June 2015

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UN Reform

Update on case of alleged sexual exploitation & abuse in Central African Republic
22 June 2015

A spokesperson for the UN announced on 22 June that Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has appointed a panel to investigate the response of the United Nations to allegations of sexual abuse surrounding a deployment of foreign military forces in the Central African Republic (CAR). The panelists - Marie Deschamps (Canada), Hassan Bubacar Jallow (Gambia), and Yasmin Louise Sooka (South Africa) - will begin their work in July and aim to submit a report within ten weeks and will operate with the mandate to make recommendations on how the UN should respond to similar allegations in the future. The review will include both the allegations as well as the UN response and any shortcomings in existing procedures covering serious crimes by the Organization and related personnel, host State forces and non-State actors that it may become aware of during its review.

The Secretary-General's statement on the panel is available here.

On the same day the panel was announced, Foreign Policy published an article about the internal dynamics between UN officials and Mr. Kompass, the individual who originally leaked the report to the French authorities.

As the investigations into the allegations against French troops in CAR continue, the AP reported that new allegations have emerged about UN peacekeepers in the country going back to early 2014.

Report of the Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance released
June 2015

The Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance, supported by the Hague Institute for Global Justice and the Stimson Center, published a new report this month on "Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance." The Commission, co-chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright and former UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, views 2015 as a "watershed year" for global governance. Indeed, the Commission aims to influence various ongoing policy intiatives and stocktaking processes, including the December 2015 conference on climate change, the Sustainable Development Goals which are to be launched in September, the UN’s stocktaking on peacekeeping, peacebuilding architecture, as well as the women, peace and security agenda. The report examines the challenges facing global governance and opportunities to move forward in the context of all these processes and more.

From the Executive Summary of the report:
"The Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance offers pragmatic reforms using new tools and networks to build better global institutions and a new global ethic, with the aim of focusing policymakers, opinion leaders, and international civil society on the need for more dynamic and creative global solutions to looming global challenges. Responding to new threats and opportunities requires that we overcome the deep-seated divisions driving the present crisis of global governance, which will take time. With the launch of this Report, a concerted effort will begin to promote these and related global governance innovations, looking toward and continuing through the UN’s seventy-fifth anniversary in 2020."

The report and Executive Summary are available in their entirety, here.


ACT Group writes to Presidents of the General Assembly and Security Council on selecting the next Secretary-General
1 June 2015

The Accountability, Coherence & Transparency Group (ACT), which works on reforming Security Council working methods, sent letters to the President of the General Assembly and President of the Security Council urging them to play a more active role in the appointment process for the next UN Secretary-General. In the letters, the Group recommended specific actions which could be taken by the respective office-holders, such as a deadline for nomination of candidates, a shortlist, and hearings with candidates, in order to make the process more open and inclusive.

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung releases new paper on the need to democratize the selection process for the next Secretary-General
June 2015

In a recent article, FES New York's Volker Lehmann highlights several proposals to improve the transparency and inclusiveness of the appointment procedures, including: a call for nominations with a deadline; hearings or public debates with candidates; and the recommendation of two or more candidates by the Security Council for the General Assembly to consider. Lehmann argues that the permanent five members of the Security Council should reconsider their opposition to reform, observing that, "by ignoring the reform movement, the P5 run the risk that the election of the SG may become a lightning rod for the UN Member States' broader frustration with the P5's overwhelming dominance."

Read the paper online here.


Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark elected as President for 70th session of the UN General Assembly
15 June 2015

On 15 June, The UN General Assembly elected its next President. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, who will preside over the UNGA’s 70th session beginning in September, has previously served both as Denmark’s Foreign and Finance Ministers. In a speech to the Assembly, Lykketoft identified three priorities that would define his term: a commitment to action, a surge in UN efforts to cement international peace and security, and a clear effort to support further progress for human rights. He also stated that he would take into consideration the continuing interest in Security Council reform, particularly ahead of the selection process for the next Secretary-General. Read the official press release from the UN here.


30 June 2015: Security Council wrap-up session convened by Malaysia in their capacity as President for the month of June.
15 July 2015 Discussion with candidates for the Human Rights Council election; 10-12pm in the ECOSOC Chamber at UNHQ in New York.
15 September 2015 Opening of 70th Session of the UN General Assembly
November 2015: Human Rights Council elections
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