Central and Eastern Europe and the Decline of Russia in the United Nations Administrative Bodies: 1996-2015

Keywords: staffing, United Nations, international organizations, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia


In international organizations, states seek representation not only in decision-making and political fora but also in the administrative bodies, or secretariats. This article maps the representation of Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries in the secretariats of 36 bodies of the United Nations (UN) system in the years 1996-2015. The CEE region is interesting due to the deep political divide between Russia and the Western-oriented new EU member states. Using new empirical evidence regarding the participation of CEE countries’ citizens on the professional staff of the UN bodies, we show that Russia has dramatically lost much of its representation in the UN administration over the last twenty years. In contrast, a number of other CEE countries have considerably improved their position in it. In spite of that, the countries of the entire CEE region belong to those with an overall weak representation in the administrative bodies of the UN.

Author Biographies

Michal Parízek

is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Charles University, Prague. His research focuses on international institutions and their performance, including with regard to international administrations. Empirically, his research deals with the World Trade Organization as well as the United Nations system. His texts were recently published in, among others, The Review of International Organizations, New Political Economy, World Trade Review, Comparative European Politics, and Global Policy.

Ekaterina Ananyeva

is a PhD student at the Institute of Political Studies, Charles University. Her dissertation is devoted to Russia as a rising power in multilateral institutions. In her work, Ekaterina looks at what constitutes the choice of behavioral patterns of Russia in multilateral institutions. She is also a junior researcher at the Peace Research Center Prague, where she is a member of the research group Power Shifts.

Research Articles