About UN Thailand
Bangkok is the home base for the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), which is mandated to coordinate
the regional programmes of the economic and social agencies of the UN system.
Over the years, Bangkok has become known as the "Geneva of Asia" and Thailand has become the regional hub for the UN system in Asia and the
Pacific. Consequently, the UN system in Thailand is particularly large and complex, consisting of over 28 specialized UN agencies or
affiliated projects and organizations, the majority of which have a regional or sub-regional focus and are based in Bangkok.
The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) for Thailand consists of those agencies and programmes that have a considerable or exclusive focus on
Thailand. This includes the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which, although partner
organisations, are treated as part of the UNCT due to their close relationships with the work of UN agencies.
The UNCT agencies all fall under the aegis of the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC).
UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC)
The UNRC is appointed in each developing country by the UN Secretary-General and is responsible for ensuring that there is collaboration and cooperation within the UN system and other donors, the private sector and NGOs. In each country, the UNRC is also responsible for encouraging coherence in the activities of the UN and for promoting the UN global agenda. The UNRC is also usually nominated the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in case of emergencies, thus becoming responsible for coordinating country-level response to humanitarian crises.
The work of the Resident Coordinator is carried out through a variety of coordination mechanisms involving UNCT member agencies and designed to facilitate dialogue and collective action. These are described below and include meetings, working groups, committees and programming bodies.
The Resident Coordinator is supported in its role by the Inter-Agency Support Unit, which assists in the organisation and management of inter-agency collaboration processes and the running of coordination mechanisms.
UN Country Team-Thailand
The UNCT for Thailand is in a unique position. It benefits from the physical presence and practical experiences of a very large number of
agencies with wide-ranging national and sub-regional programmes. Communication and action on key issues are facilitated in this way through
heightened inter-agency collaboration.
A number of cooperation mechanisms facilitate inter-agency collaboration and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of country-level coordination
and action - thereby moving forward the UN Reform agenda for Thailand.
Inter-Agency Coordination Meetings
The Heads of Agency and Country Team Meetings (as well as Regional Coordination Meetings which fall under the aegis of UNESCAP), all play
a particularly important role in coordinating the inter-agency work of the UN system in Thailand, as well as that of the sub-region and the
Asia-Pacific as a whole. The meetings provide a forum for heads of UN agencies to discuss collaborative activities and share experiences of
individual agency programmes. Through the interagency forum process, agency heads assess needs, set policies and priorities, and review work
in progress in terms of country-level response and coordination.
The annual Regional Coordination Meeting (RCM), under the aegis of the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of UNESCAP, involves
all Bangkok-based agencies with a regional mandate, as well as participating regional agencies with headquarters in other Asian cities.
The quarterly Heads of Agency Meetings (HOAM) and monthly UNCT Meetings oversee the work of other UN coordination mechanisms by providing
guidance to, and monitoring the performance of the Operations Management Team (OMT) and the UN Thematic Working Groups
Click here for an overview of UN Coordination Mechanism in Thailand
Operation Management Team
The Operations Management Team is the focal point for all inter-agency operational arrangements, given its mandate to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate the agreed common services activities. In Thailand, all UN organizations, ADB, IOM and the World Bank are members and represent country and regionally based operations. Such a mix makes the OMT particularly interesting and challenging, as it should facilitate both country and regional operations based in Thailand. In doing so, due consideration is given to the fact that some common services are beneficial to most, if not all, OMT member organizations, while others may have a more limited reach and benefit a sub-group. To ensure that the OMT remains a valid and useful instrument for all members, Communities of Practices (COP) have been established that facilitate a continuous information exchange and Working Groups (WG) will be established, as and when needed, for concrete tasks to be completed within one year. COPs will include all OMT member organizations and their respective practitioners, while WGs will typically consist of the organizations most interested in the common services under review. The OMT will meet at least four times each year at the end of each quarter. It will also hold adhoc sessions, as and when required.
There are three notable inter-agency programmes established under the UN system in Thailand: HIV/AIDS, Human Trafficking and the Millennium
Development Goals. These have contributed important work particularly pertaining to advocacy and coordination. The three programmes are
very different in scope and activity, although all three are premised on the understanding that joint collaboration on these issues will
increase the effectiveness of UN system support to Thailand and other countries in the region. At the same time, such inter-agency projects
that draw together and manage resources from several UN agencies are important vehicles for pushing forward the UN's common agenda.
One of the ways in which UN agencies collaborate at an operational level is through Thematic Working Groups (TWGs). Throughout 2004
there were 13 TWGs within the UN system in Thailand, mostly with a regional focus.
In the latter part of 2005 regional TWGs have been reorganized and streamlined under the leadership of ESCAP, while TWGs at
the Country Team level have been reformed to focus on CCA/UNPAF priorities. This arrangement was designed to lead into more active and more
efficient country-level programming, focusing on priority areas and in pursuit of key common objectives - therefore in keeping with the
spirit of UN Reform.
The List of UN Thematic Working Group linked to UNPAF 2007-2011 Implementation and Monitoring