United Nations

This category contains 14 posts

Renewing the United Nations

In a previous newsletter, the publication of WFMC Board Chair John Trent’s book, “A United Nations Renaissance: What the UN is and what it could be,” co-authored with Laura Schnurr was mentioned. The book not only describes the United Nations’ structure, but also sets out a number of practical suggestions describing ways the UN can be progressively […]

Canada at the United Nations

A year after Justin Trudeau’s 2016 address at the United Nations General Assembly let member states and the world know that “Canada is back,” many were puzzled by his 2017 speech, which focused almost entirely on domestic issues.  Some found commendable and refreshing his frank admission of the challenges faced by indigenous peoples and reference […]

UN2020: Preparing the UN 2020 Summit

  The year 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. It will also be the occasion for several multi-year reviews of major treaties and processes, and a time to take stock of the UN’s role in the world. Support is growing for using the occasion of the UN’s 75th anniversary and these high-level reviews as […]

Donald Trump leads on UN “reform”

PassBlue, which provides independent coverage of the United Nations, is reporting that U.S. President Donald Trump will convene a meeting September 18 where world leaders will endorse a political declaration on reform of the United Nations. A number of governments have already been consulted (including Canada, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, […]

UN 2020: Will this be a Happy Birthday? (June 2017)

pdf available Anniversaries often mark an opportunity for stock-taking, renewal . . . and occasionally reform. The year 2020, marking 75th anniversary of the United Nations, presents advocates of a more effective UN the chance to call for measures to strengthen the world body. In 1995, at the time of the UN’s 50th anniversary (and […]

UN: Wrecking ball or transformation? (June 2017)

pdf available Proposed changes at the United Nations can take two forms: the wrecking ball or constructive transformation. The Trump administration will be using a wrecking ball approach based on fences, fear, force and finance. It will not work. The second approach is to use knowledge, diplomacy and leadership to transform the UN into the […]

Binding UNGA Decisions Without Charter Amendment (June 2017)

pdf available For well over half a century, proponents of a strong United Nations have called for reform that would enable the General Assembly to make binding and enforceable decisions on “important questions.” According to Article 18, paragraph 2 of the United Nations Charter, such matters “shall be decided by a two-thirds majority . . […]

TakeAction for May 2017: Building Canada’s commitment to UN Peacekeeping

Later this month, on May 29, the international community will celebrate the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. Each year at this time the world recognizes the commitment of those current and former members of UN operations, as well as those who have died in the line of duty, helping the UN restore peace to […]

Charting the UN’s Future

pdf available Government of Stephen Harper either denigrated or ignored the United Nations. The Liberals under Justin Trudeau have said they would regain Canada’s place at the UN. This raises two questions: what is the current status of the UN and what should be Canada’s policies toward it? The UN is no longer the object […]

António Guterres: The Next UN Secretary-General

pdf available Over the last couple of years, the 1 for 7 Billion campaign, with the support of organizations and individuals from all over the globe, has led the movement towards a more transparent, inclusive process for selecting the next Secretary-General of the United Nations. As the campaign’s website says, “An open and inclusive selection […]

The Next UN Secretary-General

Earlier this month, Antonio Guterres was elected as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations, beginning January 1st, 2017. In a statement after it became clear that Guterres woudl be the Security Council’s choice, the 1 for 7 Billion campaign said that “the result is a triumph for the more open, inclusive and meritocratic process […]

Canada at the UN

Canada’s participation at the opening of a new session of the UN General Assembly was noticeably different this year than under the previous government. Prime Minister Trudeau was accompanied by four Cabinet Ministers, each pursuing an agenda corresponding to their Cabinet responsibilities. The Prime Minister and Minister McCallum were focused on refugee issues, with Mr. […]

UN Accountability Pledge

Co-ordinated by the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti and AIDS-Free World, thirty-seven civil society organizations have signed a letter calling on the candidates for the next UN Secretary-General to take an Accountability Pledge that signals their commitment to building a more accountable and transparent United Nations. The pledge asks the Secretary-General candidates to […]

UN conducts first straw poll of prospective S-G candidates

On July 21 the UN Security Council conducted the first straw poll of candidates aspiring to be the ninth secretary-general of the organization. UN-watchers hoping that the organization would select its first female Secretary-General will be disappointed with the July 21 results. Only one among the top five candidates (Irina Bokova) was a woman. The […]


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