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Negotiating in the UN General Assembly: The European Union and the Other Major Groups

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The overwhelming majority of the United Nations’ member states remain keen to preserve the traditional intergovernmental nature of the organization in the name of universalism, equality among states and national sovereignty. However, in most negotiating processes, delegations are increasingly content to take part through the groups or sub-groups of which they are members, rather than individually on a national basis. In this regard, the European Union (EU) sets the standards for both organization and effectiveness, especially since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the EU’s Special Observer status, granted by UNGA Resolution 65/276.

Affiliations: 1: EU Delegation to the United Nations New York, nyUnited States

* This practitioner’s perspective was written before the United Kingdom’s so-called ‘Brexit’ referendum in June 2016. Although the fundamentals of the EU’s effectiveness and organization should not be significantly affected, it is of course too early to analyse the exact substantial impact of this development and of the UK’s future exit on the European Union’s overall negotiating position at the UN.

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