LSE Lecture Series: The United Nations at 60 - relic or relevant?
Date: Thursday 30 November 2006
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Dr Edwin J Feulner
Chair: Howard Davies
Dissatisfaction with management and effectiveness at the United Nations goes back nearly to the organisation's founding. The situation has grown worse over time. An accretion of mandates, insufficient transparency and accountability, and resistance of member states to reform have resulted in a system that is costly, bureaucratic, cumbersome, corrupt, lacking in oversight, and often incapable of fulfilling the responsibilities placed upon it by its member states.
The past six decades have seen dozens of initiatives from governments, think tanks, and panels of experts aimed at reforming the United Nations. Yet today the United Nations remains an institution that remains stubbornly unreformed despite an unrelenting series of scandals that underscore the need for change. What results is an organization hopelessly overwhelmed with the responsibilities placed upon it. This situation serves no one well, least of all those looking to the UN to address instability, disease, humanitarian crises, or other issues or responsibilities assigned to the organization. An ambitious proposal supported by key contributors willing to use their financial clout will likely achieve more than years of cautious negotiation.
Edwin J Feulner is the President of the Heritage Foundation. a position he has held since 1974. He served on the Gingrich-Mitchell Congressional Task Force on UN reform (2004-5) and is an alumnus of the London School of Economics. He is the author of six books, and writes regularly for journals, reviews, magazines and newspapers. He was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by Ronald Reagan in 1989.
This event is hosted jointly by LSE's Centre for the Study of Global Governance, Development Studies Institute, International Relations department, the Ralph Miliband Programme and supported by LSE Annual Fund.
This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.
A copy of Dr Edwin J Feulner's speech is now online.
Real Reform at the United Nations (PDF)
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