I have been watching the recent 75th General Debate and I have seen some presidents (Ghanaian President...) urging and proclaiming for UN Reforms to boost UN efficiency on dealing with problems but also UN Reforms to modernize the old UN system. My Question would be what's wrong with the UN, why is there a need for reform and what reforms are needed and what is the plans of reforming UN? Additionally, why is the system not compatible with today's world as many are speaking of modernization?
The most prominent point of critique is the Security Council. As outlined in the answer above, its setup resembles the power balance after WWII. Therefore, key issues, nowadays are:
- Enlargement, possibly based on regional representation (meaning a number of countries per continent);
- Abolition of, or extension of veto power, and its use;
- Changing the system of permanent and non-permanent categories of membership;
- Generally the wokring process. Source: https://www.un.org/pga/74/2020/02/13/security-council-reform-2/
Japan, Brazil, Germany and India are especially hard on pushing for SC reform as they aspire to become permanent members of it https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/09/ffa7443a9ab5-japan-brazil-germany-india-call-for-un-security-council-reform.html
The UN was designed to prevent another World War.
It represented the post-war order, with the US, UK and USSR (the major victors) getting permanent Security Council seats and France and China (the minor victors) getting two more. When the five veto powers agreed on something, and they got a few of the non-permanent members to go along, that was pretty much the consensus world opinion. The General Assembly, by contrast, was allowed to meet and debate and pass powerless resolutions.
So the superpowers had a forum to meet and debate. Sometimes it helped.
A more powerful UN is not in the interest of powerful nations.
And arguably a more democratic UN isn't in their interests, either. Why should the five permanent members agree to a dilution of their powers? And why should autocracies want any oversight? I can see four kinds of complaints:
- Powerful nations complaining that things are not going as they wish all the time. That's mostly along the lines of "we use our veto responsibly, they are obstructive." Yeah, sure.
- Idealists complaining that the UN isn't organized on a democratic principle of "one person, one vote."
- Moderately powerful nations complaining that they pay relatively high contributions for relatively little power.
- Various nations complaining that the checks and balances create gridlock and inefficiency.
Few people want a world government at this time, not even a democratic one.