• UN development system

    Guterres’s UN Reform Agenda? It Couldn’t Be Vaguer

    by  • September 26, 2017 • Secretary-General, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Secretary-General António Guterres, encouraged by the United States, has embarked on new reforms, so it is appropriate to scrutinize their policy content. Are they meaningful or are they hollow? With all due respect to the secretary-general of the United Nations, these are for the most part hollow reforms. They have the scent of snake...

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    Has Anyone Seen the UN Secretary-General’s Human Rights Agenda?

    by  • August 22, 2017 • Human Rights, Secretary-General, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Secretary-General António Guterres has set about modernizing some sectors of the United Nations and made impassioned statements about the need to protect human rights. But beyond rhetoric, so far there has been no indication of his modernizing the human-rights sector. We have seen this before. Dag Hammarskjold, a previous secretary-general, undoubtedly believed in human...

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    US Pressures UN Chief to Take the Executive Reins

    by  • July 17, 2017 • Nikki Haley Watch, Secretary-General, US-UN Relations • 

    António Guterres just laid out his first major reform plan for the United Nations through a report presenting concrete suggestions embedded in wonky language and hyperbole. One recommendation that stands out is the emphasis by Guterres, the secretary-general, to reassert his role as the chief executive of the UN. It is that emphasis on...

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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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    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 Development System, Taking It Local

    by  • November 14, 2013 • Development • 

    UNDP Ivory Coast elections

    The United Nations development system is part of the new global order emerging in the 21st century. But interdependence has brought changes. Earlier international relations addressed issues in intergovernmental relations. National political, economic, social and environmental issues were largely left to national governments. Now national policies and issues — on economic management, poverty reduction,...

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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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    America and the West Should Invest More in the UN, Not Less

    by  • July 27, 2013 • Development, UN Agencies, US-UN Relations • 

    PAHO antimalaria campaign, Paraguay

    Institutions of global governance are weak by design not default. As Singapore’s permanent representative in New York, I encountered senior members of the American establishment who lamented the United Nations’ poor condition. The explanation was the domination by the poor and weak states of Africa and Asia and the poor quality of its bureaucrats....

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    The G20 vs. the UN Development System: Two Rivals Heat Up

    by  • June 11, 2013 • Development • 

    G20 meeting at the Kremlin

    The Group of 20 nations is more capable of replicating development success models than the United Nations manages to do within its own development ranks, representing a major challenge to the UN system and its second-most important agenda item after the maintenance of peace and security. The G20 also represents other challenges to the...

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    Increased Private Financing to the UN Poses Benefits and Risks

    by  • May 20, 2013 • Development, UN Agencies • 

    Armenia National Disaster Observatory

    As the United Nations relies more heavily on private sources of financing from foundations and corporations, it is important to look at how these changes affect the world body’s development aid channel. A new report examining how private donations to activities of the UN Development Program reveals both advantages — better management, for example...

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    An American in Europe: The UN, Who Cares?

    by  • February 12, 2013 • Development, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 2 Comments

    The metro in Cologne, Germany

    BRUSSELS — George Gershwin certainly would not have been inspired to write a symphonic tone poem about an American academic on sabbatical attempting to interpret European reactions to the United Nations. Ten years ago, Robert Kagan wrote that “Americans are from Mars and Europeans from Venus.” Perhaps, but not regarding the UN. After years...

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