Towards a More Effective United Nations: Two Studies

Issue no.1991:1-2 (32) of Development Dialogue explores the role of multilateral institutions, governments, business, and civil society in re-structuring the UN Secretariat.

Publication details

Title:Towards a More Effective United Nations: Two Studies
Type:Development Dialogue
Author:Erskine Childers and Brian Urquhart

As readers of Development Dialogue are well aware, the activities of the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation are guided by the principles and ideas formulated in the 1975 Dag Hammarskjöld Report on Development and International Cooperation, What Now: Another Development.

Despite the turbulent changes that have taken place since then, the Foundation has seen no reason to yield to ‘current realities’ and give up the normative view that development should be need-oriented, endogenous, self-reliant, ecologically sound, and based on structural transformations.

Nor has there been any reason to ignore the larger implications of these principles for multilateral development. The 1975 Dag Hammarskjöld Report noted that ‘the United Nations system, as the only universal system available, should be reorganized and moulded into an effective instrument geared to the objectives of another development and renewed international cooperation’. Existing structures would have to be drastically modified to ensure functional and trans-sectoral coherence, and the UN Secretariat reorganized to provide more effective leadership of their activities.

In various issues of Development Dialogue published since, special attention has been given to the work of the multilateral institutions, and to the role that not only the first system, governments, but also the second system, business, and in particular the third system, the people and their associations, should play in this context.