In 2001, the United Nations University launched UNU-CRIS, a research and training programme on comparative regional integration to study the role of regional integration in global governance. This is a timely product of the research undertaken at UNU-CRIS. The report represents a unique collaboration between all regional UN Economic Commissions. It focuses on one of the central issues in the debate on global governance.
This World Report makes the case that there is a need for a stronger regional governance level, situated between the national and global levels. This is related to the simple facts that, on the one hand, many challenges posed to humanity cannot be adequately addressed at the national level and that, on the other hand, an effective multilateral system needs some form of regional organization. This regional governance level is complementary to, not in contradiction with, the other governance levels in a modern and flexible system of multi-level governance.
Aware of this emerging reality, the United Nations University-Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) took the initiative to launch a new series of World Reports in order to monitor trends and prospects for regional governance. This World Report on Regional Integration fills a gap in the supply of world reports and is likely to become a leading reference point for future debates on the role of regions in world governance.