The UN World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) oversees a hierarchy of activities. At the highest level, the World Forum meets during March, June, and November each year to agree on objectives, discuss policies, and vote on whether to adopt individual proposals for new regulatory provisions, guidelines, and other measures.
The Forum oversees six permanent Working Parties (commonly known as "GRs") specialized in different aspects of vehicle safety and/or environmental performance. These Working Parties meet 2-3 times per year to consider technical proposals and determine whether the measures should be forwarded to the Forum for adoption.
Although specific proposals may be submitted for consideration by accredited stakeholders directly to the GR Working Parties and/or the World Forum, many WP.29 initiatives require substantial discussions over extended periods of time. WP.29 establishes "informal groups" to work at highly technical levels on these initiatives. These groups are "informal" in the sense that they are not bound by certain formal UN procedures1.
1 UN rules of procedure, among other things, limit meetings to UN facilities with simultaneous interpretation in the applicable official languages (in the case of WP.29, English, French, and Russian). Direct participation in formal meetings is restricted to accredited national/regional delegations representing UN member-states and non-governmental organizations representing collective interests.