The following is an extract from UN-aligned’s new publication that highlights the shortcomings of the United Nations with details that cover its foundation, structure and monumental failures. You may be surprised at the murky facts that this book will bring to your attention.
A thorough critique of the UN finances would therefore involve a massive amount of time and investigation, which exceeds the remit of this work. Nevertheless, even without specific details regarding UN spending, some of its weaknesses in this regard have been manifestly exposed from within the organisation. The two main criticisms concern the manifold overlaps in UN operations and the inflated salaries of UN personnel. These issues go hand in hand and can be summed up in one word: bureaucracy. They give rise to an unnecessary multiplying of well-paid personnel and a replication of resources, which means that while employees and their administrative needs receive the lion’s share of the allocated funds, identified problems are left with the crumbs. Of course, decision-making is also impaired, which in turn affects efficiency in general. Speaking at a UN Reform Event in September 2017, Secretary General António Guterres summed up the situation without mincing his words:
“Someone recently asked what keeps me up at night. My answer was simple: bureaucracy. Fragmented structures. Byzantine procedures. Endless red tape. Someone out to undermine the UN could not have come up with a better way to do it than by imposing some of the rules we have created ourselves. I even sometimes ask myself whether there was a conspiracy to make our rules exactly what they need to be for us not to be effective.”
His aim is a “nimble” United Nations, free from “cumbersome and costly budgetary procedures” and “duplicative structures”, with more emphasis on “delivery, and less on bureaucracy.” Guterres’ assessment echoes previous reports on reform, but as former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, referring to his own attempts at improving the organisation, put it, trying to advance reform in the UN was a “quixotic and unproductive” venture.
Would you like to learn more about the United Nations? Well good news, our new publication, Unravelling The United Nations, Argead Style, can help you with that.
You can support us by purchasing a digital or printed copy of the book from your local Amazon Store: