Written by Marcin Grajewski
As the United Nations celebrates its 70th anniversary and its General Assembly holds its annual September sessions, the need to overhaul the organisation is widely recognised, but the differing national interests of its most powerful members hinder any major reform. Proposals concern most UN activities, from the composition and decision-making in its Security Council to peace support, human rights and development.
As supporters of the multilateral approach to foreign policy, the European Union and its member states back reforms that would make the UN stronger and more efficient, although they disagree on how to pursue possible changes in the Security Council.
This note offers a selection of recent studies by some of the major think tanks and research institutes which discuss the state of the UN and plans to reform it.
The UN Security Council (UNSC)
Council on Foreign Relations, September 2015
United Nations to retire at 70: Youthful United Actors to take over
Global Public Policy Institute, July 2015
The challenges of United Nations reform and the European Union’s role
European Progressive Observatory, June 2015
Ban Ki-Moon successor: A democratic UN starts with a democratic election of its leader
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, June 2015
The future peace operations landscape: Voices from stakeholders around the globe
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, January 2015
Setting a progressive United Nations peace and security agenda: Searching for new narratives.
Clingendael, December 2014
The reform of the United Nations’ Human Rights Treaty bodies
American Society of International Law, August 2014
Review of the UN global focal point: Police, justice & corrections
Clingendael, June 2014
Small states at the United Nations: Diverse perspectives, shared opportunities
International Peace Institute, May 2014
Realpolitik and reform at Rio+20: The politics of reforming the United Nations Environment Programme
Earth System Governance, May 2014
United Nations Security Council reform
United Nations University, May 2014
Renewing UN development: A path of least resistance or a process of real renewal?
Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, April 2014
China as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, April 2014
Security Council reform from 1945 to September 2013
Center for UN Reform, September 2013
European Union Institute for Security Studies, August 2013
The UN’s ‘Rubik’s Cube: Security Council reform
Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 2013
Reforming the working methods of the UN Security Council: The next ACT
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, June 2013
Reform proposals: For a democratic UN and the rule of law
Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, March 2012
Assessing the EU’s Strategic partnerships in the UN system
Egmont, May 2011
United Nations: urgent problems that need Congressional action
Heritage Foundation, February 2011
The European Union and the reform of the United Nations: Towards a more effective Security Council?
Instituto Affari Internazionali, November 2011
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