November 19, 2011 Framework Conventions as Regulatory Tools; United Nations, International Law, Framework Conventions, Climate Change and Agenda 21

Framework Conventions as Regulatory Tools

The adoption of framework conventions is a relatively recent phenomenon in international law and has mainly been employed in the field of international environmental law. According to the so-called “framework convention and protocol approach” parties agree on a more general treaty, the framework convention, and more detailed protocols to fill out the room left for specific regulations. (Source below)

Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The Convention entered into force on 21 March 1994.
Parties to UNFCCC are classified as:
Annex I countries – industrialized countries and economies in transition
Annex II countries – developed countries which pay for costs of developing countries
Non Annex I countries – Developing countries.
United States of America is listed as both Annex I and Annex II

United Nations Development Assistance Framework
The UNDAF is the strategic program framework that describes the collective response of the UN system to national development priorities.

General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
World’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, human rights, freedom of the press and fair elections. Most of its 3,500-plus staff are engaged in field operations, with only around 10% in its headquarters.
The OSCE is an ad hoc organization under the United Nations Charter (Chap. VIII), and is concerned with early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. Its 56 participating states are in Europe, former Soviet Union and Northern America and cover most of the northern hemisphere. It was created during the Cold War era as an East-West forum.

Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)
168 States signed the WHO FCTC during this period expressing their willingness to become a Party to the Convention

Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
European Framework Convention for the Protection
of National Minorities (Council of Europe)

United Nations Economic and Social Council – UNESCO

Functional Commissions
Commission for Social Development
Commission on Narcotic Drugs
INCB – International Narcotics Control Board
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
Commission on Science and Technology for Development
Commission on Sustainable Development
Commission on the Status of Women
Commission on Population and Development
Statistical Commission
United Nations Forum on Forests

Regional Commissions
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)
Each of the funds and programs is headed by an Executive Director at the Under-Secretary-General level and is governed by an Executive Board. One former fund, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), was merged with other elements of the United Nations system into a new organization, UN Women, in January 2011.
International Trade Centre (ITC)
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (OHCHR)
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
United Nations Volunteers (UNV)
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
World Food Programme (WFP)

Research and training institutes
The various research and training institutes were established by the General Assembly to perform independent research and training. One former institute, the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), was merged with other elements of the United Nations system into a new organization, UN Women, in January 2011.
United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)

Secretariats of Conventions
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
UNCCD – United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
UNFCCC – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
UNCLOS – United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea established bodies:
ISA – International Seabed Authority
ITLOS – International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
Other entities
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)
United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC)
United Nations University (UNU)
Specialized agencies
The specialized agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the coordinating machinery of the Economic and Social Council.
International Labour Organization (ILO)
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
World Health Organization (WHO)
World Bank Group
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development(IBRD)
International Development Association (IDA)
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO
International Maritime Organization (IMO)
International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Universal Postal Union (UPU)
World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
United Nations Industrial Development Organization UNIDO
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Other related bodies
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Preparatory Committee for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom)
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

Related organizations
World Trade Organization (WTO)
The WTO is not a member of the United Nations system, though its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was.

United Nations common system:
The United Nations, its subsidiary bodies, thirteen of the specialized agencies (ILO, FAO, UNESCO, WHO, ICAO, UPU, ITU, WMO, IMO, WIPO, IFAD, UNDIO, and UNWTO), and one related body (IAEA) are part of the United Nations common system of salaries, allowances, and benefits administered by the International Civil Service Commission.
Most, but not all, of the members of the United Nations system are part of the common system; the Bretton Woods institutions (i.e. the World Bank Group and the IMF) are notable exceptions. The common system was established to prevent competition amongst organizations of the United Nations system for staff and to facilitate cooperation and exchange between organizations.

Some international organizations that are not part of the United Nations system (and therefore not members of the common system) but who voluntarily follow the policies of the common system in whole or in part include:
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
Organization of American States (OAS)
World Trade Organization
League of Nations for a rudimentary model on which the UN System is based.

United Nations Funding Sources:
USA 22.000% Japan 12.530% Germany 8.018% United Kingdom 6.604% France 6.123% Italy 4.999% Canada 3.207% China 3.189% Spain 3.177% Mexico 2.356% Other member states 27.797%

Sources: Matz-Lück, Nele, Framework Conventions as Regulatory Tools (December 18, 2009). Goettingen Journal of International Law, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 439-458, 2009. Available at SSRN:
Wikipedia accessed 11/19/2011


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