Shake It Up: The Case For Reforming The United Nations (or a Real Global Governance Model for the Ideal of World Peace)

24 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2018

See all articles by Cristián Gimenez-Corte

Cristián Gimenez-Corte

United Nations; Universidad Nacional del Litoral - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 2, 2018


The object of the present Global Governance Model Project is to reform and improve the United Nations System.

This Project proposes to reform five specific areas of the UN, including: 1. Management, 2. Financing, 3. Human Resources, 3. Accountability, and 5. Legitimacy. The Project puts forward that in these areas, it is politically and economically feasible to achieve an actual change that will improve the current global governance structure.

Accordingly, this is not an idealistic or revolutionary Project, proposing a completely new form of global governance. Rather, it is a reform proposal. The Project proposes to take the current global governance model embodied in the United Nations system as it currently stands and, maintaining those aspects which do work and changing what is not working.

Consequently, I would like to propose a feasible model of global governance. A model that could actually be developed and implemented taking into account the current state of global affairs, as well as the limitations, challenges, and opposition that a change proposal will surely encounter; and I would like to propose a model that takes into consideration the actual politic, economic, and bureaucratic interests that may play in favor or against the push for change in the global governance structure.

Why is reforming the United Nations so important? The world is currently facing major transnational problems and challenges that can only be solved through transnational tools and approaches. The UN comes immediately to mind as the global institution that may be able to solve these problems. However, as we can see every day in the front pages of any newspaper, the UN seems not to be up to the task. And yet, we need a global institution able and willing to face those challenges.

Why is the UN not working? The UN is no longer only a forum where countries meet to discuss policies. Now, the UN scope of work is much broader. The UN is increasingly undertaking the direct management of a wide array of operations and is being constantly called to assume the management of the so-called “global commons.” However, while the UN has assumed more and new functions over the years, the governance structure of the UN has not evolved. What the UN needs then, is a new model of global governance suitable to meet those new global challenges.

Why then has the UN not been reformed? Most studies and proposals dealing with the UN reform refer to highly political and sensitive diplomatic aspects of the UN. For example, the need to reform the Security Council is always brought up, along with the need to create, in addition to the General Assembly, another body directly representing the peoples of the world. However, as noted before, reforming these areas is not realistically feasible, as dozens of failed reform attempts over the past decades have shown.

Yet, there is plenty of room to introduce change without the necessary agreement from the five permanent members of the SC. Unfortunately and sadly, successive Secretary-Generals have been unable or unwilling to implement concrete measures to change the UN.

For that reason, while addressing those and other highly political issues, the reforms herewith proposed focus on five achievable goals: Management, Financing, Human Resources, Accountability, and Legitimacy. These areas are less politically sensitive and more technical, where a convincing case for reform may be made. Only the “Legitimacy” area may be seen as politically sensitive. While this is true, my proposal for this area concerns small and progressive steps to developa more legitimate world governance model.

We only need to establish the need for this reform, catalyze the political will, and shake the UN to wake it up.

To sum up, this Project considers that 1. Improving UN Management would provide for a better governance of world affairs. 2. Improving UN Financing would increase UN monetary resources and thus enhance the capability to assist peoples and countries, while allowing for tighter control over fund allocation. 3. Improving the Human Resources policy would provide for better and more committed staffers and personnel, truly devoted to pursuing the UN goals. 4. Making the UN Accountable and subject to the Rule of Law, would not only bring fairness, but would also force the UN to improve its own performance. 5. Having not only a bureaucratic, but a Legitimate global governance model, would provide the world not only with a formal global framework but, what is definitely more important, would infuse the world with a global soul.

Keywords: United Nations, Reform, Global Governance, Management, Financing, Human Resources, Accountability, Legitimacy

Suggested Citation

Gimenez-Corte, Cristián and Gimenez-Corte, Cristián, Shake It Up: The Case For Reforming The United Nations (or a Real Global Governance Model for the Ideal of World Peace) (May 2, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Cristián Gimenez-Corte (Contact Author)

Universidad Nacional del Litoral - Faculty of Law ( email )

Santa Fe

United Nations ( email )

New York, NY 10017
United States

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