Global Policy Forum

UNIC Director Outlines

World Federalist Association Release
March 1, 2000

In a speech at the World Federalist Association's annual spring assembly on Friday, the head of the UN Information Center (UNIC) in Washington listed 10 challenges facing the United Nations. Catherine O'Neill said these challenges are a test of the United Nations' ability to deal effectively with global issues:

  • Assuring adequate resources to accomplish UN missions -- perhaps by allowing the UN to borrow funds or requiring missions to be accompanied by grants from member states;
  • Clarifying the difference between "peacekeeping" and "peace observing" so that expectations are not beyond the capabilities of UN missions;
  • Ending the "scapegoating of the United Nations" by assuring that impossible problems are not assigned to the UN;
  • Rethinking the UN's obligations for humanitarian aid so that populations do not feel the need to internationalize a problem simply to receive UN aid;
  • Seriously considering reform of the UN power structure, possibly by adding permanent members to the Security Council from Africa and Latin America;
  • Considering the consolidation of UN agencies to ensure greater efficiency;
  • Establishing a more regularized procedure for peacekeeping so that peacekeepers don't have to start from scratch with each mission;
  • Ensuring that the UN continues to address global issues, especially those that cannot be solved by a single state and do not attract press coverage;
  • Creating a greater role for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); and
  • Educating world policy-makers to ensure that UN policies are not overly influenced by television reports (Justin Crowne, UN Wire, 20 Mar). The World Federalist Association is an advocacy organization that addresses global goals it says nations cannot achieve independently. The UNIC provides information to policy makers about UN issues.

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