Monday, January 23, 2012

Asking for UN Reform

The United States unveiled Jan. 20 a comprehensive U.N. reform agenda based on four pillars: economy, accountability, integrity and excellence. The United States wants to see a leaner budget, smaller staff, better procurement practices and stricter fraud sanctions at the United Nations in the coming years.

The agenda outlines the reforms and changes the country, which is the U.N.’s top budget contributor, intends to pursue and support over the next few years.

Why Reform Matters: The United States has led at the UN since its creation because a strong, effective UN is among the best tools we have to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges. The UN works to prevent conflict and keep peace, to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to isolate terrorists, criminals and despots. The UN goes where nobody else will to provide desperately needed humanitarian and development assistance to the world’s neediest people; and promotes universal values that Americans cherish, including human rights, democracy, and equality.

The UN shares the burdens of global security among all nations, rather than leaving the United States to manage them alone. The Obama Administration is committed to achieving a reformed and renewed UN that saves lives, keeps the peace, seeds development, finds common solutions to the urgent problems of a new century, operates effectively —and lives within its means.

This comprehensive UN reform agenda is based on four key pillars: economy, accountability, integrity, and excellence. 

Economy: A Leaner UN. Every dollar sent to the UN represents the hard work of a taxpayer somewhere, and any dollar wasted at the UN is a wasted opportunity to build a better, freer, more prosperous world. The United Nations should face these tough economic times by tightening its belt and doing more with less.

Accountability: A Cleaner UN. Taxpayers around the world deserve to know exactly how the money they send to the UN is spent and to have confidence that every dollar, euro or yen is handled honestly and well. The UN has made important advances in recent years, but much more remains to be done to strengthen oversight mechanisms, ethics enforcement, whistleblower protection, and transparency. 

Integrity: A Respected UN. As a founding member, host country, and largest contributor, the United States has a particular interest in seeing that the UN lives up to its founding principles and values and standing firm against actions by member states that discredit the UN and the important work it does. 

Excellence: An Effective UN. Billions of people depend, many for their lives, on crucial UN services. They deserve a UN that delivers real results and that performs – from senior officials in New York to front-line implementers in African villages – to the highest standard of excellence.

Read complete details of the proposal here.

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