IDS Bulletin Vol. 26 Nos. 4


Published on 1 October 1995

SUMMARY Ambassador Johan Kaufmann takes a look at the present?day usefulness of the UN Charter. Practically everything that is discussed today, e.g. new style peace operations and humanitarian intervention can be done by interpreting the UN Charter as it now stands. Of course, enlargement of the Security Council does require a Charter amendment; it will be difficult to reach agreement on such large enlargement and especially on adding new permanent members, e.g. Germany and Japan which so far have not been making outstanding contributions to peace operations. Amending the Charter in order to create a new peoples’ assembly is not recommended: such an assembly could seriously complicate and delay the decision?making process of the General Assembly. On economic issues Kaufmann advocates a revitalization of the UN Economic and Social Council, rather than creating a new Economic Security Council which would run into exactly the same difficulties as the existing Council. He suggests to look with urgency at the possibilities for a system of supra?national finance, e.g. a tax on airline tickets, in order to obtain the necessary funds for peace operations and other urgent purposes. This, and the structure of the present system of specialized agencies could be useful subjects for urgent study, to be decided at the 50th Anniversary rather than merely making jubilee speeches.

Cite this publication

Kaufmann, J. (1995) THE UNITED NATIONS AT 50, SOME UNSOLVED PROBLEMS. IDS Bulletin 26(4): 68-73

Publication details

published by
Institute of Development Studies
Kaufmann, Johan


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