The United Nations charter envisaged a substantial role for regional organizations in promoting international peace and security, although it was not until the end of the cold war that they assumed a more active role. In 1981, a Group of Governmental Experts appointed by the Secretary-General concluded that there was a vast and, to a large extent, unexplored potential for progress in disarmament if the global approach was supplemented with determined and systematic efforts at the level of the different regions. The Group of Experts found that progress in regional disarmament, the equitable solution of problems and the just settlement of disputes at the regional level, along with regional confidence-building measures, could create conditions that would promote disarmament and relax tension at the global level. Over the years, the United Nations has sought to enhance the role of regional approaches to disarmament and security, including as a complement to global efforts. By adapting regional initiatives to the specific needs of the participating States, it was possible to reach agreement on measures more far-reaching than those that could be adopted at the global level.

Related Subject(s): Disarmament
Sustainable Development Goals:
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