Why the next Secretary-General needs to shake-up the UN system

by Thomas G. Weiss

The UN needs to return to its roots in the aftermath of the Second World War when it was at the heart of global cooperation and not “a liberal toy”. Thomas G. Weiss at the City University of New York challenges the next Secretary General.

Weiss says that substantial changes in the UN system usually occur during the first six to 12 months of a new Secretary General’s term. Both Boutros Boutros-Ghali in 1992 and Kofi Annan in 1997 and 2002 lived up to that at the beginning of their terms. But this has not been the case for the current UN chief Ban Ki-moon. 

“I am afraid [he] is not my favourite representative of the world body over the last seven decades, mainly because he has chosen to define his role as one of keeping 193 member states happy all of the time.”

Weiss was recently in Copenhagen and Oslo, discussing UN reform with Nordic officials. In an interview with Development Today, he criticises the current Secretary General for skirting around tough issues. ...

Read the full interview in Development Today here.

Thomas G. Weiss is co-director of theFuture UN Development System (FUNDS) Project, Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, the City University of New York’s Graduate Center. 


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