Regional Cooperation: A Tool for Addressing Regional and Global Challenges

Publication Date: 
UNU-CRIS Reports
Series Title: 
Report for International Task Force on Global Public Goods,
Publication Place: 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Publication Language: 

This paper explores the usefulness of regional cooperation in addressing regional
and global challenges, with a focus on global public goods for trade, knowledge,
peace and security, financial stability, global commons and communicable disease
control. It develops a four-step framework, which seeks, first, to acknowledge that
regionalism has become increasingly complex and heterogeneous in the context of
globalization; second, to distinguish between different types of regional cooperation
mechanisms; third, to show that effectiveness and sustainability of regional
cooperation are contextually specific, but also dependent on institutions; and,
fourth, to pinpoint the specific regional and global goods that regional cooperation
is to supply. Applying the framework to these global public goods shows
that a coherent way of dealing with them could constitute a global public policy,
that they are interlinked and mutually supportive, that the contributions from
regional cooperation are essential, that the underlying institutional structure for
regionalism is uneven and underdeveloped and that providing global public goods
requires specific policy measures. Global, regional and national levels should exploit
the specific comparative advantages of regional cooperation for each global
public good.