Reforming the United Nations

The Challenge of Working Together


What are the limits of UN system reform? Recent efforts in governance and institutional reform demonstrate that the hurdles are tremendous. The never-ending Security Council reform resulted in disappointment for hopeful governments. The system-wide coherence initiatives covering environment, gender, and ‘Delivering as One’ at country level provide a sobering picture. Inter-agency coordination on climate change, food security, and the global financial crisis did not result in joint programmes. Instead, new entities have diminished the role of the UN which operates on the OECD principles of ‘aid effectiveness.’ Consolidation and merging of UN mandates and structures appear to be a precondition for coherent and efficient action: A conclusion which dominates this edition of the publication series on ‘Reforming the United Nations’.

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Biographical Note

Joachim Müller, D.Phil. (1988) in Management Studies, Oxford University, is Director, Resource Management Department at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). He has published with Brill following publications in the series Reforming the United Nations: Struggle for Legitimacy and Effectiveness, 2006; The Quiet Revolution, 2001; New Initiatives and Past Efforts, 1997.


(i) academic libraries (academics in international politics, development politics and United Nations affairs); (ii) Permanent Missions (of member states) to the UN system, (iii) UN organisations (agencies, funds, programmes, institutes), (iv) ministries of foreign affairs, (v) non-governmental organisations and foundations interested in the work of the UN.

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