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United Nations Management Reform

This year is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

The United States continues to focus on U-N management reform. One issue is the need for review of several thousand mandates, or programs, established over the years by the U-N General Assembly and the Security Council. U.S. Ambassador to the U-N John Bolton says the U-N will have "an opportunity to review all of them [the mandates] and decide what are outmoded, what are duplicative, [and] what have produced inefficient or ineffective results":

”A large part of the problem is that the U-N has grown over the course of its history like a coral reef. No strategic planning. Things added. Nothing being taken away, and what we need is a comprehensive look at these mandates.”

The U-N Secretariat will soon deliver a list of mandates that have been identified as needing modification or termination. This, Mr. Bolton said, will bring “possibly a lot of controversy, but a real chance for the United States and other countries to try and get through some of the complexities of the U-N, [and] to try and get rid of some outmoded and ineffective programs."

One example: “While practically all of the activities of the U-N International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women are duplicative or of limited utility,” says U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Kristen Silverberg, “the U-N Development Fund for Women, which carries out small projects aimed at achieving concrete results, is highly effective and merits greater support from member states."

The intent of the U.S. says Ms. Silverberg, "is that savings from duplicative, ineffective, or obsolete programs be shifted to those of greatest value to member states."

The U.S. remains the largest contributor to the United Nations, in terms of both assessed and voluntary contributions. Like other contributors, the U.S. favors effective, efficient, results-based management because money wasted means less funding for effective programs that can improve lives.

U-N reform is not about saving money for the wealthy countries of the world; reform is about making sure that the resources of the U-N are used in the most productive way possible for all countries, especially developing countries that benefit most from an effective United Nations. Management reform benefits all countries, rich and poor alike.

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.