Revisiting the UN reform: between the desirable and the achievable

24
Revisiting the UN reform: between the desirable and the achievable
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2023. No 2 (65). P. 11-24
DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2023-2-11-24

Abstract. The article explores whether the United Nations reform should give priority to its structures and modus operandi at the decisionmaking level, to ensure its role as a serious deliberative institution capable of guiding its vastly expanded operational arm with the necessary wisdom and vision. It is argued that the main test for the UN in the area of international peace and security should not be in its effectiveness in mobilising resources for humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping etc., but rather the quality of decisionmaking capable of preventing political tensions from deterioration into humanitarian disasters and from their descent into armed conflicts. The analysis shows the contrast between two models of the UN reform. One was an ambitious plan for an overall systemic design based on the idea of rebalancing of the principal organs of the UN through “the three councils approach”, under review of the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change back in the mid-2000s. While the main parts of the plan were not accepted and it only led to a “half way reform”, it is argued that its lessons are useful to keep in mind in approaching the question of the UN reform today. A simpler suggested model concerns the currently discussed composition of the UN Security Council. A moderate and more pragmatic approach is proposed, based on keeping the veto power intact, expanding the category of non-permanent members only, and slightly amending the UN Charter to allow immediate re-election of a non-permanent member, i. e. a possibility of a “de facto permanence”. While the author concludes that the current demand-driven and gradual approach to the UN reform that lacks overall design is likely to continue in the future, he sees the second model as a realistic possibility.

Keywords: United Nations reform, decisionmaking, UN Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Human Rights Council, General Assembly, UN Secretariat, peacekeeping, humanitarian support


About author

Prof. Danilo Türk (Slovenia) is president of the Club de Madrid. He is a former UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs (2000–2005) and the third President of Slovenia (2007–2012).


For citation:
Türk D. Revisiting the UN reform: between the desirable and the achievable // Pathways to Peace and Security. 2023. No 2 (65). P. 11-24. https://doi.org/10.20542/2307-1494-2023-2-11-24



Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment







Indexes and Databases

  

 

  

Current Issue
2023, No. 2 (65)
  • - INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AT THE CROSSROADS
  • - CONFLICT AND SECURITY ISSUES IN AFRICA
  • - MARITIME SECURITY
  • - WEAPONS AND ARMS CONTROL
  • - PRIVATE MILITARY COMPANIES IN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT
Submit an Article
Years
2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 |