chapter  23
The role and power of the chairs in international organizations
BySpyros Blavoukos, Dimitris Bourantonis
Pages 12

Uncertainty, high issue complexity and a wide range of actors and interests most often characterize multilateral negotiations. In that respect, international organizations (IOs) have emerged as institutionalized forums that are appropriately structured to facilitate such multidimensional and complicated processes. One of their distinctive organizational features is the chairmanship offi ce. In IO parlance, the terms ‘president’, ‘chairman’ or ‘presiding offi cer’ have been used interchangeably to denote the holder of the offi ce, namely an individual who is given a certain amount of authority to chair negotiations and ensure their smooth and effective conduct. This person can be a supranational offi cer, a third party not directly involved in the negotiations, a permanent representative or diplomat of a state elected or appointed to this position, a foreign minister of a country and even a head of state or government.