What are the main arguments concerning reform of the United Nations? Essay

Frankly, we firstly need to know what UN itself is. The United Nations (UN) is an organisation that was established after the Second World War. Article one of The Charter of the UN states that UN have four main original purposes and principals. The first, is to maintain international peace and security; the second is to develop friendly relations among nations based on equality; the third is to achieve international cooperation in solving problems in economical, social, cultural or humanitarian issues and the fourth purpose is to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in accordance with the above stated purposes and principles (1948).The United Nations is international organization made up of international institutions.

UN includes their own Central system and specialized agencies. These specialized agencies deal with huge and complex questions. Our current question is to define main arguments concerning reform of the UN. According to report made by Allison Goody and Marcus Pistorwe can define two main aspects concerning reform of UN system and their policy. This essay will consist three parts which will be about main arguments and they are following: first, is about legitimacy and effectiveness of the United Nations; second is need for a more effective system of multilateral governance from UN; third is about what is likely future of UN.

Yes, UN needs reform but there are a lot of disagreements on it. As said in article about UN reform in Globalpolicy.org United States with military superpower a transitional headquarters clearly wants UN to be weak with very small budget and without any voice in economic matters.

On the other hand many countries wants UN to be stronger and more efficient military policy making. As Henry Nau said:”The reforms are very controversial and reflect continuing differences among the perspectives. Realist perspectives seek great accountability by great powers. Liberal perspectives seek wider and fairer representation.

Identity perspectives seek stronger democratic norms, particularly in the human rights area. When the new Human rights Council was set up in 2006, the United States wanted members elected by two-thirds of the Assembly membership, giving democratic nations blocking power. But the majority of members, still nondemocratic, insisted on simple majority vote.”According to these words we can clearly understand that perspectives of reforms are different from each other. All these side giving valuable arguments of their perspectives and to say that one of them giving right perspectives and offers will not be right answer to choose. They are trying to make situation better for them and of course they trying to improve UN system for better side too. As Henry Nau mentioned powerful states will chose to gain more power in their hands.

Because their view point is through realist view of the situation and it will give them more dominating position in this world. And less powerful states choosing liberal position because they want to make situation more liberal and spread all the power more equally between all the members.If we come to our permanent members we can surely state that all permanent members are very powerful states like United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China. It will not be a surprise for us that view points of powerful states are more realistic rather than liberal. United States have their super power in military and economy all over the world. Russia has their power from ancient times known as Soviet Union in military economy, and natural resources field.

United Kingdom is well known for all of us by their great economy and as the most stable country. France has their power in Europe from their industries and they are huge producer of electricity in Europe at his time. China is the most producer in light industry.

Because of their superpower over other countries they want domination. We can clearly see that US and China are against of giving permanent membership to another countries like Germany and Japan.Henry Nau in his book said that adding more members to veto member to Security Council would make it more representative but so much efficient. Alternative for just giving them permanent membership can be adding new semi-permanent membership as changing renewable time for four year period rather than two year period. Permanent membership is the aim of several countries like: Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa. According to the Thomas Weiss Un need to make reforms in quantity of members in Security Council. As he clearly mentioned if numbers of members would be 21 or 25 it will increase effectiveness of UN much more.Also according to Thomas Weiss US is against of changing situation with permanent membership in UN.

And UN is likely pursuing interest of US and acting as part as US. The main point is that UN needs to remain this kind of part in their policy. According to passed Iraq war UN was defenseless against US actions. As UN charters states Country can go for a war if they have been attacked and if they under threat of attack. In that situation reason of attacking Iraq by US was threat of Weapon of Mass distraction. And in real situation there was no weapon of mass distraction at all.

In this case peace keeping mission of UN was useless. US left not punished for this kind of actions.On the other hand US is most valuable member of UN and money which coming from US is the largest in UN budget.

UN needs US as US need UN itself. Authority of US is very important part of UN’s authority to. So we can only say that two of them bind to each other closely. Despite to all of that we state that US is also intended to improve UN according to report of United States Institute of Peace. To conclude this point of essay we can characterize relationship between US and UN as “Ambivalent Relations”. Solving this kind of issues will give the UN more effective policy making against all threats and will raise accountability of UN.Secondly, will be right to discuss about need for a more effective system of multilateral governance from UN in the world. According to report made by Allison Goody and Marcus Pistorwe:”The final 2005 World Summit Outcome document incorporated many of the recommendations of the High-level Panel and the Secretary-General.

However, in certain areas it offered limited proclamations in comparison with In Larger Freedom and A More Secure World, and it failed altogether to address other issues, such as disarmament and non-proliferation.”Allison Goody and Marcus Pistorwe mentioned following points as critical in UN’s policy making processes. This points are following:* Responsibility to Protect: The 2005 World Summit Outcome established ne concept named the “responsibility to protect” concept, which states the following statement: “each individual state has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.” If states are clearly failing in this term, the United Nations are able to take an action through the Security Council as military intervention if peaceful means are useless. Aspect which concerned about the authorization and use of force by the Security Council were not showed in the Outcome document.* Security Council Reform: The Security Council has been criticized all the time for their structure, the way they making policies and lack of transparency. Also how efficient was their policies. Two different models are presented by The High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, and the Secretary-General for Council reform about these criticisms.

These two models are offering increase in number of seats to 24.”Model A provides for 6 new permanent seats – 2 each for Africa and Asia/Pacific, 1 each for Europe and the Americas – with no new veto being created, and an increase of two-year-term non-permanent seats from 10 to 13.Model B provides for no new permanent seats but creates a new category of 8 four-year renewable-term seats – 2 for each region – and an increase of two-year-term non-permanent seats from 10 to 11.”* Terrorism: The 2005 World Summit Outcome did not presented definition of terrorism, but on the other hand they “strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.” Also this outcome includes suggestions about developing strategies and responses to counter-terrorism by General Assembly.* Peacekeeping: UN peacekeeping strategy in the 1990s was criticized many times. The 2005 World Summit Outcome supported the need for the United Nations in political and material terms to establish partnerships with regional organizations, noting the importance of the African Union to keep regional peace and security.

* Human Rights Council: Report which was made by Kofi Annan suggesting to change the UN Commission on Human Rights with a new Human Rights Council. There was a lot of arguments about that Council will be less involved in politics in its membership and more stable in its work rather than the UN Commission on Human Rights. Votes on 15 March 2006 by The General Assembly was for creating the Human Rights Council. The Council will have 47 members elected by a majority of the General Assembly, and meet regularly throughout the year.

Despite of all critics and statement against of UN, all countries till supporting UN and continuing to believe in UN and in main function of UN as UN is best provider of good platform and opportunity for disputes and communication for resolving all conflicts. They recognize that the UN has had notable success in a variety of areas including disarmament contributing to both the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (1968) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (1996), the promotion of democracy, the improvement of world health, and the resolution of conflicts within and between member nations. The Millennium Declaration of 2000 set out goals for the UN in key areas including, among others, peace, security and disarmament; economic development and poverty eradication; environmental protection; and human rights.

Following quotes are best expressed taken from the speeches made during the September 22 to October 7, 1997 debate of the General Assembly on UN reform:”The United Nations has an irreplaceable role in a world that still combines forces of integration and cooperation with forces of disintegration and aggression.” (Minister of External Relations of Brazil, HE Mr. Luiz Felipe Lampreia)”Where else but at the United Nations can we deal with the truly global issues such as the new security threats of uncivil society, environmental degradation, violations of human rights and poverty? Given the nature of these issues, unilateral, bilateral or even regional efforts are of course good, but not enough. Not even the most prosperous and powerful nations on earth can successfully solve them alone. Only the United Nations has a global mandate and global legitimacy.” (Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, HE Ms. Tarja Kaarina Halonen, now president of Finland)To conclude this essay we can state that UN is not perfect organization and it needs reforming. All the arguments mentioned above is truly to define weaknesses of system and to improve and protect them from failiar.

These arguments are more than enough for considering and placing the reform of the UN. Also as concluded before UN have the future. It is unique organization by their structure and objectives. Destroying this kind of organization can lead to the mess in the world.Reference:1. John Baylis and Steve Smith, The globalization of world politics: an introduction to international relations, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1997.2.

Nau, Henry R, Perspectives on international relations : power, institutions, and ideas, Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, 20073. Oxfam International, Security Council passes landmark resolution – world has responsibility to protect people from genocide, released on 28 of April 2006, retrieved on 25 of April 2008: http://www.oxfam.org/en/news/pressreleases2006/pr060428_un4. Library of Parliament, report on Reform of the United Nations by Allison Goody and Marcus Pistorwe, retrieved on 29 of April 2008: http://www.parl.


Global Policy, Selected Quotations on the Subject of UN Reform, retrieved on 29 of April 2008: http://www.globalpolicy.org/reform/quotes.htm6. Global Policy, UN Reform: An Analysis by James A. Paul, retrieved on 29 of April 2008:http://www.

globalpolicy.org/reform/analysis.htm7. Global Policy, report on UN reform , retrieved on 29 of April 2008:http://www.

globalpolicy.org/reform/index.htm8. United Nations General Assembly, 2005 World Summit Outcome (2005), par. 81, retrieved on 15 of April 2008:http://www.who.int/hiv/universalaccess2010/worldsummit.pdfBibliography:1.

Goldstein, Joshua S, International relations, edition 8, New York ; London : Pearson/Longman, c20082. Report of the Secritary-General’s High-level Panel, retrieved on 26 of April 2008, http://www.un.org/secureworld/3.

United Nations General Assembly, 2005 World Summit Outcome, retrieved on 21 of April 2008, http://www.un.org/summit2005/presskit/fact_sheet.pdf4.

United States Institute of Peace, Washington DC report on American interests and UN reform, retrieved on 25 of April 2008, http://www.usip.org/un/report/usip_un_report.pdf


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