Macro Classification

Guidance on content patterns and key concepts: scopeactor mapsstatute booksinitiative booksresource booksthree realm mapsgovernment functionsindustry sectorsmunicipal circlescontracts and claimsscope of claims
Classifications: macro , meso, micro, pico
Architecture: societal architecture


What are macro-level actors?

The actors at the macro-level include local and national governments and international agencies that have been created in international conventions and agreements.

These macro-level actors (and roles) are included in the Actor Atlas:

Why they matter

Macro-level actors, designated state parties in conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child have the obligation to ensure that human rights and the rights of the child are respected.

A key characteristics of these actors is their role in allocating scarce public resources among a number of competing causes. Also they must oversee the institutional architecture, the provision of legal security, and they increasingly play a leading role in achieving social inclusion and environmental sustainability. From any of the country statute books listed at Country Statute Books, it can be seen that for nearly every class of the functions of government (COFOG), there are relevant articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights expressing duties for government actors.

COFOG

For macro-level actors, the COFOG (Classification of the Functions of Government; ref: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/cr/registry/regcst.asp?Cl=4&Lg=1 ) describes the possible scopes.

For the proper functioning of government, the governmental powers must be divided over several institutions. Such division is expressed in a Charter or Treaty for international organisations, and in a constitution for a country. In all these cases, we can speak of a constitutive classification.

Constitutive Classification

At the macro level, the functions that are commonly allocated to the actors at global, supra-national, national, state and local level are described by the COFOG1 code , with Division (01-10), Group (1-9) and Class (0-9) as explained at http://unstats.un.org/unsd/cr/registry/regcst.asp?Cl=4&Lg=1 .

The United Nations

The Charter of the United Nations has vested in its principal organs (for more details, see United Nations actor map) the functions described below.

principal organ (link) COFOG Code (with url) keyword / description
General Assembly Group 01.1 Executive and legislative organs, financial and fiscal affairs, external affairs the primary deliberative organ
Security Council Division 03 Public order and safety2 maintain international peace and security
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Divisions 04-093 coordinate the economic and social work of the UN
International Court of Justice (ICJ) Group 03.3 Law Courts settle legal disputes among States and give advisory opinions on legal questions
UN Secretariat Group 01.1 Executive and legislative organs, financial and fiscal affairs, external affairs primary administrative organ

Evaluating the COFOG code match with the principal organs, it is striking that it does not allow us to distinguish deliberative and administrative functions as allocated to the UN General Assembly and the UN Secretariat.

Another observation is that the Group 03.3 Law Courts is the only code available for the justice judicial function.

The European Union

In total, there are seven EU institutions: the European Parliament, European Council, The Council of the European Union, European Commission, European Court of Justice, European Central Bank and European Court of Auditors.

The Lisbon Treaty has introduced a number of new elements to make these bodies more effective, consistent and transparent, all in the cause of better serving the people of Europe.

Details on the Lisbon Treaty can be found here: http://europa.eu/lisbon_treaty/take/index_en.htm

For more details on the functions vested in the EU institutions, see European Union actor map.

Nation States

Most UN member states have a constitution in which the key functions of government are allocated to dedicated organs.

For selected countries, their national institutions will be described.

Sub-national Macro

Also municipal institutions can be at the macro level. For selected regions, municipal institutions will be described.

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