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United Nations Reform: U.S. Policy and - page 23 / 38





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contributions to the U.N. regular budget, would like the Secretary-General to have greater flexibility and authority to implement reforms, specifically those related to oversight and human resources. Developing countries, however, generally object to policies that mayenhance the power of the Secretary-General and decrease the power of the General Assembly and its budget and administrative committees. Observers are concerned that this difference in reform philosophy will create a deadlock in the General Assembly and significantly delay the implementation of some key management and budget reforms.

Selected International Perspectives

Stakeholders engaged in the U.N. reform debate have different perspectives on how U.N. reform should be implemented and how to prioritize specific U.N. reform issues.84 Several key actors, including the European Union, the Group of 77 and China, developed countries, and non-governmental organizations, have weighed in on several reform issues, most notably management and budget reform and development.

European Union (EU). The EU is composed of 25 countries, accounting for 13% of the vote share in the U.N. General Assembly and approximately 38% of the U.N. regular budget.85 The EU’s reform initiatives often focus on management reform and increasing the U.N. capacity for development. The EU “attaches great importance to keeping U.N. management reform on track,” and “vigorously supports “management reforms such as mandate review.86 It also views the work of the Secretary-General-appointed Panel on System-Wide Coherence as a high priority, and supports the Panel’s efforts to explore how the U.N. system may improve system coordination in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance, and the environment. The EU actively supports the reform of core U.N. organs, including

84 The groups of U.N. member states discussed in this report are only a few of many political and geographical alliances in the United Nations. Others include the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the African Union. Israel is a temporary member of the Western European and Others Group (WEOG), but it is excluded from the system of regional groups outside of U.N. Headquarters in New York. The United States is not a member of any regional group but participates in WEOG as an observer and is “considered part of that group for the electoral purposes.” For more information, see Chapter 3, “Groups and Blocs,” in Politics and Process as the United Nations: The Global Dance, by Courtney B. Smith, Lynne Rienner Publishers, London, 2006, p. 64. A list of U.N. alliances is available at [http://www.eyeontheun.org/view.asp?1=11&p=55].

85 Each U.N. member state has one vote in the U.N. General Assembly regardless of its affiliations. For more information, see “The EU at the U.N. — Overview,” at [http://www.europa-eu-un.org/documents/infopack/en/EU-UNBrochure-1_en.pdf].

86 “EU Priorities for the 61st U.N. General Assembly,” July 18, 2006, available at [http://www.europa-eu-un.org/articles/en/article_6242_en.htm].

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