Kofe Annan will address the General Assembly shortly with ideas for reforming the United Nations. Above all, we should be looking for one thing – economic transparency. Without that, reform will be a charade.
Moreover, the breakdown of the proposed reforms already outlined by Der Spiegel is not encouraging, especially where transparency is concerned. What Annan appears to be recommending is more internal oversight. What is needed is public oversight, by the people of the world. Allegations have been filtering in (to this blog among other venues ) about serious weaknesses in UN internal oversight already put in place by Annan – specifically the Volcker Commission. This does not augur well for internal oversight in general. More to come on that if these allegations prove accurate.
UPDATE: Some of Annan’s improvements, like changes in the Human Rights Commission, clearly seem worth making. Also, the presence of countries like India and Japan on the Security Council may prove helpful.
MORE: From Austin Bay – “What does it do about oversight? Not much‚Äì at the moment the UN‚Äôs only oversight is the US Congress and Claudia Rosett.” [Hey, what about this blog?-ed. Small potatoes.]