The complexity of intergovernmental machinery and experts reflects the number of bodies and programmes. Moreover, because of the number of member States, the main committees, with a representative on each committee, cannot examine all problems in detail. This has led to the creation of smaller committees, specialized subsidiary organs, and a system of relationships has been established between them. A whole network of coordination machinery has been imposed on this structure. The vagueness of the terms of reference; the similarity of jurisdiction of organs as important as the Economic and Social Council, UNCTAD, the Second and Third Committees of the General Assembly; and the number and repetition of general debates repeated in committee after committee whose relative status is not clearly defined, have created in the UN particularly a state of confusion which in spite of countless efforts it has been found impossible to remedy.
The structural complexity is aggravated by a number of factors, including: the proliferation of external intergovernmental organs, many with overlapping mandates and almost all of unmanageable size; the proliferation of highly independent voluntary trust funds for purposes not necessarily corresponding to established high priorities; the soaring costs for UN and agency tasks which may not always be justified from the standpoint of benefit; the numerous obstacles to comparing and therefore to coordinating the future plans of different agencies; the involvement of so many agencies, including the organs of the UN, in almost every undertaking; the independent public information and public relations offices for most of the agencies and UN programmes; the 'tangle' of UN and agency regional and subregional structures which makes system-wide action at those levels so difficult; the over-frequent and uncoordinated visits by officials of different organizations to the capitals of developing countries and the excessive time and effort which coordinating processes, where they exist, seem to require.
Underlying such conditions, but partly independent of them, is the seriously fragmented character of the UN system and the possibility of increasing fragmentation in very important fields such as population, food, trade, environment and technology, if current trends are not arrested.
It would be easy to show how all parts of the decentralized system have learned to work in concert on an ever-widening series of broad programmes in a way never envisaged in 1945, and, still more striking, how in major emergencies such as the Congo operation of 1960-1964, the Biafra situation in 1969, the aftermath of the Bangladesh conflict in 1971-1972, and the Sudano-Sahelian drought from 1973, as well as in numerous operations for relief and reconstruction after sudden natural disasters, the specialized agencies and UN programmes have worked in concert under UN leadership.