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.