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Western European and Others Group

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Western European and Others Group

The Western European and Others Group (WEOG) is one of five unofficial Regional Groups in the United Nations that act as voting blocs and negotiation forums. Regional voting blocs were formed in 1961 to encourage voting to various UN bodies from regional groups. As of 2010, there are 28 member states, plus one observer. Almost all members are in Western Europe, but the WEOG is unusual in that geography is not the sole defining factor; Europe is divided between the WEOG and the Eastern European Group, and the WEOG also contains Canada, Australia, New Zealand, which are culturally and politically descended from Western European states but are located far away from them. Israel is also a permanent member, due to its strong cultural and historical links with Western Europe and its inability to join the Asian Group due to opposition by Arab countries. The group also contains one observer, the United States, which has voluntarily chosen not to participate as a member, and attends meetings as an observer only. However, it is considered to be a member for putting forward candidates for electoral purposes in the United Nations General Assembly. Turkey participates fully in both the WEOG and the Asian Group, but for electoral purposes is considered a member of the WEOG only.


Permanent non-European members

  •  Australia
  •  Canada
  •  Israel
  •  New Zealand
  • WEOG observer

  •  United States
  • Suggestions to re-arrange the group

    In 2000, the first anniversary of Nauru's UN membership in the Asian Group prompted a call by that country for a new Oceania regional grouping including Australia and New Zealand within the United Nations regional voting system.


    A related group is JUSCANZ. This is an alliance of Japan, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and others. It essentially includes most major non-European Union members of the WEOG, plus Japan. It ensures the European Union is not able to dominate WEOG discussions and proposals.

    WEOG and elections

    Quotas for the five regional groups ensure that for most elections to UN bodies the number of seats available to members of the WEOG is set. For example, two of ten non-permanent seats of the Security Council are reserved for states from the Western European and Others Group. Similarly, 13 of ECOSOC's 54 members come from the WEOG.

    History of Israeli membership

    Though naturally a part of the Asian Group in geographical terms but with membership blocked by Arab countries, Israel became a temporary member of WEOG in May 2000, subject to renewal, in WEOG's headquarters in the US, enabling it to put forward candidates for election to various UN General Assembly bodies.

    In 2004, Israel obtained a permanent renewal to its membership (in WEOG's headquarters in US, while remaining an observer at the UN offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Rome and Vienna).

    On June 14, 2005, Dan Gillerman was elected to the position of Vice-President of the 60th UN General Assembly. The last Israeli to hold this position was UN envoy Abba Eban in 1952. Israel's candidacy was put forward by WEOG. In this position, Gillerman played a central role during the initial negotiation stages of the 2006 Israel–Lebanon conflict.

    In December 2013, Israel was granted full membership of WEOG in Geneva. Israel is thus a full permanent member of WEOG.

    Timeline of membership

    As the Western European Group changed significantly over time, the number of its members had also changed.


    Western European and Others Group Wikipedia

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