12.2 Political Groupings at the UN

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The UN is a political space that has as its members many countries at different stages of development and peace. A country may belong to one of the above regional groupings for electoral purposes. However, when it comes to voting on key issues such as those seen at CSW, they may align with other political groupings to strengthen voting and positioning.

These groups are:

The G77 & China is a loosely affiliated group of developing countries whose goal is to advance the economic well-being of developing countries. This is one of the largest coalitions in the UN and can carry nearly 70% of the voting.

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was originally formed as a bloc of countries that would remain neutral during the Cold War. It is ‘non-aligned’ in name only and operates as a voting and negotiating bloc throughout the UN system.

The Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is intended to work together to promote the interest of Muslims worldwide, or in its words-the focus of the OIC includes ‘Islamic solidarity’ and ‘non-interference in the internal affairs of Member States.’ The OIC is the largest single subset of both the G-77 and the NAM.

The League of Arab States, focusing on cooperation and stronger relationships among its Member States, is the largest bloc within the OIC.

The African Union, formerly the Organisation of African Unity, formed to encourage independence, and advancing stability, development, trade and the well-being of the African continent.

The European Union (EU) is an international organisation that coordinates cooperation among Member States on issues such as trade, development and security.

At CSW, Australia joins JUSCANZ (a sub-set of WEOG). The JUSCANZ group is a consultative body to the UN Human Rights Council, and some other United Nations bodies. JUSCANZ meets 3 or 4 times at CSW and shares joint positions on various points for negotiation.