Global Policy Forum

General Analysis on UN Reform

Key Documents | Articles

Key Documents

UN Reform Chronology: 1992 - Present

This selective chronology lists dozens of UN reforms since Secretary General Boutros-Ghali took office in January 1992. Though far from comprehensive, the chronology covers the main events and trends. Pressures from Washington have dominated the reform process, but the overall results have included many positive developments as well as negative changes imposed on the UN by the superpower. (Global Policy Forum)

GPF Exclusive Video Interview: Ambassador Solón on The World People's Conference and the Politics of Exclusion in Climate Change Diplomacy (September, 2010)

GPF Associate Kate Porter interviews H.E. Ambassador Pablo Solón about the Cochabamba World People's Conference and the global power structures of climate governance that have historically limited democratic decision making on climate change.

Global Coalition Backs New UN Gender Body (March 30, 2009)

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has presented a paper outlining four options to improve the UN gender equality architecture. Over 300 women's and human rights organizations support the idea to combine the four existing UN gender entities into one new gender body. The body would be a mixture between a fund focused on operational projects and a department working on rules and policies. This would resolve the current fragmentation of the system and the lack of clear leadership in the area of gender issues. UN Member States should also commit to providing adequate funding to eliminate the current lack of resources. (TerraViva)

Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and the Future of the United Nations (January 13, 2008)

This article urges the five permanent Security Council members to give up their veto rights and recommends that the G4 – Brazil, Germany, India and Japan – join as permanent members. Seeking greater involvement of the Secretary General, the author also suggests to make the UN head an ex officio officer of the Security Council. To increase the democratic profile of the General Assembly, the author proposes that each member country appoints four representatives through national elections. (Global Research)

UN Management Reform – The Role and Perspective of the G77 (September 10, 2007)

Among the many caucuses and groupings of the United Nations none seems to be more intensively scrutinized than the Group of 77 (G77), a powerful faction representing the interests of 130 developing Member States. Since its inception in 1964, the Group has carefully guarded the interests of 'the South', as the developing world is colloquially referred to at the United Nations. For outsiders, the G77 has often been elusive yet the Group constitutes a powerful factor in moving opinions on important issues at the UN. Through interviews with key diplomats and UN officials, this article analyzes the current management reform discussions as seen through the eyes of the Group of 77. (Center for UN Reform Education)

Reforming the United Nations: Lessons from a History in Progress (2003)

This comprehensive paper looks at preceding reform efforts of UN institutions from its 1945 founding conference in San Francisco to the 21st Century. The author argues that the key to UN reform lies in understanding why past initiatives have failed and how the strategies and tactics of achieving these could be improved. (Academic Council on the United Nation System)


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In the Footsteps of Dag Hammarskjöld (February 16, 2016)

On 16 February 2016 Egyptian diplomat Boutros Boutros-Ghali died aged 93. He was so far the only Secretary-General of the United Nations, who served in office one term only (1992-1996). In his homage, Henning Melber (among other things Policy Advisor to Global Policy Forum) remembers the first African Secretary-General and draws a comparison between him and Dag Hammarskjöld. "As different as Hammarskjöld and Boutros-Ghali might have been in their background, their socialization, their character and personality, as much alike was their approach as regards the independence of their office." (Henning Melber)

Where next for the United Nations Development System? (February 1, 2016)

The UN has released the advance unedited version of its report of the UN Development System (UNDS), lightly entitled the “Implementation of General Assembly Resolution 67/226 on the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review [QCPR] of operational activities for development of the United Nations system.” The UNDS comprises the activities of some 30 agencies – coordinated by the UN Development Group – and the intergovernmental bodies that provide guidance and oversight, such as the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and its commissions. This report is the key input for the ECOSOC Operational Activities Segment to be held at the UNHQ on 22-24 February 2016. (Global Policy Watch)


Grassroots groups from across the world have written to all UN Member States to call for an open, fair and inclusive process to select the best possible candidate for Secretary-General of the UN. Signatories include Avaaz, Amnesty International, CIVICUS, Equality Now, FEMNET, Forum-Asia, Global Policy Forum, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, Social Watch and Third World Network. The letter coincides with the launch of the 1 for 7 Billion campaign, which is calling for an end to the secret deals and horse-trading that see five countries hold sway over an appointment that affects all the world’s people.


Review: The Gloss of Harmony (November 18, 2013)

In her book review of Birgit Müller's (ed.) "The Gloss of Harmony: The Politics of Policy Making in Multilateral Organisations", Ingeborg Gaarde writes: "This book takes us to the negotiation rooms and backstages at UN Headquarters as well as to the local sites where global policies show their direct impact [...] The authors show how international organizations are working in disciplined arenas with layers of embedded power dynamics, and in the confrontation between representations. However, the chapters of the book demonstrate that the contentions and rationale behind policy-making in these institutions is often concealed from the world audience in the effort to reach specific finalities [...]." (Ingeborg Gaarde)

Brazil, Germany submit draft resolution on Right to Privacy (November 8, 2013)

In response to the NSA espionage scandal, Brazil and Germany have submitted a draft resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age to the UN General Assembly. They call upon all states to take measures to put an end to violations of this right, and to establish independent national oversight mechanisms capable of ensuring transparency and accountability of State surveillance of communications, their interception and collection of personal data. In addition they request the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to submit an interim report on the protection of the right to privacy.


India to Hold Debate on Improving UNSC Working Methods (November 26, 2012)

India, the third largest contributor of troops to UN Peacekeeping operations, has been pushing to become a permanent member of the Security Council. Indian UN Ambassador Puri is also taking advantage of India’s Presidency of the Council to promote wider reforms of the body by holding an open debate on its working methods. India calls for enhanced interaction between the Council’s 15 members and the Peacebuilding Commission, regional organizations, as well as the main contributors to peacekeeping operations. Above all, reformers are advocating for more transparent and inclusive decision-making methods, notably through extended debates that would be open to non-Council members. (Outlook India)

Erdoğan Says All Countries Should Be Permanent Members of UNSC (November 9, 2012) 

Most initiatives to reform the UN Security Council have focused on increasing the number of permanent members in order to better represent today’s geopolitical balance of power. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan now proposes to go beyond the division between “permanent” and “non-permanent” members by arguing that “if there should be permanent members, then all members of the UN should be permanent members, because the UN Charter says, big or small, all member countries are equal.” For this reason, he considers that “permanent” membership should rotate among countries on an annual basis. (Today’s Zaman)

Africa: Claims for Security Council Seats Still in Limbo (October 15, 2012) 

Africa has been at the center of Security Council issues for the past three decades. Yet, as the continent remains marginalized from decision-making processes, African leaders have reiterated their call for a better representation during the last UN General Assembly. The African Union adopted a resolution in 2005 which called for the introduction of two African permanent members – with veto power – and five non-permanent seats at the Security Council. But despite officially welcoming different reform initiatives, the P5 has always been reluctant to such expansion. Above all, the African Union itself has always remained deeply divided with regards to the designation of the two African representatives, as South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt remain the three front runners. (AllAfrica)

Security Council Reform Gains Traction (September 28, 2012)

On the occasion of the UN 67th General Assembly, many leaders, including France’s Francois Hollande, called for an urgent reform of the Security Council (UNSC). Considering the dissatisfaction of emerging powers and the growing influence of developing nations, Kaveh Afrasiabi argues that “the chance of reform appears better now than ever”. Yet, proposals for reform solely focus on an expansion and not a transformation of the existing system. Welcoming more permanent members might allow the UNSC to be more representative of today’s geopolitics but it is definitely not a credible answer to the lack of democratic practices that have always defined the Council’s decision-making mechanism. (Asia Times)

Reform Global Governance Structures, India urges NAM (August 30, 2012)

Regrouping almost two thirds of UN members, the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) is holding its 16th summit this year in Tehran. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon decided to attend despite calls from the United States and Israel to boycott the meeting. The NAM was a creation of the Cold War era as an alternative to the two blocks, and observers have questioned the relevance of this institution over the past 20 years. Yet this year’s summit seems to draw particular attention, not only because it is held in Iran, but also as it represents a unique platform for developing countries to raise their voice. It is to this end that India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called on the NAM to “take the lead” in reforming the United Nations’s system in order to create “global governance structures that are representative, credible and effective”. But will their voice be heard? (NY Daily News)

UN's ITU Could Become Next Internet Freedom Threat (March 9, 2012) 

The introduction of the internet, and the opening up of cyberspace to all sections of society, is widely regarded as one of the integral developments of the late 20th Century. However, as governments get increasingly web-savvy and attuned to the possibilities and threats the internet presents, how will the internet fare in the future? The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the UN’s agency for information and communication technology, is emerging as an important arena for the debate surrounding privacy and security on the web. The ITU could also emerge as a major proponent of internet legislation, or a precursor to such an agency, as numerous governments agitate at the UN to censure to internet or introduce an international “code of conduct” for the internet.  UN ITU will grow in stature as an agency, and it will become a battleground in the fight to uphold freedom in cyberspace. (Huffington Post)

Scrutinizing South Africa's Inclusion in BRICS (April 3, 2012)

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are seen as economic powerhouses in waiting, and are making a concerted effort to stake out their importance within the international community. This article from South Africa’s The Daily Maverick analyses South Africa’s place in this group, and its insecurity. The author also highlights the role played by language in international relations, with stories of governments lobbying to be included in a broader BRICS acronym. (Daily Maverick)

The UN Complex Is About To Get A $2 Billion Anti-Terrorism Upgrade (March 5, 2012)

This Business Insider article reports on the new UN campus being built in New York. A $2 billion investment, the new development is aimed at increasing security and improving the space and facilities enjoyed by the various UN Departments at the UN Plaza. In addition, there has been an ongoing debate over NGO access to the new campus. Some in the UN are eager to maintain a spatial and security divide between the UN and member-state offices and the UN-accredited NGO community, and have used the threat of “terrorism” as an alibi to strengthen security measures. The Working Group on UN-NGO Relations, which GPF convenes, has raised concerns that the new campus will be designed to keep NGOs out. (Business Insider)

The US vs. Genuine Reforms at the UN (January 27-29, 2012)

The US’ often has a “with us or against us” mentality when handling international issues. In 2002, when President George Bush spoke to the UN about his invasion of Iraq, he said, “Will the UN serve the purpose of its founding, or will it be irrelevant?” Such ultimatums ignore any semblance of democracy in the world’s leading international institution. In this article, Ramzy Baroud, editor of The Palestine Chronicle, criticizes the US-led campaign to reform the UN Human Rights Council, and urges the international community to focus instead on more genuine and urgent reforms. (CounterPunch)

At the United Nations, Reform for All Seasons (January 23, 2012)

This Council on Foreign Relations article highlights the arguments in favor of UN reform and some of the barriers to implementing effective reform measures. It also reports on the recent agenda put forward by US Ambassador Joeseph Torsella – in which UN reform should rest on the “four pillars” of thrift, accountability, integrity, and excellence. It is telling how this US reform package focuses on every element of the UN except the Security Council, which is the focus of most of the debate surrounding UN reform.  By ignoring Security Council reform, the United States is sidestepping the problematic issue of their “first amongst equals” status, and preventing more meaningful reform measures from being effectively enforced. (The Council on Foreign Relations)


UN Women’s Agency Being Strangled at Birth (June 30, 2011)

Only six months after its creation, UN Women (UNW) is struggling to raise 500 million dollars for its budget. UNW comprises four other UN women’s organizations and is at risk of being sidelined by misogynist countries and a “coalition of the wealthy” due to lack of funding. This Terraviva article urges the 300 NGOs that campaigned for the creation of UNW, under the Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) plan, to continue pushing member states to pledge fiscal and political support for UNW. (Terraviva)

European Union Wins Upgraded Role Within the UN General Assembly (May 4, 2011)

The General Assembly has passed a historic resolution giving the European Union special rights to speak at the United Nations.  This is the first time a regional bloc has been allowed such representation, although the Vatican and Palestinian Authority have similar rights.  While the European Union now has a right of address and a right of reply in the General Assembly, it does not have voting rights.  This resolution sets a precedent for other regional blocs to be granted the same rights. (Deutsche Welle)

Facing 21st-Century Threats: Why America Needs the UN (February 11, 2011)

On February 11, US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, gave an address on why the US needs the UN.  These comments were clearly directed at recent attacks on the UN by Republicans, led by Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Ambassador Rice emphasized the importance of the UN for US security.  However, the Ambassador's talk was punctuated by comments on the organization's "shortcomings," and cases of "corruption" and "mismanagement," suggesting the Obama administration is using the standard Washington slogans and understandings.

UN's Ban to Combat Criticism by U.S. House Republicans as Funding Questioned (January 21, 2011)

The new chairperson of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, says there is "a critical need to bring sweeping reform to the UN."  Rep. Ros-Lehtinen has been highly critical of the UN in the past, and has threatened to reinstate the US practice of withholding financial support to force reforms.  Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will meet with Rep. Ros-Lehtinen in an attempt to head off a confrontation. (Bloomberg)


Climate Change: UN Agencies Working in Unison Would Do Better (December 9, 2010)

UN agencies should work together to respond to the challenge of climate change. The competition for limited funds has hampered UN agencies from taking collaborative action to assist countries in developing climate change programmes. Country Director of the World Food Program in Uganda, Stanlake Samkange, says that proposals for a UN Multi-donor Fund for climate change must be approved urgently in order for funding problems to be resolved. Uganda and Ethiopia are the only two countries where the UN works with the government to address the impact of climate change. (IRIN)

Departing U.N. Official Calls Ban's Leadership 'deplorable' in 50-page Memo (July 20, 2010)

Inga-Britt Ahlenius who stepped down as Under-Secretary General of the Office of Internal Oversight Service left a scathing text in her wake. In a 50 page memo to Secretary General Ban Ki Moon she attacks his leadership and actions - specifically accusing him of undermining the independence of her office and leaving vacancies unfilled and blocking appointments. She also holds him responsible for making the UN increasingly irrelevant and failing to ensure transparency and accountability within the structure. The attack is highly personal in nature and some of Ban's top advisers call it "unbalanced" and "patently unfair" (Washington Post)

After 65 Years, a UN Agency for Women (July 6, 2010)

A General Assembly resolution passed on July 2 has led to the creation of a new agency dedicated to women. The agency, called UN Women, is part of a greater UN reform agenda of system wide coherence and will replace the work of four existing programs and funds. A separate agency for women suggests a distancing from the "gender mainstreaming" approach at the UN which has still left women and girls lagging behind in development target areas and sidelined from important initiatives. However, the field operations of UN Women are to be funding by voluntary contributions rather than from regular budgets which makes its impact completely dependent on voluntary funding from member states.(The Nation)

To Stay Relevant, the UN Must Compete (May 18, 2010)

The United States is convening many alternative forums outside the UN on crucial issues including financial stability, climate change and nuclear nonproliferation. While such forums lack the scope, legitimacy and the vast institutional and human resources of the UN, they are shaping up to be important in the field of global governance. This trend highlights the acute and urgent need for institutional reform within the UN to ensure its continued role as the primary organ of international diplomacy and governance.  (Christian Science Monitor)

Greening the UN System: The Significance of a Footprint (April 21, 2010)

1.7 million tons of greenhouse gases were reportedly produced by the United Nations system in 2008.  This emissions profile - which equals 3.3% of the New York City's carbon footprint - highlights the need for improved and increased inter-agency cooperation, as well as more sustainable management practices within the UN. This article argues that the UN's efforts in reducing its own carbon footprint - as seen through the current Capital Master Plan - would serve as a valuable blue-print for governments and multi-nationals to minimize their own emissions as part of the common effort to achieve a "low carbon, resource efficient, 21st century green economy." (

Strengthening the UN Gender Architecture: New Momentum behind Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (March 2010)

Charlotte Bunch and June Zeitlin of the Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) campaign suggest that the UN's existing women's entities are incapable of responding to the needs of member states for help in meeting their obligations under CEDAW, the MDGs and other international agreements. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the UN's gender architecture reform process, and it highlights notable gaps between portrayed commitments and actual efforts of various stakeholders on the issue of gender equality. The authors recognize women's groups and civil society - in particular, the GEAR campaign - as key to accelerating the slow-moving intergovernmental reform negotiations. (NGLS - Roundup)

Sarkozy is Tougher on the UN than Obama (March 11, 2010)

Once again urging reform of the UN, French President Nicolas Sarkozy suggested that global problems may be in practice better addressed through selective participation of UN member states. Sarkozy expressed his frustrations on the default practice of UN negotiations, as he argues that the need for "consensus and simultaneous negotiation" among member states are factors which delay and hinder international action. Such dynamics, according to Sarkozy, contributed to unsuccessful climate change negotiations in Copenhagen. (The Foundry)

UN Women's Agency Remains Politically Paralysed (March 4, 2010)

Many have expressed frustrations with the UN's delayed implementation of a new gender unit. Colette Tamko, coordinator of the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), attributes the inactivity to a lack of cooperation and support from members of the G77 and NAM as well as Russia and Japan. Tamko revealed that several G77 countries even regard gender architecture discussions as a "bargaining chip to advance their still undisclosed agendas." (IPS News)

UNGA Libyan President on "Reforming" United Nations (February 23, 2010)

In a recent interview, UN General Assembly President Ali Treki described the UN's role as "marginalized" under the "hegemony" of Security Council permanent member states. He argued that restoration of the UN's role requires improved Secretary General selection procedures and greater accord between the Security Council and the General Assembly. President Treki highlighted various issues which impede efforts to amend the UN charter, and he also expressed concerns regarding the non-binding nature of UN resolutions. (BBC)

UN Must Reform System to Succeed, Ambassador Says (February 15, 2010)

In a recent address to MIT students, Peter Maurer expressed his concerns regarding the need for the UN to reform in order to successfully address and resolve various issues it is currently faced with. The Swiss ambassador considered the UN's response to global warming as hampered by insufficient technological and scientific expertise within the system. A similar view is held by Harvard professor Claude Bruderlein, who described the UN as "a decade late into the use of information technology, as well as understanding the importance of decentralization." (Daily Free Press)

EU Faults UN for Slowdown in Gender Employment (February 4, 2010)

Many welcomed the General Assembly's decision (Resolution 63/311) to consolidate four UN gender equality units into a "composite gender entity." The European Union now warns against further delays, and it urges immediate appointment of an Under-Secretary-General. The UN's current capacity to respond to women's needs has failed to meet country demands for support and expertise. A composite unit can assist the UN in addressing gender inequalities worldwide more effectively. (IPS News)


North African leaders Call for Wide-scale UN Reform (September 24, 2009)

At the UN General Assembly, Libya's President Al-Gadhafi and Algeria's President Bouteflika both expressed the need for a UN reform to ensure the voices of developing countries. President Bouteflika highlighted the need to reinforce the Economic and Social Council and revitalize the General Assembly. (Afrol News)

United Nations Reform and the Council of Europe Member States (September 14, 2009)

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe gives its recommendations for reforming the UN. The paper states that the Council of Europe has an important role to play as an inspiration for the UN, in terms of promoting transnational democracy. In addition, the assembly urges its member states to reach an agreement on UN reform, so as to present a common European consensus. (Council of Europe)

Criticism grows over United Nations' Peacekeeping Concept (August 19, 2009)

The German UN expert Andreas Zumach argues that the UN should establish its own standing army in order to reform its peacekeeping operations. Zumach explains that the US and China, two of the permanent members of the Security Council, have not contributed soldiers to recent UN operations. Developing countries deliver most of the peacekeepers, but due to political reasons they do not publicly complain about the uneven division of peacekeeping contributions. (Deutsche Welle)

UN has the Potential to Overcome Challenges (August 17, 2009)

The UN sees a growing need for cooperation with other international bodies. Because of its current lack of funding, partnership with the European Union be increasingly attractive. But according to this article, conflicts can arise because the EU prioritizes the interests of its member states whereas the UN represents the interests of its 192 members. Further, the EU has vastly more resources than the UN, which might place the world body in a weak negotiating position. (Irish Times)

Security Council Continues Debate on Future of Peacekeeping (August 5, 2009)

The nations in the G8 and G20 threaten the UN's role as the decision making body of all nations, rich as well as poor. Some argue that rich nations often prefer making decisions on their own, not including developing countries in the process. Since the G20 prevented an agreement on economic reform at the UN in June, some fear that the G8 will do the same at the UN Climate Conference in December. (

Moral Values Part of Economic Recovery: Pope (July 19, 2009)

Pope Benedict XVI has called for reform of the United Nations as well as international bodies involved in economics and finance. According to the Pope, the current financial crisis has demonstrated that national governments don't have adequate control over the world's increasingly globalized and interdependent economy. He proposed a Social-Economic Council to complement the UN Security Council and to promote social justice and peaceful development.(Catholicleader)

Toward a Third Generation of International Institutions (July 2009)

President Barack Obama has announced a more open and diplomatic US dialogue with the UN. Thomas G. Weiss explains the main problems in the UN and how the United States can play an important role in reforming the organization. He argues that the world needs more creative thinking about international organizations in order to successfully reform the UN. (The Washington Quarterly)

Rich Nations Shut out the UN (June 22, 2009)

The nations in the G8 and G20 threaten the UN's role as the decision making body of all nations, rich as well as poor. Some argue that rich nations often prefer making decisions on their own, not including developing countries in the process. Since the G20 prevented an agreement on economic reform at the UN in June, some fear that the G8 will do the same at the UN Climate Conference in December.  (Guardian)

The U.N.'s 'Invisible Man' (July 14, 2009)

Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has acknowledged that his UN reform effort has stalled. Ban, also known as Invisible Man, is often criticized for his low-key public profile and for failing to take a strong enough stand on many issues. But this is the kind of UN leader that Washington wanted. Currently the Obama administration is redefining Washington's strained relationship with the world body by working more closely with the Secretary General.(The Wall Street Journal)

Efforts to Reform International Environmental Governance Stall (March 19, 2009)

UN member states cannot agree on a draft resolution on strengthening environmental governance within the UN system. The Mexican and Swiss co-Chairs halted negotiations because member states disagree on financing of environmental efforts, the mandate of the UN Environment Programme and the idea of a new body. At the same time, many governments suggest that national and international responses to the economic crisis must be environmentally sustainable. Apparently, member states do not take seriously a strengthened UN role on the environment. (

Further Details on Institutional Options for Strengthening the Institutional Arrangements for Support to Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (March 5, 2009)

In this paper, the Secretary General proposes options for strengthening the UN work on gender equality. The reform would replace the four existing bodies with a fund, a department or a composite of the two. A fund carries out operational work in different countries, while a department does not focus on field presence. However, a fund relies on voluntary donations by rich countries, while a department receives resources from the general UN budget. A composite body could therefore combine field presence with policy work and give poor countries more influence over the work regardless of funding. (UN)

Q and A: "Time Has Come for a New UN Women's Agency" (March 3, 2009)

In this interview Stephen Lewis, the former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, predicts that the UN General Assembly (GA) will establish a single agency for women before 2010. The United Nations has not acted on the proposal to merge the UN bodies working on gender issues for some years, but Lewis thinks a proposal from the Secretariat could prompt a decision from the GA. UN member states would decide on the agency's budget, which will naturally determine how much and how well the agency will perform. (TerraViva)


UN Push to Stem Misconduct (December 26, 2008)

This Wall Street Journal reports on the failed American initiative to curb misconduct at the UN. Though the article accurately highlights the problem of having multiple, separate bodies monitoring conduct of UN officials, it fails to address the various ways that the US, and other powerful member states, have systematically blocked any meaningful reform proposals of the larger UN system.  (Wall Street Journal)

A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly Could Drive Global Innovation (July 28, 2008)

This article calls for the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA). The author claims support for the proposal is stronger than ever and advocates include former Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Boutros-Ghali stated that a UNPA "has become an indispensable step to achieve democratic control of globalization." The author believes the UNPA should consist of 900 elected representatives who speak for the world citizens. (Policy Innovations)

Challenges 2007-2008: UN Remains Impotent as Captive of the US (January 10, 2008)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon uses many great words in his New Years speech. But critics doubt that he will be able to fulfill all of his pledges for 2008. They suggest that Ban should shift focus to restore the esteem of the UN and more importantly free the organization from the domination of the US. (Inter Press Service)

Observe Early and Often (January 7, 2008)

Election crises in Kenya and Pakistan show that international elections assistance often fails to prevent post-election violence. The author suggests establishing a UN monitoring unit that sets standards for national election commissions. Commissions that live up to these standards will receive a UN certificate. A failure of certification could warn for potentially problematic elections. (New York Times)


Accountability and the United Nations System (2007)

Accountability should play a larger role in the debate on UN reform. According to Michael Fowler and Sumihiro Kuyama, "perceptions of UN efficiency, effectiveness and credibility are closely related to accountability." A UN, which is both managerially and politically accountable, will attract larger support from member states and thereby play a more effective role in global governance. (unu)

Does the UN Still Matter? (July 12, 2007)

Critics, including two-thirds of the US population, express disappointment at the UN's inability to bring peace to the Middle East and eradicate poverty and hunger in the global south. This Daily Times article points out that member states are themselves responsible for the UN's shortcomings. The author urges the member states to collectively build upon the UN's positive aspects and provide the necessary resources by paying their dues to the modest US$7 billion UN peacekeeping budget. According to the article, even though "the UN system is far from perfect, the world would be a poorer and more disorderly place without it."

A Fork in the Road or a Roundabout? (June 15, 2007)

This Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) report reviews the UN Reform process from October 2003 until the High Level Summit in September 2005. It highlights the process' shortcomings claiming that then UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, set the bar too high and that the member states achieved unsatisfactory results. Further disappointments include the lack of discussion on Security Council reform, exclusion of disarmament and non-proliferation, and inadequate representation of the global south in the discussions.

Can the UN Be Reformed? (June 7, 2007)

Former Deputy Secretary General Mark Malloch Brown analyzes the UN reform initiatives taken by Kofi Annan in his last two years as Secretary General. Malloch Brown compares his reform initiatives at UNDP to Annan's initiatives such as the Human Rights Council, the Peacebuilding Commission and management reforms. He asserts that Annan "was hostage to intergovernmental warfare" which prevented him from effectively managing the UN. Malloch Brown claims that UN reform will continue to be a tough task until the member states move away from their individual motives and "allow an empowered accountable management to lead a modern UN." (Academic Council on the UN System)

Security Council Accused of Overstepping Bounds (April 12, 2007)

Veering from its traditional agenda of preserving international peace and security, the UN Security Council plans to hold a meeting to discuss the issue of climate change. The Group of 77 and the Non-Aligned Movement have denounced this decision as evidence of the SC's "ever-increasing encroachment" on the mandates of the UN's other main bodies. Citing the UN Charter, they argue that the Council should only "come into action when there are actual threats to peace or breaches of the peace." (Inter Press Service)

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