This paper will provide an analysis of the ability of regional organizations, compared to global organizations, on the one hand, and national governments, on the other hand, to decide and implement different policies such as climate action and financial regulation[1]. It is apparent that these organizations and countries across the globe differ significantly in their capacity and their willingness to formulate and implement polices which are deemed essentially to produce enhanced development performance[2]. Regional governments, which include the European Union, have a higher ability of formulating policies and programmes for its member states. In this respect, formulations of such policies as financial regulation, food safety and adequacy, and conflict resolution is left in the hands of the EU[3]. This means that national governments have little or no ability of formulating such policies deemed essential without the consent of the EU. Compared to the global organizations, on the other hand, regional governments are deemed to have a higher ability and are more effective in formulating policies in their member state. This is based on the fact that regional organizations are more democratic, highly institutionalized and is made of members with related foreign policy preferences[4].


Contemporary development thinking has put forward that one of the factors that determines the performance of public and private sector bodies, organizations, amongst other economic units is the formulation and implementation of policies. This means that the development of a country relies on the quality of policies, settled on and the implementation processes involved. Policy formulation and implementation is left at the hands of regional organizations, global organizations and national governments[5]. It is apparent that these organizations and countries across the globe differ significantly in their capacity and their willingness to formulate and implement policies, which are deemed to produce enhanced development performance[6]. This paper will provide an analysis of the ability of regional organizations, compared to global organizations, on the one hand, and national governments, on the other hand, to decide and implement different policies such as climate action and financial regulation.

Regional Organizations

Regional organizations incorporate global membership and include geopolitical entities which operationally surpass a nation state. Membership to regional organizations is, basically, differentiated by demarcations and boundaries to a unique and defined geography, for instance, geopolitics or continents[7]. Regional organizations are, generally, established to play the responsibility of fostering cooperation, economic and political integration among entities or states within a geopolitical or geographical boundary. Most regional organizations work hand in hand with global organizations such as the United Nations. Some examples of regional organizations include the European Union (UE), African Union (AU), The Organization of American States (OAS), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)[8].

Global Organizations

Global organizations are organizations with global membership, presence or scope. The two key types of international organizations include: Intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organizations (WTO) and International nongovernmental organizations, which comprise of non-governmental organizations. They may be either international corporations or international non-profit organizations[9].

Regional Organizations, Global Organizations and National Governments in Policy Formulation and Implementation

Although global and regional organizations have currently grown widely in scope and number, their function and efficiency in formulating and implementing policies is not totally understood[10]. Some academicians oppose the capability of regional organizations to efficiently formulate certain policies, whereas others have pointed out to the amplifying success of policy implementation by these organizations[11]. Evidently, there exist various issues which require diverse actions by the concerned bodies. Such issues, which encompass climate change, conflicts amongst states, and financial crises necessitate such policies as climate actions, conflict resolutions policies and financial regulations. The ability of these institutions to effectively formulate and implement policies depends solely on the type of issue in question[12].

The United Nation (UN), as an international organization plays a vital responsibility in formulating and implementing programs and polices of other member countries[13]. Basically, the global organizations function as multilateral diplomatic forum that addresses an array of the global economic, political and social interests amongst other functions of preserving social order and law in international society[14]. The United Nations function to help various institutions in establishing policy frameworks, which are  essential matters of political, economic and social development. The United Nations is, therefore, perceived as the main organ of international public administrations[15].

International public organizations, fundamentally, entails the procedure of formulation and implementation of policies and programs[16]. In particular, policy formulation is a core to effective public administration, whereas policy implementation is, considerably, based on policy directives. In global organizations, the formulation and implementation of polices is, significantly, swayed by the policy proposals and dialogues, instigated by the private and public organizations as well as the non-governmental organizations, the constitutional provisions of the United Nations Charter, the interests of global society, provisions of international law, media responses to the rising concerns, and national policies, adopted by member states, regarding the concern under consideration[17].

            In formulating polices on different issues, global organizations usually undertakes various essential steps which encompass:

  • Statement of the concern.
  • Analysis of options for resolving the concerns.
  • Assessment of requirements for resolving the matter.
  • Selection of viable and possible actions.
  • Prioritizing the actions.
  • Formulation of projects and programs, based on the chosen actions.
  • Allocation of resources for the projects.

This means that the decision to formulate policies originates from the interest groups, including heads of member countries and Non-Governmental Organizations amongst other agencies[18].  On the issue of conflict resolution amongst states, regional organizations have turned out to be more and more likely to develop mechanisms and come up with policies for handling these disputes primarily focusing on the economic issues[19]. For instance, the protocols and treaties of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have established various provisions for conflict resolution[20]. On the other hand, global organizations and national governments are, generally, more centralized, resource rich and institutionalized and this has the capability of enhancing success in the conflict resolution actions[21]. Studies have proven that the United Nations, which is believed to be one of the most funded and highly institutionalized organizations, has been the frequent mediator of conflict amongst states since the World War II. Nevertheless, conflict resolution by global organizations may be obstructed by conflicts amongst major powers[22].

Institutions usually differ along various dimensions such as scope of concerns covered, rules for membership, centralization of roles, and flexibility of arrangements and rules of controlling the institution. The efficiency with which regional or global organizations may come up with policies to promote cooperation depends partially on these institutional design features.  Studies have proven that compared to global organizations, regional organizations are more efficient in formulating policies, related to conflict resolution in their member state, based on the fact that regional organizations are more democratic, highly institutionalized and are  made of members with related foreign policy preferences[23].

Like regional organizations, national governments are in a better position of formulating and implementing policies, linked to conflict management and resolution. This is based on the idea that a country consists of persons with similar interests and as a result, government’s actions can be deemed to be more timely and efficient. Furthermore, state governments have the responsibility of maintaining peace within and also ensuring that they are in peace with other nations[24].

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Financial regulation policies are other examples of policies, made by the various institutions. Financial regulation is a kind of supervision or regulation that subjects financial institutions to specific guidelines, restrictions and requirements, with an aim of maintaining the honesty of the financial system. Some of the aims of regulation encompass: to enforce pertinent laws, to avoid instances of market manipulation, to guarantee capability of providers of financial services, to maintain confidence in the financial system, to protect clients and to lessen violations[25].  

In the past two decades, the structure of financial regulation has been modified considerably, as the geographic and legal boundaries between states have turned out to be increasingly globalized. For instance, in the European Union, a regional organization in this case, financial regulation is left under the responsibility of various associations. For example, Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS), and the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) are the level-3 committee of the European Union, who are given the mandate of financial regulation in the member states. This means that the role of the regulatory bodies in the European Union member states in financial regulation is limited[26]. To formulate most of the decisions and implement policies, related to financial regulation, is made by the European Union Associations. It is apparent that the budget allows the European Union to meet the requirements for financing its projects and programmes in different policy areas. In order to finance its expenditure, the European Union has its own resources, including value added tax, customs duties, gross national revenue (GNI), and value added tax[27]. This regulation puts down the regulations and rules relevant to the formulation and implementation of the common European Communities Budget[28].  

The European Union has taken the responsibility of addressing the present economic and financial crises since it started in 2008. The European Central Bank (ECB) and the national governments have been working together with an objective of protecting credit and, at the same time, put in place a better system for financial governance[29]. In their role of stabilizing the economy, the European Union leaders and governments have supported member banks, coordinated interventions and also allowed assurance for lending. Furthermore, the European Union has amplified state assurances for personal savings accounts. In 2010, the European Union formulated policies, meant for stabilizing the economy[30]. The policies were meant to provide financial assistance to member countries during difficult times, thus, preserving the financial stability of the European Union[31]. The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism (EFSM), together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are the three safety nets with the responsibility of funding the European Union members[32]. In this case, it is apparent that the power of the national governments in formulating policies to ensure financial stability in their individual countries is limited. Furthermore, the ability of the European Union to decide and implement policies, linked to financial stability is accelerated by the use of a common currency in the European Community. According to studies, having the Euro as a common currency, has made it easier for the European Union to react to the financial crises in a coordinated manner and offered more stability that could not have been possible[33]. For instance, the European Central Bank has the mandate of controlling interest rates in the European community instead of each member state setting its own exchange rates. Furthermore, banks across the European Union have similar conditions for lending to and borrowing from each other[34].

At the international level, there are various global organizations associations that are given the mandate of financial regulations. Such associations include the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the Financial Stability Board, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, and the Joint Forum. These organizations are responsible in ensuring that the financial institutions at a global level are well monitored[35]. Global organizations such as the United Nations played a significant part in addressing the global financial crises. The impacts of this global issue were very devastating as they not only threatened the developed countries, but also the developing and the least developed countries. In order to address the issue, global leaders came together under the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crises and its Impacts on Development. Over 170 member states attended the conference[36]. After several days of debate, the United Nations adopted a new framework which was supposed to be implemented with an aim of addressing the global economic crises[37]. World leaders adopted an outcome document that consisted of recommendations, aimed at fighting the global recession and follow-up procedures, which would promote reforms of the world economic and financial architecture[38].

In this case, it is true that the global organizations have a higher capacity of formulating and implementing policies to deal with a global issue compared to a regional organization[39]. For instance, it is true that the regional organizations such as the European Union can only deal with issues, affecting their member state, rather than those affecting the world at large. On the other hand, Global organizations such as the United Nations have the mandate of dealing with global financial issues such as the financial crises with the member states coming together to formulate and implement policies deemed in addressing such an issue[40].

In the national level, there are various regulatory authorities, given the mandate of regulating financial activities. In the United States, for instance, the Federal Reserve System, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have the responsibility of regulating financial activities[41]. However, the financial authorities at national level can only deal with the financial matters in their own individual countries. Whilst regional organizations control, formulate and implement policies, followed by all member states, policies, formulated and implemented by national governments, can only be applicable at the national level[42]. Furthermore, in the European Community, policies, regarding financial regulation, are made by the regional body, thus, meaning that member states do not have the capacity of formulating and implementing policies without the consent of the regional bodies. For instance, the central banks of the member states are answerable to the central bank of the European Union[43].

The European Union has formulated a food safety strategy which ensures that the entire Euro area is entitled to the right of safe and adequate food[44]. The strategy covers food safety, ensures variety and choice of food, and applies high standard to imported food and which is produced within the European Union. In this case, the European Union has the mandate of formulating policies and programmes for its member countries, regarding food safety standards and the rights to adequate food[45].

Global organizations, on the other hand, have the mandate of developing a better understanding to the implementation of the right to sufficient food.[46] This may be undertaken through the formulation of programmes and policies or modifications of present programmes or policies[47]. The World Food Summit, for instance, called upon various international bodies including the Committee of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to accelerate scrutinizing the implementation of various measures offered. Furthermore, other agencies, including the United Nations, were given the mandate of contributing to further implementation[48].

It is true that the national governments are the primary duty-holders of human rights. However, the national governments are obliged to abide by their responsibilities in respect with the Human Rights Covenant[49]. The formulation and implementation of social, economic, and cultural policies, linked to adequate food, necessitates national governments to abide by their human rights duties. States are obligated to protect, respect and fulfill, failure of which is deemed as a violation of human rights.

Failure by the national governments to comply with their obligations of formulating better policies to ensure right to adequate food makes the international organizations which play a major role in supporting states to implement such policies[50]. It is evident that new international programmes and policies can sway the ability of national governments to implement national programmes and policies, required to totally implement rights to adequate food. Such policies may either support the realization of the implementation; however, they can also be of negative sway on national governments ability to guarantee such rights[51].


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