The United Nations System: Prospects for Renewal
This chapter considers the record of the United Nations (UN) system since its inception, with an eye focused on prospects for renewal and reform at the present time. The main criteria relied upon for assessment are considerations of effectiveness and legitimacy in relation to the operations of the UN. The discussion begins by exploring why the present global setting is resistant to renewal and reform, but with the qualification that such a climate of resistance could change rapidly. The UN system as a whole has over the years emerged as a site of struggle in relation to both the East-West conflict, largely superseded since 1989, and the still persisting North-South encounter. The chapter also considers the creative role played by the UN with respect to arranging conferences on global challenges on a range of issues including the environment, women, population, and human rights.
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