Reforming UN4.5


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APRIL 5TH “REFORMING THE UNITED NATIONS” BY KENNEDY, PAUL AND BRUCE RUSSERT The founders of the United Nations system were utter realists, committed to creating new international structures to deal with problems that were international by nature. Two paths lie before the world community. Countries should decide either to reduce their demands on the United Nations, thus giving it a decent chance of carrying out reduced policies with its existing resources, or they should recognize the necessity of improving its capacities and grant it greater resources, functions, and coordinating powers. Avoiding a decision risks condemning not just the organization but the world to a deeply troubled future. In light of global circumstances, it would be wiser to take the second of these two paths and improve the United Nations for the benefit of future generations. As the demands on states and governments increase, the need for the world organization is growing, not shrinking. The chief reason effective international instruments are required is an eminently practical one, as the founders realized. Simply put, states, people, and businesses need an international system to provide physical, economic, and legal security. They need some form of international police force to deter terrorists and other breakers of the peace; bodies like the World Trade Organization to head off trade wars; institutions like those developed at Bretton Woods to assist emerging economies; international human rights organizations to guarantee individuals' basic freedoms across the globe; and a myriad of agencies and offices to ensure such basics as telecommunications and safe air traffic. If the United Nations system did not exist, much of it would have to be invented. MAKING ROOM IN THE SECURITY COUNCIL EXPANDING the Security Council seems like one of the more reasonable ways to improve the representative character--and thus the legitimacy--of the world organization in the eyes of its 186 members and their people. Increasing the council's overall size from the present 15 members would allow more nations to participate on a rotating basis in decision-making by this critically important organ. And adding to the permanent
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course POLI 211 taught by Professor Stoll during the Spring '06 term at Rice.

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