Global problems require global solutions. However, the United Nations, as presently constituted, is incapable of addressing many global problems effectively. One nation – one vote decision-making in most UN agencies fails to reflect the distribution of power in the world at large, while the allocation of power in the Security Council is both unfair and anachronistic. Hence, nations are reluctant to endow the UN with the authority and resources it needs.
Extensive reform is essential. This talk will provide a brief overview of key reform proposals set forth in Professor Schwartzberg's book Transforming the United Nations System: Designs for a Workable World (United Nations University Press, 2013). Largely through weighted voting formulae that balance the needs of shareholders and stakeholders in diverse UN agencies, these proposals promote democracy, transparency, accountability, meritocracy and gender equity. The aim is to promote a workable world, a world in which the force of law supplants the law of force, a world committed to justice and continuous, yet sustainable, development.