Reform of the United Nations
A Growing Influence Demands Flexibility
The United Nations were created in 1945 with a membership of 51 countries. Within more than fifty years a lot of changes have taken place and the membership has increased more than three-fold to 191 countries.
The need for the United Nations to adapt to these changes is obvious. In order to make the UN Secretariat fit for the challenges ahead the UN Secretary General has launched two major reform agendas in 1997 and 2002 which have contributed to a more efficient and effective work of the organization. However, institutional reforms are also necessary.
A Reform of the Security Council and the General Assembly is needed.
In particular it has become evident that the composition of the Security Council is at odds with the geopolitical reality of the 21st century. It does not reflect the growing number of UN members nor the necessary regional balance. At the same time, the work of the General Assembly, the principal body where all the countries of the world come together on an equal footing, needs to undergo a review. The president of the 58th session of the General Assembly has launched an initiative which aims at revitalising the General Assembly by reforming its scheduling, agenda and working methods.
An important further step for the reform of the United Nations was the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the 60th GA from 14 to 16 September 2005. Heads of State and Government agreed on a reform agenda, laid down in the World Summit Outcome Document. The comprehensive reform plans include the fields of development, peace and security, human rights, rule-of-law, and institutional and managerial issues.