Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM)

By resolution 32/197 (paragraph 20) of 20 December 1977, the United Nations General Assembly decided that the regional commissions should take leadership and responsibility for enhancing cooperation and coordination of UN activities at the regional level, taking into account the special needs and conditions of their respective regions.

The UN Economic and Social Council, in its resolution 1998/46 (annex III paragraph 13), took this further by recognizing:

"The team leadership role of the regional commissions calls for their holding regular inter-agency meetings in each region with a view to improving coordination among the work programmes of the organizations of the United Nations System in that region.

"In this respect, the Economic and Social Council welcomes the efforts by the Secretary-General to improve coordination within the United Nations System, including his proposal of yearly meetings, to be chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General in each geographical area, among the relevant entities of the United Nations System engaged in regional and inter-country activities."

Role of the RCM-Africa

Since its inception in 1999, the RCM-Africa has held sixteen annual sessions.

The RCM has evolved to become the instrument for coordinating United Nations System support to Africa, including on the Ten-Year Capacity-Building Programme and NEPAD. In lieu of the expiration of the Ten-Year Capacity-Building Programme in 2016, the RCM has developed a framework for a renewed UN/AU Partnership on Africa’s Integration and Development Agenda (PAIDA) that is being proposed as a successor programme, covering the period 2017-2027.

The RCM operates a cluster system that is comprised of both UN System and AU entities at the regional level, and of UN System and the RECs at sub-regional levels, to enhance coordination, communication and collaboration in the implementation of various programmes and activities. The cluster system is currently structured around thematic areas covering the priorities of NEPAD, namely:

  • infrastructure development,
  • governance,
  • social and human development,
  • environment, population and urbanization,
  • agriculture food security and rural development,
  • science and technology,
  • advocacy and communication,
  • peace and security,
  • industry, trade and market access, and
  • regional integration.

The Mechanism secretariat, hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, has been quite proactive in terms of following up on the implementation of recommendations emanating from the meetings of the RCM-Africa.

OSAA’s Role in the RCM-Africa

OSAA is actively involved in the RCM and co-chairs the Advocacy and Communication Cluster with the African Union Commission’s Directorate for Information and Communications. In this capacity, OSAA is responsible for implementing the communications strategy of the RCM and for facilitating intra and inter cluster communications.

Additionally, OSAA engages the African and international media community in efforts to rebrand the continent and raise visibility on new/emerging opportunities.
OSAA is also a member of the:

  • governance cluster,
  • environment, population and urbanization cluster,
  • gender and development sub-cluster, and
  • post-conflict reconstruction and development sub-cluster.

A New Framework to Succeed to the TYCBP-AU

The Partnership between the United Nations and the African Union on Africa’s Integration and Development Agenda (PAIDA) was jointly developed by the UN-AU Technical Working Group that was established in November 2014, on the recommendations of the 15th Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa that took place in Abuja, Nigeria in March 2014. Learn more about PAIDA >>