UN Reform

editors note: a pages of this type (according to naming conventions) should reflect a neutral point of view; examples being an IPA, or as an issue statement

THE UNITED NATIONS is a valuable institutional vehicle for building peace among nations, but like all institutions it is only as effective as the resolve and collective vision of its membership.

Since the time of the founding of the United Nations, Canada has had a prominent role in the constructive development of global institutions. This is part of our vocation as a diverse, multicultural people committed to the rule of law at home. It is also a matter of national interest; as a middle power Canada's influence is best advanced through the diplomatic channels provided by international institutions. Canada's constructive institution building is needed now more than ever. Too often, Canadian interventions within international institutions get bogged down in the day-to-day, year-to-year rush of preparing and delivering the Canadian position. We need to ask more frequently whether the institutions themselves are working.

To make it more effective we should actively work for the limitation of veto by the permanent members of the Security Council by requiring a minimum of three members to apply a veto to deny resolutions passed with a greater than 75% majority by the General Assembly.

There should also be increased funding from all developed nations, with a loss of voting rights for nations delinquent in their payments for more than one year.

Automatic resolution of condemnation for any nation taking unilateral military action, against any other state in defiance of a U.N. resolution to the contrary.

Encourage the creation of an ECOSOC Steering Committee with wide country representation and input from expert working groups and civil society stakeholders to monitor agreements flowing out of the UN Financing for Development process.

Ensure the annual ECOSOC meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions becomes a major forum to promote coherence among monetary, financial and trading systems so that development and poverty eradication remain the primary focus.

Promote the governance model of the Global Environment Fund for the IDA. This model would establish more equitable borrower/creditor relations, creating a general assembly to set priorities and operational principles, and a smaller council with equal creditor/borrower representation and “dual majority” governance to put decisions into action.

Push for transparent fora (plural for forum) to discuss proposals for more democratic and inclusive processes within the WTO, as well as for greater accountability to citizens within member countries.

A permanent commitment of, a percentage of the armed forces, of each member state, for immediate deployment by the U.N. in peacekeeping and other humanitarian missions.

Strengthen the management of multilateral military operations. In particular, Canada should promote and contribute to a highly mobile, UN rapid response force that can operate within dangerous, low-intensity conflict environments and in situations involving local populations and civilian humanitarian agencies.

We support the Canadian-championed Responsibility To Protect human security initiative currently being debated within the UN.

We support the formal establishment of a UN Democracy Caucus at the United Nations to advance democracy and human rights. For more details see www.democracycaucus.net/html/home.html


The Campaign for a United Nations Democracy Caucus is dedicated to the promotion and fulfillment of the principles of democracy and human rights embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Warsaw Declaration of the Community of Democracies. Towards that end, the Campaign seeks the permanent establishment of a UN Democracy Caucus as a group of democratic nations committed to strengthening the UN’s ability to promote democracy and human rights. The Campaign is particularly focused on the composition and activities of the UN Commission on Human Rights and the Economic and Social Council, as well as decisions made by the UN General Assembly and Security Council.