What kinds of ideas could replace the UN? In a major competition sponsored by the Global Challenges Foundation, the Sweden-based group, a number of thought leaders give it a try. This year, $5M was awarded for the selected ideas.
The prize, he said, is not aimed at finding whole solutions to global threats such as climate change, wars and poverty, but rather “a model or mechanism that could provide the solutions”.
One interesting submission from Cristián Gimenez Corte, an international lawyer from Argentina who has worked at International Narcotics Control Board, UN Office of Drugs and Crime, UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (all in Vienna) and the UN Office of Legal affairs (NY). In “Shake It Up: The Case for Reforming the United Nations (A Real Global Governance Model) suggests:
- Create a new executive body that has the authority to make decisions on global governance.
- Change the financial structure away from national contributions toward an international tax on financial transcactions and the use of global public goods.
- Reform career paths toward a structured approach–similar to how other ministries of foreign affairs operate as well as lose its privileged legal status so as to be subject to national courts.
He has a number of fresh ideas that, admittedly, would be difficult to implement in the current political environment–but offer some good, clear thinking. For example, picking a super-statesman as the next Secretary General, rather than a manager from within the ranks as some past leaders have been–would require a great deal of political will and doesn’t seem possible. But his report–as well as others both broaden the discussion and tread on a wide range of difficult paths that should be considered.
Other notable submissions with some great ideas include the following:
- “A Bottom-Up Approach” by Ruchir Garg
- “A Club-Based model of Global Governance” by Luca Rade
- “A Truly Global Partnership: Helping the UN to Do Itself Out of a Job” by Shehara Natalie Samarasinghe
How would you fix the UN? One thought: “Bringing in new partners”–an idea that Samarasinghe suggests, citing UNICEF and ILO as good examples–is the kind of innovative thinking that is needed.