Reform of the United Nations
The United Nations is a product of its times: founded in the wake of the two disastrous world wars of the previous century. Its organs and modes of functioning reflect the political balances of power and peace-building moral concepts of that era. Between then and now, the number of political players – states and organizations – has increased many times over, the number of actual and potential conflicts equally so. The United Nations’ future scope for action is dependent upon the will of its members to find and undertake necessary changes in the system.
Reform of the United Nations Security Council remains a core concern of the Federal Government of Germany. A reform of the global political architecture that did not adapt the Council to the geopolitical realities of the 21st century would remain incomplete. So long as essential regions of and central contributors to the United Nations system are inadequately represented, the Security Council runs the risk of losing its legitimacy and authority.
The Federal Government welcomes the fact that it was possible for a few additional proposals for reform of the United Nations to be implemented in recent years: with the establishment of the intergovernmental Peacebuilding Commission by the Security Council and the General Assembly in December 2005, an important institutional gap in the United Nations system was filled. The Commission offers, for the first time, a body meant to coordinate the engagement of the international community during the transition phase between crisis management by the Security Council immediately following the end of a conflict and long-term reconstruction.
In the areas of development, humanitarian assistance and environment, the so-called “One UN” principle is meant to be implemented at the state level: All United Nations organizations active in a developing country are, in the future, to operate with a common state program, a common budgetary framework and a common office under a common coordinator. In a few pilot countries, this approach is already being implemented.
The organization for women and justice, “UN Women,” founded in early July 2010, unites the four previously existing United Nations organizations that dealt with various aspects of gender issues. The objective is to strengthen women, to advocate against the discrimination of women and girls and for the equality of men and women – also with respect to the receipt of emergency and development assistance, in the promotion of human rights, and as part of peace missions.