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|Title: ||Reforming the United Nations : a study of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change|
|Authors: ||Fraser, Trudy|
|Supervisors: ||Imber, Mark|
|Issue Date: ||2011|
|Abstract: ||This thesis examines the UN’s existential crisis of efficacy following its ineffectiveness in
Rwanda (1994), Srebrenica (1995), Kosovo (1999) and Iraq (2003). Specifically, this thesis
examines the reform agenda initiated by Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s High-level panel on
Threats, Challenges and Change (HLP).
The work seeks to diagnose the HLP-initiated reform of the UN and apply that analysis to
prescribe the optimal shape of future UN reform. The current work analyses three main areas of
reform initiated by the HLP—Security Council, Human Rights Council and development
activities. One of the key subplots of the reform agenda concerned the expansion of the definition
of security to encompass non-traditional issues such human rights and the coherent system-wide
delivery of development functions. I put forth two intertwined theses:
1. The effectiveness of reform increased directly with distance from the Security Council
and the veto powers contained therein;
2. The effectiveness of reforms in development placated developing countries and reduced
the impetus for meaningful Security Council reform.
The changes brought about by these reforms fell into two categories—structural and normative.
Structural change is Charter-based legalistic reform, while normative change alters the ideals to
which the UN aspires. Ineffective normative change took place at the Security Council, while
ineffective structural change took place at the Human Rights Council. Only at the development
level was there structural and normative change where intent was matched with action. It should
be no surprise that the HLP-initiated reform agenda brought about effective, pragmatic changes
only in development.
Having completed this analysis of the effectiveness of the HLP-reform agenda, I will conclude by
prescribing ways in which the UN can optimally reform itself based on a theory of tragedy that
suggests political action to be best pursued in a piecemeal, small-scale results oriented fashion.
The methodology of this work will be based on textual analysis of primary UN and Member State
documents, expert interviews with UN personnel, and observation of the UN reform process. The
empirical findings from thus will be correlated against a theoretical review of the purpose and
effectiveness of the UN, and the UN reform agenda. It is anticipated that the combined empirical
and theoretical sections will work together to elucidate new ways forward concerning the current
limitations, and potential way forward, for the UN reform process.|
|Publisher: ||University of St Andrews|
|Appears in Collections:||International Relations Theses|
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