Reform of the UN would enable the international system to develop and implement meaningful solutions

UN Reform

By eliminating the veto, weighting voting share in the General Assembly, and establishing a directly elected World Parliamentary Assembly, UN reform would streamline decision-making, remove power distortions, and enhance the democratic legitimacy of the United Nations. In addition, the UN’s mandate to redress a range of global challenges must be expanded. Ultimately, reforms of the UN system must toe the line between being ambitious—and therefore meaningful—and being politically feasible.
By eliminating the veto, weighting voting share in the General Assembly, and establishing a directly elected World Parliamentary Assembly, UN reform would streamline decision-making, remove power distortions, and enhance the democratic legitimacy of the United Nations. In addition, the UN’s mandate to redress a range of global challenges must be expanded. Ultimately, reforms of the UN system must toe the line between being ambitious—and therefore meaningful—and being politically feasible.

Considering the substantial responsibilities that the UN will be tasked with under this vision of renewed global governance, the UN urgently needs a reformed source of funding. Under the current arrangement, the income of the UN is at the discretion of its contributing members, creating an inconsistent, opaque, and arbitrary distribution of funds. Members use funding as leverage to coerce the UN towards or away from specific reforms and proposals. As a result, UN funding has been vulnerable to domestic political debates, isolationist tendencies, and demagoguery.

The goal for UN funding reform is a system that will provide a large, reliable income stream in a proportional and transparent manner. This system should strengthen ownership in the institution and remove the ability of members to blackmail or coerce the organization. There are a number of potential funding mechanisms to explore—the most direct is a system that would allocate resources to the UN as a fixed proportion of each member’s GNI, without the multiple exemptions and carve outs which are in place in today’s convoluted system of revenue generation.

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UN Reform Visionaries

Grenville Clark
Unsung Hero of World Peace Through World Law

Grenville Clark (1882 – 1967), a powerhouse Wall Street lawyer, was a close advisor to Presidents and cabinet members on matters of economics, national security, academic freedom, civil rights, and world peace.

Other Organizations to Look at

This book’s trenchant analysis of what ails the running of the globe should be read by policymakers everywhere, and certainly by those many citizens who concern themselves with fostering a better and more functional world. Change comes slowly, but this book is a prodding catalyst.

Robert I. Rotberg, Harvard Kennedy School, author of On Governance

Other Areas of Interest

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