What are the pressing arguments for reform of the UN?

Essay by butterjamUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, October 2013

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The world has undergone massive changes, in ways both good and bad, since the

inception of the United Nations (UN) in 1945 (Strengthening the UN). The dawn of

new realities and challenges confronting the global community in the 21st century has

inevitably shaped new expectations and actions to be taken by the UN in national and

international affairs today. Many of the global challenges emerging within the last 68

years were not foreseen during the formation of the UN in 1945 (Thakur, 2004: 68).

These include environmental issues such as global warming, global terrorism, and the

rise in intra-state conflicts that poses threat to international peace and security. While

the international community has evolved fundamentally since 1945, minimal

structural changes have taken place within the UN, often reflecting an international

organization operating on a bygone era (Thakur, 2004: 68). Moreover, studies

conducted by the Senate Expenditure Committee in 1947 - just two years after the

creation of the UN - has shown that the UN was operating ineffectively with

problems of overlapping, duplication of effort, overly generous compensations of

staff, prompting for a reform on the UN finance and administration (Luck, 1997:

445). Calls for UN reform have therefore been endlessly discussed over the past

decades but there has been little consensus among members to what kind of reform is

needed and for what purpose (UN Reform). In this essay, I will be discussing some of

the reforms within the UN that has been raised and seek to propose why the reform of

the UN Security Council, in my view, is the pressing argument of reform within the


While some criticize the UN as an ineffective body today and identify the UN as 'a

talking shop where nothing ever gets done' on one hand, there are others...