World leaders on UN: Reform needed

Published 25.09.2017 20:19

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, U.S. President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have voiced the necessity for U.N. form, echoing the words of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who has long advocated reform of the bloc, especially regarding the UN Security Council.

Emphasizing the need for change of the current structure of the U.N. during the gathering of world leaders ahead of Tuesday's formal opening of the UN's annual General Assembly in New York, Secretary General Guterres said that reforms should be implemented, "To serve the people we support and the people who support us," going on to say that such reforms "must be nimble and effective, flexible and efficient." He also voiced his complaints about UN rules and procedures, saying that the U.N. should be cleared of "fragmented structures and Byzantine procedures." President Trump said during his speech at the U.N. General Assembly that the bloc should focus more on people and less on bureaucracy, pointing out that reform is needed within the U.N. Trump said that even though the U.N. budget has increased 140 percent, the revisions have not yielded results. "The U.N. has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement," President Trump said.

Talking about the necessity of reforms during her speech at the General Assembly, British premier Theresa May said the U.N. should, "Prove its worth in helping us to meet the challenges of the 21st Century." She asked that the U.N. be changed to better cope with the current issues that the world faces today.

Abe told U.N. Secretary General Guterres on Sept. 20 that the reform period that the U.N. requires must include changes to the Security Council, as to render it substantive. Abe told Guterres that he expects the reforms to be "visible" and include changes to the U.N. Security Council, saying, "U.N. reform will not be resolved without Security Council reform.

President Erdoğan has long insisted on reform in the U.N., saying that the bloc is not useful in dealing with current issues encountered in the world today. He reiterated the need for reform in the U.N. during his speech at the U.N. General Assembly, saying: "The world has changed a lot since World War II. Therefore, we believe that the U.N. Security Council should be reformed in the way that allows the bloc to include all world powers rather than including five permanent members, so as to be beneficial to humanity." He added that insisting on the continuation of this fragmented system, which has lost its ability to take effective steps, is not beneficial for anyone.

President Erdoğan on Sept. 18 also voiced similar concerns in the groundbreaking ceremony of Turkish House, saying: "While the number of countries in the world has risen, threats, in their shape and scope, have changed. The U.N. needs to be reformed to adapt to these changing conditions. For example, there was a reform to this year's agenda but not in the sense of the word. What really matters is reform of the U.N.'s structure." He reiterated his motto, "The world is bigger than five," which suggests increasing and diversifying the number of U.N. Security Council members.

President Erdoğan first asked for a change in the U.N. during an annual summit in 2015, saying that the current structure of the organization is an obstacle to resolving ongoing problems around the world. In his speech, Erdoğan said: "The world is bigger than five," which later became his motto.

President Erdoğan yesterday talked about the issue at the international Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ombudsman Union's 1st Plenary Session. He said that the U.N.'s functionality as a system has been blocked as the authority was given to five members of the U.N. Security Council, which comprises the operational power of the U.N. Erdoğan added that the U.N. is also ineffective in delivering humanitarian aid because of its bureaucratic slowness and high expenses. "We can't see the presence of the U.N. in regions where humanitarian aid is needed," Erdoğan said.

Reiterating that the destinies of 196 countries can't be left in the hands of five permanent member states, Erdoğan said: "All countries should be members of the Security Council in rotating shifts. There should be 20 permanent members, 10 of which should change every other year." He emphasized the need of building a new world order and concluded that, otherwise, all countries will be adversely affected by the system.

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