Renewing the United Nations System

Issue no.1994:1-4 (34) of Development Dialogue analyses salient problems in the United Nations system and recommends how to equip it better to meet new challenges.

Publication details

Title:Renewing the United Nations System
Type:Development Dialogue
Author:Erskine Childers and Brian Urquhart

Our object in this study is to analyse the present state of the UN ’system’ and to suggest changes and reforms which might allow it to function in a more systematic and effective manner. This study is the fourth in a sequence analysing salient problems in the working of the United Nations system and recommending how to equip it better to meet the enormous challenges of a new era. Each study has benefited from the sponsorship and consistent encouragement of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation (Uppsala, Sweden) and the Ford Foundation (New York, USA). The work began in 1989-1990 with issues of leadership: how governments discharge their responsibilities in the selection and appointment of the Secretary-General and other executive heads in the system, and how these procedures could be improved.’ A representative group of Ambassadors to the United Nations met at the Ford Foundation to discuss that paper, leading to a number of further informal meetings in 1990-1991. We had already outlined some problems of organization in the original leadership paper. In 1991, as interest grew in reorganizing the Secretariat of the United Nations, the group of ambassadors asked for what became the second paper, containing recommendations for such reorganization?