The Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization is a subcommittee of the UN General Assembly established in 1975 with the task of considering any specific proposals that Governments might make with a view to enhancing the ability of the Unied Nations to achieve its purposes as well as other suggestions for the more effective functioning of the United Nations. Operating on a consensus-based platform, the Special Committee will have to work on the daunting task of elaborating proposals to reform the United Nations system as a whole. The Committee operates under a single agenda.
Delegate capacity: 20
A. Reform of the United Nations system
Sub-topic 1 | Reform of the Security Council
The United Nations Security Council, with its unique authority, assumes an important role in maintaining international peace and security. However, it is considered significantly underdemocratic and unrepresented. Since it entered into force in 1945, it has gone through strikingly small amount of changes although the geopolitics have shifted considerably. The discussion on the reform of the Security Council has been active for the last few decades, while most of the reform proposals faced challenges. Among the various facets of the agenda of UNSC reform, the major points that should be debated upon are: the question of veto power, the extension of membership, transparency and working methods.
Sub-topic 2 | Reform of Financing
The United Nations has been under the financial crisis for the last few decades, which considerably hindered its operation and execution of programs. The core financing mechanism that runs UN and Specialized Agencies is a system of assessments imposed on member states based on their economic state. The major reason for the financial difficulties UN has been facing was that a significant number of member states did not pay their full dues and the donations for the voluntary funds were cut off. Although the regular budget has been frozen since 1994, the arrears have drastically escalated. Thus, the structural problems linked to the UN funding system must be addressed, and it should also be considered whether the mandatory charges on member states are too onerous or unfairly levied.
Sub-topic 3 | Reinforcing Democratic Process
The United Nations, while upholding democracy as one of its key values, has come under criticism for its deficiencies in democratic decision-making. Due to the sheer scale and difficulties induced by introducing direct democracy on a planetary level, the UN remains a highly representative body of states. As a result, its democratic flaws are notorious, such as the "1 state, 1 vote" policy massively underrepresenting countries with large populations. Improving the policy processes and introducing more democratic practices in the United Nations to reflect the needs and opinions of a greater proportion of the world citizenry is a key goal for the committee.
Sub-topic 4 | Transparency and Accountability
Despite efforts at reform and oversight, both internal and external, corruption scandals involving the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies have periodically erupted, causing much embarrassment. Reinforcing transparency and oversight mechanisms will be essential in preserving the legitimacy of the UN. On another level, the selection process of the UN leadership is also controversial for its lack of democratic accountability, often being conducted through closed-door negotiations and backroom deals instead of open discussion. Reforming the selection process for what is perhaps one of the most high-profile jobs in the world is a central task for the committee.
Sub-topic 5 | Revisioning UN charter to update structure and institutions to modern needs
The United Nations was established in 1945 for the purpose of tackling international agendas with the help of worldwide cooperation. But criticism arises because while the agendas have been updated, the basic structure of the UN has not changed. The most obvious example would be the Trusteeship Council. Its main purpose was to promote the advancement of the Trust Territories and lead them to self-government or independence in consequence. Since all the Trust Territories under this Council became independent, it stopped all operations in 1994, but it still exists as one of the primary institutions of UN. Like this, it is needed to change the basic structure or specific organs accepting modern demands.
Sub-topic 6 | Promoting efficient use of resources
As any other organizations are, efficiency is one of the key factors of administration. Especially because the United Nations is established for the benefit of mankind based on the cooperation of many countries, efficient use of both human resources and the budget has always been a hot issue discussing UN reform. Unlike the goernments of each country, the UN has to conduct various programmes to achieve huge humanitarian goals with a limited budget which is donated by the member states. Also, unlike the governments that only have strict rules and examinations for employing officials, UN opens various routes for recruiting based on the idea of equity. As the wages paid for staff members of UN insitutions take a large proportion of the entire budget, budget use and staff employment system have a close connection with each other when we consider efficiency.