This booklet is the synthesis of a much more voluminous work published by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation as Development Dialogue no. 56 in June 2011 (‘Erskine Barton Childers – For a democratic United Nations and the Rule of Law’). This presented a selection of writings by Erskine Barton Childers, former Secretary-General of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), who until his untimely death in 1996 relentlessly sought to enhance the work of the United Nations through reform initiatives and recommendations. Comments by those who share his ideals and engage in similar ways in today’s context were included alongside his texts. The volume is freely accessible (see below) and can also be ordered as hard copy from the secretariat.
Given the practical scope of this initiative and the aim of promoting a constructive contribution to a wider debate on ways of further enhancing the efficiency and credibility of the United Nations, we have expanded the collaboration into one between the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and the United Nations Association of Sweden, whose local Uppsala chapter initially played a midwife role in bringing the original volume into being.
We now look forward to distributing this booklet widely for further debate, thereby adding to the constructive engagement with the global institution tasked by its Charter to bring about peace, human rights and development for the people of this world. Not everyone might agree with all the recommendations presented; neither do they represent an official list of proposals documenting views held by our two organisations. However, we are in agreement that the range of issues identified deserves further debate and consideration. We therefore hope that this summary, systematically compiling reform recommendations made by Erskine Barton Childers as well as the various contributors to the earlier volume published as Development Dialogue, will have the constructive impact it deserves. We are grateful to Hanne Christensen, who took upon herself the meticulous and systematic task of turning the analyses presented in the earlier volume into a practical tool which we trust will inspire many to contribute further towards a United Nations system that deserves our support.