Patel: UN not fit for purpose

21 Sep 17

The UN is “not fit for purpose” when it comes to the challenges of today, UK international development secretary has said. 

Priti Patel called for reforms to keep the United Nations relevant to humanitarian issues facing the world today, stating that the international system is “frankly, not coping”.

She urged the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres to demand changes to ensure the organisation’s delivery for the worlds’ poorest is efficient and relevant.

 “While the objectives and goals of the UN are timeless, the structures and system we have today was cobbled together over years, and it is time for change,” Patel said at a UK-led event on reforming the development system at the UN General Assembly, currently being held in New York. 

“The UK is putting our money where our mouth is, and to ensure these critical reforms are not ignored, a third of our spending will be dependent on UN agencies making the changes needed to remain relevant in the 21st century,” she added.

Donald trump, president of the US, said earlier this week that the UN was not reaching its full potential and that his country’s 22% contribution to the UN budget was “unfair”.

Trump also said that reforms were needed to create a “stronger, more effective, more just and greater force for peace and harmony in the world”.

The secretary general of the UN has expressed the importance of reform for a 21st century United Nations.

Guterres said this objective “focused more on people and less on process, more on delivery and less on bureaucracy”. 

One hundred and 28 countries have pledged to support the reform, which aims to simplify procedures and decentralise decisions, with increased transparency, efficiency and accountability. 

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