Annan calls Reform “A Moment of Truth”

Kofi Annan published an op-ed in today’s Financial Times. The Secretary-General begins with a challenge to the members of the United Nations:

Aminor storm broke out last week when Mark Malloch Brown, my deputy, made a speech suggesting that the US should engage more fully and wholeheartedly with other membersof the UN to bring about reform. That is absolutely right, but he and Ibelieve the same message needs to be heard in many other countries besides the US.

This is an important moment. All the candidates are going to support reform on some level or another or suffer a lack of support from multiple P5 members. But how much will they push it? How much will they be able to push the issues amongst the developing countries. As Annan says, they are the primary benefits of UN programs:

Most of these are well aware of the need to reform – not least because it is in those countries that the UN provides vital services from peacekeeping and peace-building through emergency relief to strengthening human rights, helping organise elections and fighting infectious disease. That means they are the ones who have most to gain from a well-managed UN that really gives value for money.

One of the important questions in this race will be who can say this to the developing world with credibility? Who will they trust to manage and implement reforms to benefit them?

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