Reforming the United Nations

Strengthening the United Nations system of institutions
Institutional development of United Nations organization

The purposes of the UN organization are: (a) to maintain international peace and security; (b) to develop friendly relations among nations; (c) to cooperate internationally in solving international economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and (d) to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these common ends. The significance of the UN Organization lies not only in the attempt to accomplish these purposes but also in its existence as a symbol for the whole of mankind of the interlinked values which have given rise to the commitment to accomplish them. Strengthening the UN will facilitate attaining its objectives, and may reduce the influence of individual countries which pursue their own interest.


Much of the necessary reform of the United nations system can be effected without amending the Charter, provided governments are willing. But some Charter amendments are necessary for better global governance, and in order to create an environment propitious to a return to the spirit of the Charter. Any such reform must reflect the realities of change, including the new capacity of global society to contribute to global governance.

Counter Claim:

The United Nations is not an overstaffed, overpaid monolithic bureaucracy. Its staff are required to serve the world in ways, and under conditions, that were unimaginable 50 years ago at the UN's founding. In real terms, the number of UN staff has decreased, despite having to tackle more global responsibilities. United Nations programmes are having to survive on minimum staffing and financing. Reforms including more financial donations and more skilled employees would be welcomed.

Type Classification:
C: Cross-sectoral strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal