The Group of Western European and Other States, also known as the Western European and Other States Group or WEOG, is one of the five United Nations regional groups and is composed of 28 Member States mainly from Western Europe, but also from Oceania, North America, and Western Asia.
The Group is a non-binding dialogue group where subjects concerning regional and international matters are discussed. Additionally, the Group works to help allocate seats on United Nations bodies by nominating candidates from the region.
Unlike most other Regional Groups, WEOG is unusual in that geography is not the sole defining factor of its membership. Instead, its membership is based on geopolitical breakdown, namely its member states share a Western-Democratic common denominator. For example, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are WEOG members even though they are not geographically close to Western Europe, but are culturally and politically descended from Western European states, in particular, the United Kingdom and, also in the case of Canada, from France.
While geographically located in Asia, Israel has been blocked from joining the Asia-Pacific Group by various Arab states. Since the regional groupings were created in the early 60s, Israel had been unable to participate in the political and professional consultations within the framework of the United Nations and its agencies. It was also unable to have its representatives elected to United Nations institutions due to the fact that it was not part of any regional group.
This changed in May 2000, when Israel became a temporary member of the WEOG at the United Nations in New York, allowing it to put forward candidates for election to various United Nations General Assembly bodies. However, this temporary membership still precluded Israel from participating in activities at United Nations offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Rome and Vienna.
On 30 April 2004, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution calling for the full inclusion of Israel in WEOG, directing the U.S. Government to pursue action to "ensure the extension and upgrade of Israel's membership in the Western European and Others Group at the United Nations." This was accomplished in May 2004, when Israel was granted a permanent renewal for WOEG proceedings in New York.
In his address before the General Assembly at the 55th General Debate, Vinci Niel Clodumar, the head of the Nauru Delegation, advocated for the creation of a new Oceania regional group to include both Australia and New Zealand, as well as the ASEAN member countries, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Pacific island countries. In his speech he mentioned that "the 11 Pacific island countries are drowning in the Asian Group, while Australia and New Zealand...are marooned in the Group of Western European and other States."
|United States of America||Permanent|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||Permanent|
|Ireland||1 January 2021 - 31 December 2022|
|Norway||1 January 2021 - 31 December 2022|
|Austria||1 January 2021 - 31 December 2023|
|Canada||1 January 2019 - 31 December 2021|
|United States of America|
|Australia||1 January 2020 - 31 December 2022|
|France||1 January 2021 - 31 December 2023|
|Austria||1 January 2019 - 31 December 2021|
|Germany||1 January 2020 - 31 December 2022|
Every five years in the years ending in 0 and 5, the Western European and Other States Group is eligible to elect a president to the General Assembly.
The following is a list of presidents from the region since its official creation in 1961:
|Year Elected||Session||Name of President||Country||Note|
|1980||35th||Rüdiger von Wechmar||Federal Republic of Germany||Also chaired the eighth emergency special session of the General Assembly|
|1985||40th||Jaime de Piniés||Spain||Also chaired the thirteenth special session of the General Assembly|
|1990||45th||Guido de Marco||Malta|
|1995||50th||Diogo de Freitas do Amaral||Portugal|
|2000||55th||Harri Holkeri||Finland||Also chaired the tenth emergency special, twenty-fifth special and twenty-sixth special sessions of the General Assembly|
As the Western European Group changed significantly over time, the number of its members had also changed.
|Years||Number of members||Notes|
|1961-1964||20||Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States (observer) joins the WEOG.|
|1964-1973||21||Malta joins the UN.|
|1973-1990||22||West Germany joins the UN.|
|1990||23||German reunification, West Germany becomes Germany, Liechtenstein joins the UN.|
|1992||24||San Marino joins the UN as part of WEOG.|
|1993-2000||26||Monaco and Andorra join the UN as part of WEOG.|
|2000-2002||27||Israel joins the WEOG.|
|2002-present||28||Switzerland joins the UN as part of WEOG.|