 – 31 December 2020
 Germany
 Ireland
 Malta
 Spain 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2020 [g]
 Canada 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2021
 Luxembourg
 Netherlands
 United States of America
 Australia 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2022
 Finland
 Norway
  Switzerland

Human Rights Council[edit]

The Western European and Other States Group holds 7 seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council. The current members of the Economic and Social Council from the Group are:[18][19]

Country Term
 Australia 1 January 2018 – 31 December 2020
 Spain
 Austria 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2021
 Denmark
 Italy
 Germany 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2022
 Netherlands

Presidency of the General Assembly[edit]

Every five years in the years ending in 0 and 5, the Western European and Other States Group is eligible to elect a president to the General Assembly.[1]

The following is a list of presidents from the region since its official creation in 1961:[20]

Year Elected Session Name of President Country Note
1965 20th Amintore Fanfani  Italy
1970 25th Edvard Hambro  Norway
1975 30th Gaston Thorn  Luxembourg
1980 35th Rüdiger von Wechmar  Federal Republic of Germany Also chaired the eighth emergency special session of the General Assembly
1985 40th Jaime de Piniés  Spain Also chaired the thirteenth special session of the General Assembly
1990 45th Guido de Marco  Malta
1995 50th Diogo de Freitas do Amaral  Portugal
2000 55th Harri Holkeri  Finland Also chaired the tenth emergency special, twenty-fifth special and twenty-sixth special sessions of the General Assembly
2005 60th Jan Eliasson  Sweden
2010 65th Joseph Deiss   Switzerland
2015 70th Mogens Lykketoft  Denmark
Future
2020 75th TBD TBD
2025 80th TBD TBD
2030 85th TBD TBD

Timeline of membership[edit]

As the Western European Group changed significantly over time, the number of its members had also changed.

Years Number of members Notes
1961–1964 20 Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States (observer) joins the WEOG.
1964–1973 21 Malta joins the UN.
1973–1990 22 West Germany joins the UN.
1990 23 German reunification, West Germany becomes Germany, Liechtenstein joins the UN.
1992 24 San Marino joins the UN as part of WEOG.
1993–2000 26 Monaco and Andorra join the UN as part of WEOG.
2000–2002 27 Israel joins the WEOG.
2002–present 28 Switzerland joins the UN as part of WEOG.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wanza, Serah N. (27 November 2017). "What Are The Five Regional Groups of the United Nations?". Worldatlas. Worldatlas. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  2. ^ Agam, Hasmy, and Sam Daws, Terence O'Brien and Ramesh Takur (26 March 1999). What is Equitable Geographic Representation in the Twenty-First Century (PDF) (Report). United Nations University. Retrieved 27 February 2019.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ Volger, Helmut, ed. (2010). A Concise Encyclopedia of the United Nations (PDF). Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 592–6. ISBN 978 90 04 18004 8.
  4. ^ Götz, Norbert (2008). "Western Europeans and Others: The Making of Europe at the United Nations". Alternatives. 33 (3): 359–81. doi:10.1177/030437540803300305. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  5. ^ a b "United Nations: Israel & the WEOG". Jewish Virtual Library. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. n.d. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b "United Nations Regional Groups of Member States". United Nations Department for General Assembly and Conference management. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  7. ^ United Nations Handbook 2018–19 (PDF) (56 ed.). Wellington: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand. 2018. pp. 15–17. ISSN 0110-1951.
  8. ^ "Israel Accepted to WEOG". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. State of Israel. 28 May 2000. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  9. ^ Crossette, Barbara (1 June 200). "Israel's Bittersweet Moment: One Step Out of Isolation at U.N." New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives in support of full membership of Israel in the Western European and Others Group at the United Nations". Resolution No. H.RES.615 of 30 April 2004. United States House of Representatives.
  11. ^ Kerry, John (2 December 2013). "Israel Invited To Join the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) in Geneva" (Press release). Washington, DC: U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Geneva. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  12. ^ Lazaroff, Tovah (1 December 2013). "Israel invited to join UN's Western nations group in Geneva". Jerusalem Post. Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  13. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 55 Official Record PV.25. General Assembly: Fifty-fifth session - 25th plenary meeting A/55/PV.25 Vinci Niel Clodumar Nauru (in English). 20 September at 3pm. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Current Members". United Nations Security Council. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  15. ^ "General Assembly Elects Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia, South Africa as Non-permanent Members of Security Council". United Nations Meetings Coverage & Press Releases. United Nations. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Members". United Nations Economic and Social Council. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  17. ^ "General Assembly Elects 19 Economic and Social Council Members to Terms Beginning 1 January 2020, Adopts Resolution Commemorating Signing of United Nations Charter". United Nations Meetings Coverage & Press Releases. United Nations. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Current Membership of the Human Rights Council, 1 January - 31 December 2019 by regional groups". United Nations Human Rights Council. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  19. ^ "General Assembly Elects 14 Member States to Human Rights Council, Appoints New Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services". United Nations Meetings Coverage & Press Releases. United Nations. 17 October 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Past Presidents". United Nations General Assembly. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 27 February 2019.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Permanent member of the United Nations Security Council
  2. ^ Formerly represented by the Federal Republic of Germany until 1990
  3. ^ While geographically located in Asia, Israel has participated in WEOG since 2000
  4. ^ Turkey participates in proceedings of both WEOG and the Asia-Pacific Group, but for electoral purposes is considered a member of WEOG
  5. ^ Permanent member of the United Nations Security Council
  6. ^ Permanent member of the United Nations Security Council
  7. ^ Spain was elected to finish the term of Turkey on 14 June 2019, commencing 1 January 2020