The United Nations is composed of 192 member states. Such a large body with a wide-array of complex issues needs to be constantly reformed in order to meet the needs of the international community, which changes more often than not. But the process and act of reformation can be daunting because nations cannot reach a consensus about its nature and what it entails.
Also, a large institution such as the UN can suffer from inertia due to its bureaucratic nature, political divisions among its agencies and member states, funds for peace keeping missions and the go signal for it, and scandals within the organization. In addition, the UN Security Council is not representative of the many nations that make it up. However, including nations in the Security Council should be based upon a set of criteria.
Besides, adding nations will not make the Security Council more productive because the issue of its ineffectiveness is not properly addressed. While the veto power of five permanent nations actually contributes in the organization’s inadequacy. This should be altered because veto power gives these few, select nations tremendous power over the whole institution, which they use to further their political and economic interests as well as to enhance their power in the international community.
Why is it Difficult for the UN to Enact Reforms Defining Reforms Reform should not be seen as a negative consequence of a particular action, instead reform should be viewed as “a sign of institutional health and dynamism [with the] purposeful act of modifying the structure, composition, decision-making procedures, working methods, funding, or staffing of an institution in order to enhance its efficiency and/or effectiveness in advancing its core goals and principles.
” Also, UN is in a position wherein they have to adapt as the “[a]s the world changes [and in effect] the priorities of its Member States However, the myriad of nations that consist the UN becomes a problem because these nations cannot decide on a “single definition of reform that would be acceptable to all or most of the Member States. ” Also, modification or proposals put forth by a country for any revision in the system may look “like reform to one national delegation [but] may appear regressive to others. ” Bureaucratic Nature of UN
Another problem that the UN faces is its bureaucratic nature. This can “ easily overwhelm reform efforts” because necessary changes cannot be enacted quickly. And for nations who are experiencing a crisis, fast decision and action is badly needed to keep a country intact. But the UN cannot make constant effectual action because there are “ tons of UN paperwork [to go through that it starts to look like] the world’s largest traffic jam” Therefore, bureaucracy results in judgments not being made in a timely manner because of the process one has to get past to arrive at a particular decision.
Lack of United Purpose of UN Agencies Equally important is the fact that UN agencies are comprised of “different committees [that] are too numerous, too large and often have overlapping agendas” This is because “[a]gencies often work at cross purposes — or at least fail to maintain effective coordination. … Even in the core programs of the UN, there is rarely a clarity of purpose or unity of structure. ” With this kind of system currently in place, it is not hard to encounter “reports and debates that are repetitive and sterile…
[which results in a] pattern of recurring agenda items” The UN should seriously consider the “elimination of duplicat[e] departments” to improve the organization and to allocate these extra money instead to more immediate, necessary tasks at hand. Political Disagreements among Member States Moreover, the apparent difference of each member state will inevitably result in difficulty carrying out reforms. Hence, “[f]ew reformers are willing to admit that the UN’s complex and inefficient machinery results from deep political disagreements among its members…
” Even basic routine matters “ of administration, personnel, and finance have a way of assuming a political character. ” Due to this, “all reform efforts [will] keep the UN a contradictory and divided institution. ” To solve this discrepancy, the UN should try to find a common ground by voting on issues despite “countries hav[ing a] vastly different expectations of what a reform package should contain. ” The majority vote on a matter should be enforced right away.