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UN Reform

75 Years of Challenge and Change Stephen Browne, Founder and co-director, Future United Nations Development System (FUNDS) project, Senior Fellow, Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, Graduate Center, City University of New York, US, Visiting lecturer on the UN and global governance, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland
Over three-quarters of a century, the UN has been impacted by major changes in the balance of powers among its member states, and is today threatened by nationalistic instincts. In this book, former UN insider Stephen Browne documents the textured history and numerous faces of the UN, from peacekeeper to humanitarian and development actor to stalwart defender of global human rights.
Extent: c 264 pp
Hardback Price: $125.00 Web: $112.50
Publication Date: November 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78897 168 3
Availability: Not yet published
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78897 169 0

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Over three-quarters of a century, the UN has been impacted by major changes in the balance of powers among its member states, and is today threatened by nationalistic instincts. In this book, former UN insider Stephen Browne documents the textured history and numerous faces of the UN, from peacekeeper to humanitarian and development actor to stalwart defender of global human rights.

This unique and insightful book documents the extensive history of the UN, offering detailed commentary on its historic effectiveness and reviewing the capacity of the UN to reform and adapt to global challenges. While the UN cannot be radically reformed, the author argues, incremental change is not only possible, but necessary to overcome the autocratic constraints of global superpowers and the conservatism of member-states. This book constitutes a judgement on the overwhelming importance as well as the vulnerability of multilateralism at a time when the UN has never been more indispensable.

A powerful call to action on a global scale, this book will be vital to the staff of permanent missions of member governments to the UN, as well as UN secretariat staff. It will also benefit researchers exploring international organizations and the staff of development NGOs. This book will also be of broad appeal to a wider audience of those interested in the UN’s operation as it approaches a crucial watershed moment in its history.
'With this book, Stephen Browne, himself a veteran who toiled in the UN trenches, has written an important account of the struggles within the UN to change and reinvent itself.'
– Mark Malloch Brown, Former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

‘Stephen Browne has analyzed why the UN is so necessary yet such a relic. “Reform” has been under way since the ink dried on the Charter, yet the results are demonstrably inadequate for the problems of the second decade of the twenty-first century. Remarkable for its breadth and depth, this book could not be more timely, a compelling read for practitioners and scholars.’
– Thomas G. Weiss, The CUNY Graduate Center, US
Contents: Acknowledgements Foreword Introduction: What’s Wrong with the UN? 1. The Growing UN Edifice 2. Peace Operations: prevention better than cure 3. Human Rights and Justice: from back to front 4. The Humanitarian Record 5. The UN in Development 6. Reviving the UN through Achievable Reform Index