Reform of the United Nations

The United Nations is a product of its times, founded in the wake of two disastrous world wars. Its organs and way of functioning reflect the balance of power of that era. Since 1945, the number of political players – states and organizations – have increased exponentially. The founding mothers and fathers of the United Nations couldn't even imagine many of the global challenges we are facing today. Germany believes that the United Nations’ credibility, legitimacy and scope for action will dependent largely on the will of its members to adjust the organisation to the realities of the 21st century.

Reform of the United Nations Security Council remains a key concern of the German Government. As long as essential regions and main contributors to the United Nations system are inadequately represented, the Security Council runs the risk of losing its authority. Germany, together with its partners of the G4 Group – Brazil, India and Japan – stands ready to assume greater responsibility in a reformed Security Council.

Gemany also welcomes steps undertaken in recent years to reform the United Nations and make the organisation more effective. In the areas of development, humanitarian assistance and environment, the “One UN” concept promises to enhance coherence, efficiency and effectiveness of the UN at country level. In a few pilot countries, this approach has already been successfully implemented.

The Human Rights Council (HRC) which replaced the Commission on Human Rights in 2006, is another example for successful institutional reform. Through its Universal Periodic Reviews, the Council assesses the human rights situations in all 193 United Nations member states. A complaint procedure allows individuals and organisations to bring human rights violations to the Council's attention. Thus, in a relatively short timeframe, the HRC has developed into a central pillar of the United Nations' human rights architecture.