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Agricultural Organization and the United Nations Educational, Scientifie and Cultural Organization.
Criticizing the fragmentation of aid programs currently funneled through 23 separate funds, the report advocated that they be merged into a single United Nations Development Authority-dubbed by some panelists as the "funnel of funnels."
The amalgamation contributions now going for population control, food assistance, environmental protection and other activities would give the proposed new authority a half-billion yearly to disperse to needy nations. The United Nations Children's Fund would remain separate.
The authority would be headed by an administrator who also would serve as one of two deputies to the new Director General and would be selected from an industrialized country.
It was expected that there would be a vigorous lobbying against the proposal for a new Director General and the Development Funds—this coming from the heads of United Nations agencies who would see their authority threatened.
ROLE OF EXISTING AGENCIES
Under the recommended changes, each agency would keep its autonomy but become less involved in running projects in the field and act rather as a standardsetter.
Some of the recommendations such as the appointment of a new Director General, were proposed for action at the Assembly this year; others were not expected to be taken up for two to five years. Among these was a recommendation that an International Trade Organization be established.
Although the 25 panel members signed their report as individuals—meaning they did not signify their governments' approval—their conclusions would be expected to carry some weight since 19 hold government positions, two at cabinet level.
The panel chairman was Al-Noor Kassum, a Tanzanian lawyer-economist. The Soviet member was Aleksond A. Molchanov, head of the Soviet Foreign Ministry's Department of International Economic Organization.
The American member, Richard N. Gardner, Professor of Law and International Organization at Columbia University, served as rapporteur of the document, drafted over an eight-week period.
Copies have not reached delegations, but one panelist predicted it could run into strong opposition from the United States on several counts, but particularly because of the idea of having a third-world representative serving in the second highest post in the United Nations hierarchy-he would be selected by the Secretary General with the approval of the Assembly.
Other saw prospects that the third-world countries would negotiating procedures, seeing a threat to curb their numerical voting strength, although the report stipulates that the Assembly could go on voting resolutions as long as it "takes account” of the private conciliation efforts being tried elsewhere.
The panel's work was authorized by a General Assembly resolution of January, 1975, requesting that it propose structural changes to make the United Nations system “fully capable of dealing with the problems of international cooperation."
The resolution called for a broad geographical representation on the panel, which was appointed by Secretary General Waldheim on the basis of nominations by governments. China was offered a seat on the panel but declined.
The panel sought through its recommendations to enhance the standing of the Economic and Social Council, which is listed in the Charter as one of the major organs of the world organization. However, it has not enjoyed high prestige. The most recent session was marked by high rates of absenteeism among the 54 members.
In its efforts to steer away from the voting contests that split the Assembly membership into seemingly that the Council establish small negotiating groups to deal in private with deadlocked key issues. One such might be the continuing dispute over compensation for nationalized foreign properties--an issue that brought on a major dispute at the late Assembly.
The small groups would include representatives of the countries most deeply involved and would be headed by a prominent individual who would devote full time to trying to bring about agreements, traveling as necessary between capitals and serving, as one official suggested, as a “Kissinger for economic, instead of political, disputes."
Each such negotiating effort would be limited to one or two years, but several could be tackled simultaneously.
The panel also advocated a major overhaul of the Economic and Social Council to abolish at least eight of its subsidiary commissions.
The commission on the status of women would be eliminated along with the commissions on population, social development and natural resources. The Human Rights Commission would remain.
The business formerly handled by the others would be dealt with directly by the Council, thereby avoiding duplicating debates.
In support of such streamlining, the panel report said that the Council, as it currently operates, “lacks the necessary degree of authority," and has become bogged down by unmanageable documentation.
As part of the proposed structural change, the panel recommended that the Council be given a new role in organizing the economic matters dealt with by the Assembly.
They proposed that the Assembly's Economic Committee be renamed the Committee on Development and International Economic Cooperation, and that it take on all items currently discussed by the Social Committee that concern development. The Social Committee would be left mainly with human rights matters and humanitarian question. Each has a membership of 138 countries.
In the field of trade, the experts proposed a gradual phasing out of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, which was organized in 1964 by the poorer countries because of dissatisfaction with Western domination of the existing machinery for dealing with trade issues.
The work on trade and commodity agreements would go to the proposed international trade organization under the panel's recommendations, the organization also might take over the work of GATT, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which has been the major forum in which negotiations to lower tariff barriers have been conducted, particularly among the developed countries. The trade organization also might assume responsibility for commodity arrangements.
In proposing the new post of director general for development, the panel recommended that the duties include direct charge of the existing Department of Economic and Social Affairs-the largest in the United Nations--and that the present post of under-secretary general be abolished.
PROPOSED UN DEVELOPMENT UNIT
The proposed United Nations development authority, it was recommeded, should be managed by a small operations board of 18 to 27 members who would be "equitably balanced" between countries which are net donors to United Nations aid programs, including oil-exporter, and the net recipients of help.
Although the contributions would be collected in a single fund, the identities of some units would be preserved, mainly because it would assist them in fund-raising—as in the case of the environment and population funds. The staff of the environment agency would remain at the agency's headquarters in Nairobi.
No additional increase in personnel would be required to carry out the panel's decisions, the report said. However, its members advocated a major effort to improve staff personnel policies.
They urged competitive examinations for United Nations job candidates and the possible creation of a staff college for training officials from different agencies, in the system. They also said that a unified system should be accepted for all employees in regard to recruitment and salaries.
They also favored employing more women in nonclerical positions and hiring younger applicants from all regions.
In an attempt to insure that action would be taken on at least some proposals without delay, the panel asked Mr. Waldheim to appoint a committee that would report regularly on the progress made in restructuring.
EXCERPTS FROM SUGGESTIONS FOR CHANGES IN U.N.
(Special to the New York Times) United Nations, N.Y., May 20Following are excerpts from an unofficial summary of recommendations to the General Assembly by an international panel calling for changes in the structure of the United Nations to improve economic relations between rich and poor nations.
In its 30th anniversary year the United Nations has reached a turning point. In one direction lies the prospect of new capacity to cope with the central issues facing mankind in the decisive last quarter of the twentieth century. In the other direction lies the danger of a decline in the effectiveness of the United Nations. Which direction the organization takes will be significantly influenced by the decisions on policy and structural questions its member states take in the months and years ahead.
The proposals of the group of experts for structural change are designed to enable the United Nations system to:
Deal with international economic and social problems in a more effective and comprehensive manner, with better coordination throughout the United Nations system as a whole.
Harmonize, as far as possible, the views and approaches of member countries toward these issues.
Contribute to the promotion of a significant improvement in the transfer of real resources and technology to developing countries.
Promote economic cooperation between states, including those with different social systems.
Increase the capacity of the United Nations system to provide essential services for all its members.
Improve the management of United Nations resources available for assistance to the developing countries so as to maximize the benefit to these countries.
Respond effectively to new opportunities, problems and challenges arising from changing requirements of world economic cooperation.
Foster better utilization of the capabilities of developing countries for economic and technical cooperation among themselves.
The Group of Experts is proposing major changes in the central structures of the United Nations. Its proposals call for 'new approaches to the handling of economic items in the General Assembly, a major reform in the Economic and Social Council and its subsidiary bodies, and new consultative procedures to encourage agreed solutions leading to speedy implementation by governments. They also call for the creation of a Director General for Development and International Economic Cooperation to provide leadership to the Central Secretariat and the entire United Nations system, and for the consolidation of funds for technical cooperation and pre-investment activities in a United Nation Development authority (U.N.D.A.) headed by an administrator who would serve as a Deputy to the Director General.
The Group envisages a process of institutional restructuring which could be initiated immediately by the Special Session of the General Assembly and unfold over a five-year transitional period.
Whenever issues of global significance need urgent and separate consideration, the device of convening special sessions of the General Assembly, along the pattern of the Sixth and Seventh Special Sessions or special sessions of the new proposed “Development Committee,” should after careful preparation, be utilized rather than resorting to ad hoc world conferences.
The Second Committee of the General Assembly should be renamed Committee on Development and International Economic Cooperation (to be known as the "Development Committee”). Consideration should be given to transferring from the Third to the Second Committee, on a case-by-case basis those items on social development that might more appropriately be dealt with in the Second Committee.
The Economic and Social Council should be consulted in the elaboration of the Committee's agenda and should be asked to prepare its discussions and submit draft recommendations for action by the Committee.
The Third Committee should be renamed Committee on Social Problems Human Rights and Humanitarian Activities.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
The General Assembly at its forthcoming Special Session should reaffirm the Council's central role in respect to global policy formulation and implementation and the setting of priorities for the system as a whole.
The Economic and Social Council should organize its programs on a biennial basis, with its calendar subdivided into frequent subject-oriented sets of short sessions spread throughout the calendar year (except during the General Assembly period). These sessions would take place in New York, Geneva or in other cities, such as Nairobi, depending on the subject matter and the location of the relevant secretariat units.
The council should assume direct responsibility for the work now performed by its existing subsidiary bodies. As a result, the permanent commissions and committees would be discontinued, except for the regional economic commission, the Commission on Statistical Activities, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the Committee on Development Planning, the Commission on Transnational Corporations and the Commission on Human Rights.
The council should assume direct responsibility for the work now performed by the Committee on Natural Resources, the Committee on Science and Technology for Development, the Committee on Review and Appraisal, the Committee on Crime Prevention and Control, the Population Commission, the Commission for Social Development, the Commission on the Status of Women, and the Committee on Housing, Building and Planning, all of which would cease to exist.
The Committee on the Application of Science and Technology should cease to exist as a collegial body; instead, to provide the United Nations in general and the Economic and Social Council in particular with ready access to the world scientific community, small ad hoc groups of scientists should be convened on a case-by-case basis to study specific problems and formulate recommendations which would then be taken into account by the Council in the formulation of relevant policies.
A Science Adviser to the Secretary General should be appointed. His main function would be to provide timely advice to help the Secretary General anticipate the impact of advances in science and technology and identify the options that their application presents, especially for the benefit of the developing countries.
SUPPORT FACILITIES A necessary first step to strengthen the analytical capabilities of the Secretariat and to enable it to concentrate its efforts on the task of providing support, on an interdisciplinary basis, for the policy-making function of the Economic and Social Council is to divest the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs of its sectoral technical functions in the economic and social field and, particularly, of its sectoral operational responsibilities.
Within the United Nations Secretariat, a new post of Director General for Development and International Economic Cooperation should be created. This official would be directly responsible to the Secretary General, would serve as primus inter pares among the heads of United Nations organziations and agencies dealing with economic and social affairs and would be in charge of directing all activities presently being carried by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the various United Nations offices and programs with respect to research, policy-making support, interagency coordination and operational activities. The new Director General would need to be assisted by two Deputy Directors General, one for Research and Policy, and the other to serve as Administrator of the new United Nations Development Authority. Under these arrangements, the existing post of Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs would cease to exist.
The Director General should be appointed by the Secretary General and confirmed by the General Assembly.
The post of Director General should be assigned to a national of a developing country, at least during those years when the post of Secretary General is occupied by a national of a developed country. If the post of Secretary General were occupied by a national of a developing country, this arrangement would have to be reviewed. The two posts of Administrator of the new United Nations Development Authority and of Deputy for Policies and Research should be allocated, respectively, to a developed country and a developing country national.
A new interagency, to be known as the Advisory Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development, should be established, under the chairmanship of the new Director General for Development and International Economic Cooperation. The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, the President of the World Bank, the Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the Executive Director of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the Directors General of the International Labor Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization, the Executive Secretaries of the regional economic commissions, the Deputy Director General in charge of Research and Policies and the Administrator of the new United Nations Development Authority would be ex officio members of this Committee. The Director General of the General Agreement on tariff and Trade would also be invited to join the Committee, and the executive heads of other United Nations agencies and programs would be invited, as necessary, to attend. The main task of the Committee would be to review the world economic and social situation and to bring to the attention of high-level meetings of ECOsoc, together with their own assessment and recommendations, all issues requiring, in their view, international decisions and actions.
To insure harmony between planning and operations, it would be useful to establish a post of Administrator of U.N.D.A., who would be responsible for the functions now being carried out by the Administrator of U.N.D.P. and the executive heads of other United Nations voluntary programs and funds for technical assistance and pre-investment activities excluding, for the time being, the Executive Director of UNICEF. In addition, this official would also serve as a Deputy to the Director General for Development and International Economic Cooperation. It is recognized that the eventual consolidation of United Nations funds in the new U.N.D.A. and the designation of the Administration of U.N.D.A. as Deputy to the Director General for Development and International Economic Cooperation must be dependent on the negotiation of satisfactory arrangements with regard to the composition of the new Operations Board and the division of responsibility between the Board and ECOSOC and the U.N.D.A. Administrator, as well as a satisfactory definition of the status of the Administrator.
The Inter-Agency Consultative Board (1.A.C.B.) of U.N.D.P. and the Environment Coordination Board (E.C.B.) should be merged with the A.C.C. However, the Program Working Group and the Meeting of Environmental "Focal Points," the two subsidiary bodies that now back up I.A.C.B. and E.C.B., should be maintained and function as subsidiary bodies of A.C.C.
PLANNING, PROGRAMING AND BUDGETING To assist the Economic and Social Council in the performance of the expanded functions envisaged for it in the fields of programing and planning, the C.P.C. should be strengthened to make it a more effective body for reviewing programs and determining priorities and, thus, for imposing a coherent and deliberately chosen balance among the wide-ranging activities of the subordinate bodies of the United Nations.
As a long-term goal, the United Nations should work toward a single body to advise the Economic and Social Council as well as the General Assembly with respect to the review, approval and evaluation of both programs and budgets. This could be a small body representative of the different groups of member states composed of highly qualified individuals nominated by governments but serving in their personal capacity.
OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES All funds for technical assistance and pre-investment activities should be consolidated for the purpose of more effective policy-making, administration and management, into a new United Nations Development Authority (U.N.D.A.). Certain small funds for capital investment should also be consolidated, as hereinafter specified, in the U.N.D.A. With respect to trust funds established by individual donors, their future disposition would be subject to further study and negotiation among interested parties. For the time being, UNICEF is not included in this consolidation.
There should be a single governing body responsible for reviewing the operational activities of the United Nations system as a whole and providing over-all policy guidance within the context of global development strategies. The Economic and Social Council is the appropriate body to perform this policy-making function since it is fitting that global policy-making on operational activities be part of the responsibilities of the body charged with the task of formulating global developmental policies. This arrangement would not only promote the integration of global policy and operations but would also avoid the duplication of discussions that debates in the various governing bodies and the subsequent ECOSOC review of reports of the voluntary programs and funds entail. For this purpose, the Economic and Social Council should include in its program of work an annual session devoted to a global review of operation activities.
There should be a consolidation, as early as possible and under appropriate administrative arrangements, of intergovernmental structures such as the U.N.D.P. Governing Council, the U.N.E.P. Governing Council, the Inter-Govern