Regional organizations have an important role to play in the achievement of the United Nations global goals. They can support member states with the design of action plans for sustainable development, but also they can play a key role in monitoring the implementation of these commitments.
However, across the globe there is a growing skepticism among citizens about the effectiveness of the work of regional organizations and their relevance to people’s lives.
In spite of the progress seen in the last decade, about 38 percent of the total population of Latin America and the Caribbean is still vulnerable to many of the challenges related to security and development, according to the U.N. Development Program. As a result, citizens in the region continue to complain about and criticize the role of the Organization of American States, specifically its perceived inability to tackle social and economic instability in the region. Their fear is that this instability could cause a democratic backlash.
Another example of the reduced faith of citizens is demonstrated within the European Union, as an increasing number of people are voting for anti-EU parties, granting nearly 30 percent of the seats in the European Parliament to such parties. This is also evident in the results and trends of recent elections held throughout Europe: the anti-EU Front National won 26 percent of votes in France, while in the United Kingdom, Nigel Farage’s U.K. Independence Party posted 27.5 percent of votes. This is a clear sign of the growing skepticism that needs to be addressed.