Global Policy Forum

Archived Articles on General Analysis on UN Reform

Print

 

2006

Back to Current Articles | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 - 1994

Who Will Pay for UN Reform? (November 7, 2006)

This article looks at proposals to fund key UN reform initiatives to upgrade the UN's computer system and improve field staff benefits. Japan has proposed that all permanent Security Council members should pay at least 3 - 5 percent of the regular budget, which would require Russia and China to increase their contributions. As the second largest contributor to the regular budget, Japan hopes that its big purse would increase its chances of gaining a permanent seat in the Council. The EU also supports raising the contributions of China and Russia, arguing that these countries should pay a greater share. (UNA-USA)

Reform or Counterrevolution at the UN (August 7, 2006)

This Foreign Policy in Focus article discusses several "scarcely concealed" US attempts to use the UN reform process to push through Washington's agenda. While the UN could benefit from more efficient hiring policies, the US should not exploit such a strategy to "handpick supportive insiders." The author urges poor countries to demand reforms that go beyond bureaucratic details and instead push the UN for more timely resolution of global crises.

Progress on United Nations Reform Based on US Priorities (July 13, 2006)

This "scorecard" from the Better World Campaign highlights UN efforts to implement US-driven structural and operational reforms. The report lists elements of the UN reform process according to the priorities of the US Mission to the UN. US proposals have focused mainly on "modernizing" the management of the organization, and eliminating "low priority activities." Poor nations have accused the US of trying to push through its own agenda rather than pursuing genuine reforms.

Without Action Now, the UN Capital Master Plan Is Not Going Anywhere Anytime Soon (May 16, 2006)

The "Capital Master Plan" to renovate the UN Headquarters building in New York has stalled. The General Assembly has not set a budget or financing plan, while previously secured funds have been restricted to a prior renovation strategy. The US government has refused to participate in discussion or release the necessary funds, despite Washington's involvement in renovation plans for years. Meanwhile the UN building continues to deteriorate and fails to meet building codes. (United Nations Association of the USA)

Renovation of UN Complex Stalled by US, Official Says (April 18, 2006)

Washington continues to delay the renovation of UN Headquarters in New York. The US has been the only country to block the US$100 million needed to begin the project, with the delay costing US$225,000 a day. US Ambassador John Bolton claims the US offered US$23.5 million, but was "not convinced the larger amount was needed at the moment." But surveys have shown the 55 year old building critically needs restoration. (New York Times)

UN Reform for the Rest of Us: An Agenda for Grassroots Accountability (April 14, 2006)

The author describes the "missing third leg" of the UN reform effort, arguing that UN agencies operating in humanitarian crises must be more accountable. In Ugandan and Sudanese refugee camps the UN provides the services of a government, but lacks responsibility to the citizens. The author advocates for the creation of a UN judiciary and a system of administrative law "open to people directly affected by UN policies." (Foreign Policy in Focus)

US Quietly Blocking UN Headquarters Renovation (April 6, 2006)

US Ambassador John Bolton admitted that the US wants to block the start of renovation to the UN headquarters to "keep down costs." Secretary General Kofi Annan requested authorization for US $100 million dollars to start the work, but the US presently only wants to commit US $23 million. Headquarters renovations planning began years ago, and US action to stall the project demonstrates further attempts to dominate UN plans and reform. (Reuters)

UN Reform Process Hotting Up (March 27, 2006)

The author writes that rich countries have pushed for UN reforms to "erode the influence of developing countries." In particular, the reforms reduce the UN's role in development. This allows institutions, such as the WTO dominated by rich countries to monopolize. The number of UN mandates under review "runs into the thousands," many falling under the newly established High-Level Panel on System Wide Coherence. The panel will propose new structures for the UN's work in development, humanitarian assistance and the environment. (South North Development Monitor)

World Leaders Have the UN they Deserve (March 7, 2006)

The author writes that the "UN is only as strong or as week as governments want it to be." Member states should stop using the UN as a "scapegoat" for governments' failure to achieve international consensus. The UN cannot change on its own, the responsibility lies with governments to implement reform in the best interest of the UN. (United Nations Association -USA)

Fragile Countries and United Nations Reform (February 23, 2006)

Many UN Reform proposals deal specifically with the topic of fragile states, including the Peacebuilding Commission, global democracy fund and responsibility to protect (R2P). R2P however is a sensitive subject that raises "thorny issues" of sovereignty, proportionality and the extent of military action. Commentators raise concerns that reform of UN bodies leads to a system that could support an "empire-like" approach. Moreover UN failure can lead to further instability. (Bangkok Post)

Japan May Cut Funding to UN (February 23, 2006)

Japan, which funds about 20 percent of the UN's peacekeeping budget, reacted to a UN report alleging that the world body lost tens of millions of dollars through irregularities in peacekeeping procurement activities by threatening to reduce Tokyo's contribution to the peacekeeping budget. However, some experts believe that Japan's threat really represents a sign of frustration at failing to get a permanent seat on the Security Council. Others, like US Ambassador John Bolton, see the report's findings as an opportunity for "whole-scale change in the way many agencies and entities within the UN system operate." (Los Angeles Times)

US Handling of Reform Angers Developing Nations (February 17, 2006)

The US has faced a backlash from developing states following allegations by US Congressmen allegations that the G77 "worked feverishly to block efforts to clean up the institution." The criticism came after G77 Chairman, Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo complained to Kofi Annan that Under Secretary General for Management Christopher Burnham briefed the press on issues of mismanagement prior to the General Assembly. Developing member states are also concerned that the Security Council, under US Ambassador John Bolton's presidency, encroached upon GA territory holding meetings on issues that fall under the GA's authority. (Reuters)

Starting Operations, New UN Ethics Office Fields Staff Requests For Advice (January 17, 2006)

After being vehemently debated in December 2005 negotiations, the new UN ethics office has begun operations. According to staff, the office was designed to prevent problems before they arise and identify conflicts of interest, not as an enforcement agency. The office assists staff with accepting gifts, financial disclosure obligations and whistleblower protection policies. (UN News)

The United Nations vs the United States (January 13, 2006)

US pressure looms over important debates undertaken by the UN, such as Security Council reform, the oil-for-food scandal and the quandry of humanitarian intervention. Washington continues to criticize the UN but its actions, most recently in Iraq, are a major cause of UN damaged credibility and operation. The UN needs attainable proposals for reform, not undermining by its own member states. (openDemocracy)

Q & A – UN's Record For 2005 (January 6, 2006)

In this interview with the Council on Foreign Relations, President of the United Nations Association of the United States (UNA-USA) William H. Luers comments on a range of issues including management reform, the creation of a Human Rights Council and its membership and US attitudes towards the UN. Overall, Luers paints a positive view of the reform process, but he critically questions the role the US wants to play at the UN.

2005

Back to Current Articles | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 - 1994

Challenges 2005-2006: UN's Authority Tested by Perils Ahead (December 28, 2005)

The UN closed 2005 without reaching decisions on many significant issues. In 2006 the UN must reclaim its position as an "independent actor on the world scene" without being undermined by the US. While Security Council reform remains unlikely, General Assembly "re-empowerment" should occur and UN accountability should be strengthened. (Inter Press Service)

UN Members Approve Two-Year Budget (December 24, 2005)

The UN General Assembly agreed on a two-year budget with a $950m spending cap for the first six months of 2006. Member states, mainly the major donors like the US and the EU have made the budget negotiations for the second term contingent on adoption of management reforms. Several poor countries have criticized the link between reforms and the new budget arguing that it is a "coercive measure" by rich countries to impose "their vision of the reform" on the rest of the world. (Associated Press)

Summit Asymmetry: The United States and UN Reform (December 1, 2005)

The US approached the World Summit with diffidence because the Summit sought to strengthen the UN's future capacity. Washington was not concerned with the UN's "structural deficiencies" but rather with allegations of corruption in the oil-for-food programme. The author suggests that the US does not want the UN strengthened and it wants any reform to be only on their terms. The US would rather "de-fang the beast, not give it more bite." (International Spectator)

The Mother of All Coalitions (November 29, 2005)

Some researchers argue that while civil society is becoming increasingly global, states remain locked within their borders. The UN reflects the power imbalance between powerful and weak nations, and lacks effective political power. The Organisation for Promoting Global Civilisation proposes to create a World Coalition Parliament, which would hold legislative power, and a World Coalition Government, which would be an executive body. Based on the EU model, this body would replace the UN in addressing global challenges such as poverty, hunger and conflicts. (Inter Press Service)

UN Faces New Political Threats From US (November 23, 2005)

US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton pressures the UN on the issue of management reform as a means to achieve Washington's "political ends." Critical of these US-backed reforms, the Group of 77 argue that the Bush administration wants the organization to "be run like a US corporation." However, as an international body the UN "cannot be run according to the dictates of a single country," Executive Director of Global Policy Forum, James Paul comments. (Inter Press Service)

Politics Trumps Diplomacy in UN Reform Dispute (November 21, 2005)

US Ambassador John Bolton has once again emerged as a controversial actor in the realm of UN reform. While pushing for what he calls "management reform" in the Secretariat, Bolton threatened that if Washington does not gets its way, the US will no longer turn to the UN for its international policy needs. The Group of 77 and other developing countries are fed up with Washington's current and historical bullying at the UN, and are thus resisting the US-backed reforms more on principle than on substance. (New York Times)

It Works Well. Tweak It. (November 6, 2005)

"Reform is not really on the minds of many reform mongers," argues this Los Angeles Times op-ed. Instead, many proponents of UN reform, especially US politicians, would only be satisfied if the UN were to completely submit to the will of the US. In reality, a lot of the alleged "bureaucracy" at the UN is the product of the organization's unique diversity. The decision-making processes at the UN, in which individuals from 191 countries strive for respectful cooperation, should be praised, not "reformed."

Bruised But Intact, the UN Is 60 (October 24, 2005)

On the 60th anniversary of the United Nations' founding, the BBC reflects on the major initiatives and reforms that member states have undertaken since 1945. The UN's 191 member states have constantly adapted its role in the world – from the founding in San Francisco, to its post-Cold War policy leadership, to the 21st century Millennium Development Goals. Above all else, the 60-year history of the UN has "demonstrated the bankruptcy of any alternative" for international policy and law.

Iraq and Oil-for-Food: The Real Story (October 5, 2005)

The Volcker Committee's investigations into the UN Oil-for-Food Programme have not revealed endemic UN corruption, as many conservatives and UN-critics claim. Rather, the program's failures stem from Security Council member states – particularly the US and UK – and their hurried efforts to implement an ill-conceived program in the wake of economic sanctions and the first Gulf War. Furthermore, the bulk of illicit revenues came from smuggling, rather than kickbacks and bribes, involving Saddam Hussein's government, neighboring states, and private corporations, which the UN Secretariat was neither involved with nor responsible for monitoring. (AlterNet)

Kofi and the Scandal Pimps (October 4, 2005)

This important article debunks the "Oil-for-Food scandal," showing how right-wing political journalists in the United States manufactured it to discredit the UN. The author argues that the phony scandal helped Washington "change the subject" away from the Iraq War and the real scandals of the US occupation. (AlterNet)

The Gangs of New York (September 26, 2005)

The disappointing outcome of the Millennium+5 Summit is not an indication of a "failure" on the part of Kofi Annan, or on the part of the United Nations as an entity. Instead, the shortcomings draw attention to the problem of disunity among the member states. The UN will have a difficult time rising above these divisions unless nations begin to focus more on the substantive content of world issues - rather than rhetoric - in international policy-making. (Der Spiegel)

The World Needs a Stronger UN (September 19, 2005)

Melita Gabric, Slovenian senior advisor on foreign affairs, suggests that less powerful nations should focus on reforms that strengthen the United Nations' institutional capacity. As Gabric points out, powerful countries often launch "the most savage criticisms" of the UN; these criticisms often overshadow the fact that the majority of nations see the UN as an "irreplaceable" institution, in which all member states can have a voice in world affairs. (International Herald Tribune)

A Limited UN Is Best for America (September 11, 2005)

US conservative and former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich weighs in on the UN reform debate. Gingrich makes no bones about the US strategy of promoting "a fundamentally limited institution," saying "failure…can be an option for the UN." (Boston Globe)

On Secretary General Annan's Vision of "Freedom from Fear" (September 6, 2005)

Executive Director of Focus on the Global South Walden Bello spells out his vision for effective UN reform, in contrast to "what the United States government means by 'UN reform,' which means further eroding the capacities of the UN." Bello highlights the need to reform the basic power discrepancies that underlie all decisions made in the modern world system. In particular, Bello speaks of the positive role of the global peace movement, the global justice movement and Southern hemisphere governments and NGOs, who work to combat the US-dominated geopolitical strategies that in fact endanger international peace and security.

To Save the World from Hell (September 2005)

Blaming the UN for problems in the world is comparable to blaming a stadium for a sports team's loss, says one former UN ambassador. On its own, "the UN" is an abstract entity. However, by representing hundreds of different nations and interests, the UN is rendered a concrete and invaluable multilateral forum. Because so many countries, groups and individuals find a voice at the UN, their competing opinions on nearly every issue are both common and expected. As a result, governments and the media should not create a dialogue of desperation and panic around "UN reform." This dialogue is inaccurate, and unfairly magnifies the problems at the UN. (Le Monde Diplomatique)

Boutros-Ghali "Dreams" of UN Reforms to Block US "Unilateralism" (July 29, 2005)

Former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali identifies excessive UN dependence on the US as a major obstacle to the world body's reform. He expresses hope that a coalition of developing countries and progressive developed nations will pioneer the necessary changes and thwart US unilateralism. (Daily Star - Lebanon)

The Missing Third Leg of UN Accountability (June 23, 2005)

According to this Foreign Policy In Focus piece, concentrating on constitutional and managerial changes in the United Nations reform debate has eclipsed a significant accountability gap. The author points out that discussion on keeping UN agencies accountable to their beneficiaries is virtually nonexistent, and states that the UN must "practice what it preaches on human rights."

US Puts UN Reform First, Official Says (June 16, 2005)

Washington insists that the UN take action on five key reforms – including a change in the organization's budget system to increase US leverage – before the Bush administration will discuss Security Council expansion. The move is likely to hinder Kofi Annan's reform process, though some supporters believe that linking Security Council expansion to other changes will speed up the reforms. (Los Angeles Times)

Hammering the UN (June 11, 2005)

This Washington Post article points out that while UN reform is desirable, the Hyde bill introduced in the US Congress is rather distasteful: "this is like using a sledgehammer to drive a nail into an antique table: even if you're aiming at the right nail, you're going to cause damage." The bill demands that the organization carry out a list of reforms or risk losing 50 per cent of US payments. However, supporting the institution rather than threatening it would best serve US interests, according to the Post.

US Bill Would Demand UN Reform (May 20, 2005)

Republican Representative Henry Hyde has drafted a bill for the US Congress which seeks to slash US financing for "useless" UN programs. By calling for independent and voluntary funding, Hyde argues that the programs will enjoy increased transparency and efficiency – although the idea of an efficient, under-funded agency appears to be rather contradictory. This seems like a clear case of saber-rattling to push the US agenda, but withholding dues may very well isolate the US from its allies. (Associated Press)

From Keeping Peace to Building Peace (April, 2005)

Increasingly, the Security Council has changed the nature and purpose of its peacekeeping from deployment of forces and monitoring of ceasefires towards post-conflict peacebuilding, involving "comprehensive governance of territories." This Columbia Law Review article questions the legitimacy of Security Council involvement in peacebuilding, and suggests that it is more appropriate for a revived UN Trusteeship Council to administer post-conflict territories.

UN Reform Lost in Translation (April 28, 2005)

This Washington Post article provides a roundup of some of the international news media's different interpretations of UN reform. The author notes that for the US, reforming the world body means "establishing accountability" and "purging [it] of corruption." For much of the international media, however, UN reform refers to the Secretary General's proposals for structural change. The article highlights the difficulties in trying to reconcile the two agendas.

A World Without the UN? (March 28, 2005)

Forbes commentator Ernesto Zedillo contemplates whether collective security remains the best arrangement to promote global peace and security, and asks if the UN is the appropriate forum for such a system. He responds affirmatively to both questions, but advocates for reform of the world body, acknowledging that "the UN can only be as good or as bad as its members make it."

Annan's Last Spin (February 17, 2005)

Amidst allegations of corruption and partiality at the UN, Al-Ahram Weekly explores the "revolving-door interaction" between the Secretariat and member states with regards to UN reform. The article criticizes the fact that senior UN officials "sometimes succumb to the myopic interests of influential member states in return for political favour," which gives rise to the Secretariat's "vested interest in preserving the status quo."

The Reform of the United Nations (February 4, 2005)

Drawing on the experiences of the European Union, this One World Trust paper makes three major proposals to reform the United Nations. It suggests an expanded role for the Secretary General, recommends extending the veto to regional representatives, and it details the possible establishment of a "UN Parliamentary Assembly" to sit alongside the General Assembly. The proposal stresses that UN reform should be gradual – "it must not seek to go too far too fast."

An Alliance of Democracies (January 27, 2005)

Commandeering the issue of UN reform, this conservative editorial argues that the "old, exhausted" United Nations should be cast aside in favor of a new intergovernmental organization based on the ideas of "freedom, free trade and the development of free and open societies worldwide." The author envisages that this "alliance of democracies" will be built on the principle of "democratic discrimination," employ a policy of retaliation against states suspected of harboring terrorists, and cancel debt of "newly-free" states. (Washington Times)

The Right's Assault on Kofi Annan: How the Neocons Created a "Scandal" to Punish a Critic of US Policies (January 10, 2005)

"The reality is that the current calls for Annan's head are provoked by his opposition to America's pre-emptive war in Iraq," says The Nation's UN correspondent. The author also denounces the "creation" of the oil-for-food scandal as simply a way for US neoconservatives – who have been historically opposed to the United Nations – to push their own "reform" agenda to weaken "multilateral institutions and their role in the world."

And When the Great Wave Fell Back, the UN Stood Revealed, Notably Useless (January 3, 2005)

This very conservative Times of London opinion piece calls the UN "philosophically redundant, structurally irrelevant and bureaucratically ossified." In its place, the author believes the Group of Eight most industrialized nations (G8) could gradually expand membership to other states and "take on the mantle of world leadership." The article goes so far as to suggest that Ottawa, Canada would make a "diplomatically astute" location for a G8 secretariat.

2004

Back to Current Articles | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 - 1994

UN Reform Pushed by Martin at APEC (November 21, 2004)

At the APEC summit Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin made a passionate plea for UN reform and sought support for his concept of a new L-20, a group of "existing and emerging economic powers" that would, ironically, conduct its business outside of the United Nations. Martin also promoted the idea of humanitarian intervention, or "responsibility to protect," a concept that appears benign but may offer a humanitarian cover for great power intervention. (London Free Press)

UN Wants $97 Mln for Security After Iraq Blast (October 12, 2004)

In a speech to the General Assembly, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan proposed a new directorate for the organization, responsible for the security of over 100,000 staff and 300,000 dependents in more than 150 locations worldwide. The new security arrangements could lead to the UN's return to Iraq after it pulled out its staff following a deadly attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad in August 2003. They represent a first step in the direction of a new "threat and risk analysis" strategy. (Reuters)

UN Reform: How? (October 2004)

This paper analyzes the UN reform process, and identifies the lack of "collective action" mentality as the greatest problem keeping countries from reaching consensus. After examining parallel cooperation cases, the author draws up eight steps to build cooperation "brick by brick." He suggests that by taking measures such as developing trust-building informal relationships between diplomats and making defection costly and embarrassing, an environment conducive to reform will surely arise. (Overseas Development Institute)

2003

Back to Current Articles | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 - 1994

Reform the United Nations Now: Commentary (December 3, 2003)

The US-led war against Iraq constituted a serious breach of the UN principle and charter. In addition it undermined the world's confidence in its ability to offer a collective response to global problems and challenges. This article calls on the UN to carry out needed reforms to survive an increasingly complicated world. (People Daily)

Recommendations to the Bush Administration on UN Reform (October 20, 2003)

This report from the highly conservative Heritage Foundation outlines recommendations for UN reform in line with the Bush administration's unilateralism. The authors are highly critical of the "glorified debating society" the UN has become and call for "fundamental revision of the Charter to bring it in line with the modern world." Reform, they argue, should enable nations to take the necessary measures to protect themselves from "rogue regimes and terrorist networks."

2001

Back to Current Articles | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 - 1994

Sustaining a Culture of Transparency (June 6, 2001)

Dr. Shashi Tharoor, the interim head of the UN's Department of Public Information, expresses his determination to "re-energize DPI" through a more democratic and transparent information system. (Earth Times)

Reforming the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (May 2, 2001)

The UN University will release a new report calling for reform of the Security Council, the UN system in general as well as the World Bank and the IMF.

2000

Back to Current Articles | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 - 1993

General Assembly President Calls For More Efficiency (November 15, 2000)

Harri Holkeri said that the UN needs to reform and organize its work to enhance its effectiveness. On the issue of the Security Council reform, he indicated that it would be a gradual process. (UN Wire)

UN Commissioner Backs Australian Government's Call (August 29, 2000)

Mary Robinson supported the call for reform of UN committees, but at the same time, urged the Australian government not to get carried away in its opposition to the UN system. Robinson advocated supporting an NGO perspective in the treaty system and said that reforms should be directed to better research by the committees. (AAP)

UN Committee System in State of Drift (August 3, 2000)

Criticize us? We'll criticize you. Is Australia beginning to follow the US in demanding UN reform before it complies to UN policy? Head of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, Ashton Calvert, pushes for reform of the "drifting" United Nations committee system claiming it pays too much attention to input from "unelected and often partisan lobbies." (Australian General News)

NGOs Urge UN to Abolish Veto, Absorb IMF, WTO, World Bank (May 27, 2000)

NGOs at the Millennium Forum adopted a declaration to move towards abolishing the veto and to establishing a Conflict Prevention Committee in the General Assembly. The declaration also urged to democratize the decision-making process by absorbing the IMF, WTO and World Bank into the UN. (Kyodo News Service)

UNIC Director Outlines 10 Challenges Facing World Body (March 1, 2000)

The head of the UN Information Center outlines challenges that are a test of the United Nations' ability to deal effectively with global issues. (World Federalist Association Release)

1999 - 1993

Back to Current Articles | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 - 1993

UN Reform? Not Anytime Soon, But.... (October 1999)

World Federalists of Canada's interview with Global Policy Forum's executive director, James A. Paul. Paul discusses the current state of UN reform including reform of the Security Council, sanctions and the implications of Kosovo. Paul also discusses UN initiatives to work with corporations and the UN's relationship with NGOs.

Make the UN a World Government (June 11, 1999)

Speech given by Titus Alexander, chair of the Charter for Global Governance, to the UK House of Commons. Begins by stating that the "present system of global governance is unjust, ineffective and extremely dangerous."

Committee Seeks UN Charter Amendment (April 1, 1999

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs passed a motion proposing to amend the UN charter, so that the UN can intervene when a country commits suicide. (Irish Times)

World Government, Globalization and UN Reform (1999)

Exponents of different ideologies examine the role of the UN and the need for reform. Proposals range from radical – such as ending nation-state focus in favor of regional representation and civil society movements – to more moderate views which include strengthening the power of the Secretary General. The author also explores the possibility of the UN developing into a world-governing, supranational authority. (ProutWorld)

The Negative Effects of the UN Reform (Fall 1998)

Some examples of the negative impact of the UN reforms are presented in this paper from Global Policy Forum.

For a Global Peoples' Assembly (November 14, 1997)

An op-ed from the International Herald Tribune supporting a popularly elected peoples' assembly, outside of the traditional nation-state context.

Louis B. Sohn on Non-Charter Reforms (October 1997)

One of the most distinguished legal experts in the United States discusses reform of the Security Council, General Assembly and the International Court of Justice. An article from the American Journal of International Law.

Statement of Principles on UN Reform (July 1997)

This Group of 77 statement on UN reform focuses on the "fundamental importance" of economic and social development. It also campaigns for the UN to become more universal, democratic and transparent.

UN Reform: A Radio Feature (June 29, 1997)

English script of an hour-long show on German radio that won the 1997 UNCA award for best reporting on the UN.

Fifty-Second UN General Assembly Debates UN Reform (1997)

UN reform was a central refrain as the general debate of the 52nd General Assembly began on 22 September.

Image & Reality: A 'Vast Sprawling Bureaucracy'? (1994)

Erskine Childers and Brian Urquhart address misinformation about UN staff and the size of its budget. While Western media often describe the UN as "a vast sprawling bureaucracy," the UN employs fewer people than the District Health Services of Wales in Britain. Further disputing the misconception of the UN as "a gigantic paper factory," Childers and Urquhart point out that "the New York Times consumes more paper in one single Sunday edition than the United Nations consumes in all its documents in a whole year." (Renewing the United Nations System)

The Case for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (1993)

The Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly advocates for a UN Parliament made up of members of the public. While most governments call for UN reform, few can agree on the necessary steps. The Campaign believes the initiative for change must come from ordinary citizens. Establishing a Parliamentary Assembly will "democratize" the UN and legitimize the idea of "the individual as a world citizen in addition to a national citizen." The Campaign envisions a genuine parliament with directly elected representatives who would speak for the people.
 

FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C ß 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.