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Why has there been no reform of the UN?

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4 pages
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  1. Introduction.
  2. The obstacles the UN System has to overcome is its complexity.
    1. Manpower and bureaucracy.
    2. Cutting financial wastes and improving efficiency of the system.
  3. The UN Charter.
    1. The veto.
    2. The scope of a political power
  4. Conclusion: Moving towards a balance of power.

?Reform is the purposeful act of modifying the structure, composition, decision-making procedures, working methods, funding or staffing of an institution in order to enhance its efficiency and/or effectiveness in advancing its core goals and principles.? Considering this definition, and trying to apply it to the United Nations System, we are committed to question the functioning of the organisation, to envisage its possible improvement. Why would reforms of the UN system be needed? When looking at the range of field subject to reforms, it's easy to notice that, indeed, UN needs to be reformed. Decision-making procedures are contested through the claim for new permanent seats at the Security Council, the legitimacy of the veto right, the proposals for a weighted system of voting at the General Assembly; funding is clearly a critical issue regarding the dramatic financial crisis the UN goes through, and its so small budget (around $10billions a year, which is absolutely obsolete compared as many governments' budgets).

[...] To sum up, there has been no reform of the UN for different reasons, due to many factors. Bureaucracy and administration which at first seem to be major issues actually appear as means to keep UN weak. Improvement of their functioning is subordinated to the will of member states that finance heir structures, those very member state that would not necessarily benefit from the gain in UN efficiency! An efficient UN System is one which is as much independent of its members in the decision-making process as it is possible. [...]


[...] I shall illustrate the former by considering the Secretariat staff: when in 1945, there were 300 members of staff had been recruited by 1964, to get a 1984 staff approaching 15000 people! While it actually partly reflects the growth in UN membership, it still needs to be reconsidered. First, it came out that no clear requirements were set for staff recruitment, even for senior staff! It seems that the system is more based on equity rather than on efficiency: geographical representation rather than qualified candidates. [...]

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