• Future United Nations Development System (FUNDS)

    An SDG Fund: Supporting the 2030 UN Development Agenda

    by  • May 14, 2017 • Development, Sustainable Development Goals • 

    There is an ongoing process of change in the United Nations development system, albeit a slow one given the size of the challenges. At the country level, more UN country teams (UNCTs) are endorsing the principles of Delivering as One, which have spread from the original eight pilot countries. There is evidence of more...

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    Advice to António Guterres: A Leaner UN Could Be a Better UN

    by  • March 27, 2017 • Secretary-General, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    GENEVA — Whether or not he is a fan of Chinese characters, António Guterres will have to discover the double meaning of a crisis as opportunity. United Nations corridors on First Avenue in New York are buzzing with anxiety about the possibility of impending cuts in funding from the United States, with hints from...

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    The UN’s Ninth Secretary-General Takes Office Amid Loud Calls for Change

    by  • January 19, 2017 • Secretary-General • 

    António Guterres, the new United Nations secretary-general, was chosen on merit and takes over the UN during an especially turbulent period and after a decade of low-key leadership and low staff morale. The “first” UN of governments includes the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council (P-5) that are stoking conflict, flouting international humanitarian...

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    The Next UN Secretary-General: Views From UN Watchers

    by  • April 3, 2016 • General Assembly, Secretary-General, Security Council • 1 Comment

    The results of the latest FUNDS survey of global experts, conducted during the winter of 2015-16, contains clear messages about the next United Nations secretary-general: s/he should be a world leader with integrity and political courage who will prioritize UN reform; and the election process should be open and transparent. There is more room...

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    The European Migrant Crisis: Can Development Agencies Do Better?

    by  • February 4, 2016 • Development • 

    The unprecedented influx of refugees and migrants to Europe has increased the visibility of the longstanding nexus of migration, development and security. The emphasis on terrorism and national security is understandable but myopic if the essential benefits of migration and development are to be realized. The United Nations will host three key meetings on...

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    Women’s Rights and the UN: A Long History of Ups and Downs

    by  • August 10, 2015 • UN Agencies, Women • 

    The 2010 creation of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (or UN Women) represented an unusual organizational consolidation instead of the typical proliferation. It had a promising start under strong leadership but faces serious challenges with growing resistance to gender equality. Support for women’s rights has a long and checkered...

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    New Development Goals: Can the UN Machinery Cope?

    by  • April 19, 2015 • BOOKS • 

    The United Nations is now discussing in a broad consultation process the sustainable development goals: a new universal set of ambitions for economic and social development, made up of targets and indicators that all countries are expected to use to frame their agendas and policies from 2015 to 2030, to be adopted by the...

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    Now Is the Time for a Female Secretary-General, Says a New Campaign [Video]

    by  • February 23, 2015 • Secretary-General, Security Council, US-UN Relations, Women • 6 Comments

    Convinced that after 70 years it is time to choose a woman for the United Nations’ top job of secretary-general, a new movement led by an academic spcialist on the organization has been assembled to formally support the election of a woman for the job. The current secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, a Korean, finishes his...

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    Next Best in 2016? The UN Secretary-General Must Be a Reformer

    by  • December 9, 2014 • WORLDVIEWS • 

    GENEVA — For only the second time — the first was in 1996 — the electoral campaigns for the American president and the United Nations secretary-general are running in parallel. Both promise to be long and protracted. Each already has a growing slate of presumptive candidates pounding flesh and employing lobbyists. But the next...

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    The UN Development Program: A New Crisis or a New Opportunity?

    by  • June 10, 2014 • WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    GENEVA — For those with longer memories, the latest dip in resources for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the staff cutbacks and restructuring announced by its administrator, Helen Clark, in May are merely the onset of another cycle, just in time for the agency’s 50th anniversary but part of its history since...

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    Is a Better UN System Possible? Global Experts Respond to an Independent Survey

    by  • May 26, 2014 • Development • 

    An unusual survey of 3,400 people worldwide who know the United Nations has found strong support for some basic rethinking over the next decade on the organization’s work in development. Among the recommendations, over two-thirds of respondents suggested adding more nongovernmental representatives to governing bodies and better consolidating both organizational representation and programs in...

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    The UN Has Lost the Aid-Effectiveness Race: What Is to Be Done?

    by  • March 5, 2014 • Development, Humanitarian Aid • 

    A UN-supported market in Lebanon.

    Recent events have confirmed that the United Nations has a deep reservoir of good will worldwide. But its reputation is undermined by the ineffectiveness of its development assistance. UN agencies could improve their performance by implementing effective evaluations. However, the UN cannot be judged solely on the basis of its development assistance because the...

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    New Development Goals, Plus Ça Change?

    by  • September 2, 2013 • Development • 

    “If we want things to change, some things will have to stay as they are.” This inversion of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa‘s aphorism summarizes a key finding of a recent global survey on the future development goals. A select group of development commentators favors maintaining most of the familiar Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after...

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    The UN Development Program Should Revive What It Does Best

    by  • August 22, 2013 • Development, UN Agencies • 

    Helen Clark of UNDP

    Constant reform has characterized the United Nations Development Program throughout its existence, say the authors of two recent books on the agency. Change bespeaks an organization ready to adapt but also fundamentally uncertain about its proper role. It teeters between two sets of tensions. The first tension is between being both coordinator and competitor...

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    Unido: What Does Its Future Hold?

    by  • August 7, 2013 • Development, UN Agencies • 

    Li Yong, director-general of Unido

    At the end of 2012, Britain withdrew its membership from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, or Unido, the most recent of several major donor countries (including the United States and Canada) to do so. Although it has had strong support from many developing countries, Unido has for many years been regarded with skepticism...

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