In larger freedom in the UK


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In 2005, on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the United Nations Association-UK carried out a public and expert engagement process to debate reform of the UN and its future role in international affairs. This FCO-UNA engagement process, inaugurated by Secretary of State Jack Straw and with keynote speeches provided by Prime Minister Tony Blair and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, comprised a series of national and regional public debates around the country as well as expert contribution from 200 academic and policy specialists. In this report we now present these views.

This engagement process took as its basis the recommendations put forward by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his report to the General Assembly (In Larger Freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all) and also gave detailed consideration to the recommendations of two earlier reports (the UN High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change & the UN Millennium Project). This unique process gave government ministers and civil servants direct and sustained feedback on the proposals of the UN Secretary-General as the UK engaged in negotiations leading up to the World Summit.

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In larger freedom in the UK

  1. 1. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page i in larger freedom in the UK AN AGENDA FOR ACTION FOLLOWING THE 2005 UN WORLD SUMMIT REPORT OF THE FCO-UNA NATIONAL ENGAGEMENT ON UN REFORM
  2. 2. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page ii Edited by Sarah Carter and Laura Mucha Designed by John Schwartz Printed by Marstan Press Limited © United Nations Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UNA-UK) London, 2005 ISBN 0-901796-23-9 UNA-UK 3 Whitehall Court London SW1A 2EL Any omissions or errors in the representation or attribution of public and expert views are solely the responsibility of UNA-UK. The views expressed in this report are not in any way attributable to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Nor do they necessarily reflect official UNA-UK policy as estab- lished through UNA-UK Annual Conference. The national engagement process was conducted by UNA-UK as part of its programme of events to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations and UNA-UK. The UN60 logo is used in this publication for educational and informational purposes only, and does not imply that the views expressed are in any way attributable to the United Nations.
  3. 3. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page iii Contents Foreword v by the Foreign Secretary List of abbreviations and key documents vii Acknowledgements x Executive Summary with Post-Summit Recommendations 1 A. Freedom from want 1 B. Freedom from fear 3 C. Freedom to live in dignity 5 D. Strengthening the United Nations 6 I. Introduction 13 II. Freedom from Want 15 A. A shared vision of development 17 B. National strategies 20 C. Making Goal 8 work: trade and financing for development 24 D. Ensuring environmental sustainability 36 E. Other priorities for global action 39 F. The implementation challenge 42 III. Freedom from Fear 45 A. A vision of collective security 47 B. Preventing catastrophic terrorism 49 C. Nuclear, biological and chemical weapons 54 D. Reducing the risk and prevalence of war 57 E. Use of force 69 iii
  4. 4. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page iv IV. Freedom to Live in Dignity 73 A. Rule of law 75 B. Human rights 81 C. Democracy 84 V. Strengthening the United Nations 87 A. General Assembly 90 B. The Councils 94 C. The Secretariat 105 D. System coherence 108 E. Regional organisations 111 F. Updating the Charter of the United Nations 113 Annex I: 2005 World Summit Outcome A/60/L.1 115 Annex II: List of Public Events 134
  5. 5. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page v Foreword by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Rt Hon. Jack Straw MP Eight months ago I launched the public debate on the High Level Panels report "A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility". At the time, I expressed my hope that as many people as possible would be able to influence our thinking on the United Nations in this momentous year for the organisation. I am delighted that so many people were able to take part in the debates, organised by the United Nations Association of the United Kingdom. A total of ten national public debates were held: London, Cambridge, Leeds, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Belfast, Aberystwyth, Manchester, Bath and Southampton. More local debates were also held. UNA organised a number of expert consultations on specific areas of the reform agenda with prominent UN-watching civil society organisa- tions. This report expertly summarises these discussions. It illustrates one simple fact. For most people, the United Nations remains the only global organisation able to tackle the challenges that we face today. The British Government is a strong and committed supporter of the UN. We worked tirelessly for a successful outcome to the UN World Summit in September. Overall, I believe that the Summit delivered a worthwhile package of reforms and commitments that will enable the UN to be better equipped to tackle the interrelated challenges of development, security and human rights. As EU Presidency, the UK played an important role in the often difficult negotiations on the Summit outcome document. The views received from the British public and from UK civil society fed directly into this process. Of the reforms agreed in New York, the "Responsibility to Protect" will be a vital tool for the UN should states fail to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. The agreement to create by the end of this year a new Peacebuilding Commission will close an institutional gap in the UNs conflict architecture and will assist countries emerging from conflict. The Summit agreed on an unequivocal condemnation of terrorism, and called for urgent work to agree the UNs counter-terrorism strategy. The agreement to establish a new Human Rights Council will place the protection of human rights at the heart of the UNs architecture. The Summit strongly endorsed the outcomes agreed at the G8 Summit at Gleneagles on development and climate change. These included the need to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and to address the special needs of Africa. Important new EU commitments on overseas development were welcomed by the broader UN membership. The Summit also endorsed further work to strengthen UN effectiveness in operational activities for tackling humanitarian crises and to ensure more coherent international institutional arrangements for environmental action. All this was underpinned by agreement on a number of reforms for the UN Secretariat, including a v
  6. 6. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page vi In larger freedom in the UK: report of the FCO–UNA national engagement on UN reform mandate to the Secretary General to make proposals for further reforms in such areas as ethics, accountability, oversight, and financial and human resource management. In some areas, the final text did not meet all our aspirations. Our efforts to secure stronger language on non-proliferation and disarmament were unsuccessful. We also pushed for more extensive reforms of the UN Secretariat. As a result, some have criticised the Summits document as modest. It was always going to be a formidable task to gain agreement across the board, reflecting the broad agenda on the table and the diverse nature of the UN membership. However, as the Prime Minister said in his speech in New York, if all the reforms agreed at the Summit are fully implemented, it will represent an important step forward for the UN. The Government is committed to the full and early implementation of the reforms. I am greatly appreciative of the work of the United Nations Association of the United Kingdom in organising the public debates, and for compiling such a comprehensive report. Jack Straw October 2005 vi
  7. 7. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page vii List of abbreviations and key background documents 2005 UN World Summit Also called the Millennium Review Summit, the World Summit, which took place from 14 to 16 September 2005, marked the start of the sixtieth session of the General Assembly. Heads of state and government made decisions related to UN reform and the proposals contained in In Larger Freedom. ACP African, Caribbean and Pacific countries A more secure world: Our (December 2004) The report of the High-Level Panel on shared responsibility Threats, Challenges and Change, an independent panel of experts appointed by the Secretary-General to review new and existing threats to international peace and security. CfA Commission for Africa DPKO Department of Peacekeeping Operations DRC Democratic Republic of Congo ECOMOG ECOWAS Monitoring Group: a regional armed force aligned with ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States ECOSOC Economic and Social Council EPA Economic Partnership Agreement FAO Food and Agricultural Organisation ICC International Criminal Court ICJ International Court of Justice IFIs International Financial Institutions vii
  8. 8. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page viii In larger freedom in the UK: report of the FCO–UNA national engagement on UN reform In Larger Freedom: towards (March 2005) The report of the Secretary-General development, security and submitted to the General Assembly in advance of the human rights for all 2005 UN World Summit. It draws largely from two earlier reports: that of the High-Level Panel and that of the Millennium Project. Often refered to as ‘ILF’ throughout this publication Investing in development: a (February 2005) The report of the Millennium Project, practical plan to achieve the an international team of development experts led by Millennium Development Professor Jeffrey Sachs, which puts forward an action Goals plan to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Also called the Sachs Report. MDGs Millennium Development Goals: a series of eight, time- bound goals encompassing targets related to poverty reduction, health, gender equality and other development indicators. Millennium Declaration The declaration, signed by a record number of govern- ments at the 2000 General Assembly, which contained what later became articulated as the MDGs Monterrey Conference (March 2002) The International Conference on Financing for Development produced important agree- ments on how to mobilise national and international resources to support development. NEPAD New Partnership for Africa’s Development NGO Non-governmental organisation NNWS Non-nuclear-weapon state NWS Nuclear-weapon state OCHA Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OHCHR Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights OHRM Office of Human Resources Management viii
  9. 9. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page ix List of abbreviations and key background documents OIOS Office of Internal Oversight Services PRSP Poverty reduction strategy papers SDT Special and differential treatment TCC Troop-contributing country UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNEP United Nations Environment Programme UNGA United Nations General Assembly UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund UNSC United Nations Security Council WHO World Health Organisation WMD Weapons of mass destruction ix
  10. 10. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page x Acknowledgements We would like to thank all participants in the In Larger Freedom engagement process. In particular we would like to express our gratitude for the contribution of over a hundred UNA members - from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England - who not only submitted their feedback on UN reform but also volunteered their time to assist us in the smooth running of the public events. We would have liked to have been able to acknowledge these individuals by name, but they are too numerous to list. We are grateful to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for funding the process and for working together with us on such an important initiative. We would like also to acknowledge explicitly those government representatives and academic and policy experts who contributed so crucially to the success of the debates by acting as keynote speakers, panellists and rapporteurs: Paul Bentall, Simon Burall, Chris Corrin, Joanne Coysh, Margaret Cund, Richard Dewdney, Lord Hannay, Alistair Harrison, Andrew Hurrell, Mark Imber, Sir Richard Jolly, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, Tony Kay, Noel Lloyd, Vaughan Lowe, Anthony McDermott, Malcolm McIntosh, Des McNulty MSP, Phil Mason, Susan Matthew, Justin Morris, Tim Morris, Edward Mortimer, Marco Odello, Lord Phillips of Sudbury, Bill Rammell MP, Sir Adam Roberts, Martyn Roper, Diane Sheard, Gerry Simpson, John Simpson, Melanie Speight, Surya Subedi, Jennifer Welsh, Nick Wheeler and Geof Wood. Special thanks are due to Alexander Ramsbotham, Head of UNA’s John Bright Peace and Security Programme, who headed the unit which organised the national engagement process and the collation of expert input. Our National Rapporteurs, Sarah Carter and Laura Mucha, supported by other UNA staff and volunteers, also played a central role in the success of the engagement process by organising the debates and by recording, compiling and editing over 2000 pages of public and expert input. We are grateful to the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust for funding UNA’s educational and informational work on disarmament, WMD and nuclear non-prolifera- tion, which supported the compilation of those sections of this report. x
  11. 11. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 1 Executive Summary with post-Summit recommendations A. FREEDOM FROM WANT A shared vision of development Development is an end in itself and a means to greater international stability; it is thus a responsibility to be shared between rich and poor countries within a global partner- ship for development. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – informed by the understanding that human development depends upon not only economic but also social factors – constitute a comprehensive framework for international development, and provide a means of both harmonising donor and recipient development strategies and ensuring that the outcomes of these strategies are consistent with agreed develop- ment objectives. The MDGs should be given the full support of the international community. The UK government should use its political position in the international system – and in particular its influence with the US government and its status within the EU – to maintain and build momentum behind the Millennium Development Goals and to ensure that long-standing development pledges are now translated into concrete gains. National strategies National ownership of development strategies is fundamental to country-level progress towards the MDGs. In providing financial support for these strategies, donor countries should not impose conditionalities linked to liberalisation and fiscal austerity. Recipient governments should, however, be required to frame national development strategies around the MDGs to promote accountability and provide a means of evaluating develop- ment policies. To ensure that successes are sustained, recipient countries should concen- trate policies and investments in sectors of special relevance to development. A key priority should be the achievement of gender equality, given the pivotal role of women within development processes. The UK government should encourage partner countries to formulate their own development strategies based on the MDGs. The UK should not tie aid to privatisation of services, and should dissuade other donor countries from imposing conditionalities which do not directly contribute to the achievement of the MDGs. Making Goal 8 work: trade and financing for development To satisfy their collective responsibility under the global partnership for development, rich countries must reform the international regimes for aid, debt and trade, in order to create an enabling environment in which developing countries are able to implement 1
  12. 12. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 2 In larger freedom in the UK: report of the FCO–UNA national engagement on UN reform domestic policies required to drive development. Those rich countries which have not yet done so should increase to 0.7% the portion of gross national income allocated to overseas development assistance (ODA), and provide clear timetables for reaching this target. Assessments of debt sustainability should be reconfigured to refer to the level of debt a country can service without compromising its achievement of the MDGs by 2015. Debts which prevent public spending in support of the MDGs should be restructured or, in some cases, entirely relieved; the HIPC initiative is too limited and cumbersome to allow seriously indebted countries the scope to reach the MDGs. The asymmetry of the international economy poses a fundamental obstacle to reaching the MDGs, and rich countries must take immediate and comprehensive steps to allow developing countries to participate productively in the global economy. Agricultural subsidies for producers in rich countries must be repealed and duty- and quota-free access for least developing country exports granted. In parallel, immediate measures should be implemented to secure short-term ‘gains’ towards the MDGs. Where needed, malaria bed nets should be distributed widely and without cost to the user. Such schemes should be properly incentivised through, wherever appropriate, collabo- ration with the private sector. The UK government should move forward its 2013 deadline to meet the 0.7% target, in order to free up the resources needed now for achieving the MDGs by 2015. Through its presidency of the EU, the UK government should seek the elimination of barriers to imports from developing countries, as well as guarantees that the EU will continue to allow poor countries to protect domestic industries until the latter are able to compete with producers in wealthy countries. The UK should also work, through the G8, the EU and wider international fora, to ensure that the development promise of the Doha Round is fulfilled. Ensuring environmental sustainability Environmental sustainability, as both an objective and a precondition of the MDGs, should underpin national and international development strategies. All development initiatives should encourage local and international action to address the challenges of desertification and the loss of biodiversity, including through implementation of the relevant international conventions. It is imperative that effective international mecha- nisms are found for mitigating and overcoming the threat of climate change, keeping in mind the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012. While technological innovation should be harnessed to identify cleaner and more efficient sources of energy, this in itself is insufficient: the post-Kyoto international framework should reflect that although climate change is emphatically a global problem the major producers of greenhouse gases must bear primary responsibility for reducing emissions. The UK government should seek to ensure that, following the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol, an effective international framework is implemented which 1) encour- ages and utilises scientific advances to mitigate and adapt to climate change; 2) protects 2
  13. 13. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 3 Executive summary with post-Summit recommendations developing country eco-systems to enhance resilience to the effects of climate change; 3) seeks concrete and comprehensive agreements on stabilisation targets for greenhouse gas emissions; and 4) incorporates policy mechanisms for rectifying unsustainable consump- tion patterns. Other priorities for global action The success of development strategies is contingent upon the ability of the international community to contain and reverse the spread of infectious disease and to mitigate the negative effects of natural disasters. The international community should meet any HIV/AIDS funding shortfalls, including that for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, so that important targets – such as the goal of providing universal access to antiretroviral treatment for all HIV/AIDS sufferers by 2015 – are met. In recognition of the link between development and resilience to natural disasters, governments should implement the Hyogo Framework for Action, including the integra- tion of disaster risk reduction strategies within development policies and planning. To complement these efforts, an early warning system should also be established. A key focus of all development initiatives should be the promotion of regional cooperation, to improve infrastructure, enhance South-South trade, and encourage the establishment and use of peer review mechanisms, along the lines of NEPAD’s. The international financial institutions should be reformed further in order to provide a greater voice for the devel- oping world. The UK government should exert pressure on peers in the G8 and other fora to ensure sufficient funding for efforts to combat infectious disease, including HIV/AIDS. It should also provide leadership in international efforts to implement the Hyogo Framework for Action, and in fostering greater multi-sectoral burden-sharing among countries of regional groupings. B. FREEDOM FROM FEAR A vision of collective security A new consensus – based on the recognition that threats to security are interconnected and can only be overcome through multilateral action – is a precondition of collective security. Prospects for forging this consensus are lessened by divergent security concerns among member states, particularly (but not exclusively) between North and South. The UN is uniquely situated to reconcile these differences and so act as an effective forum for collective action, but, first, it requires comprehensive reform. Member states should support in full the agenda for UN reform set by the 2005 World Summit, and take prompt, decisive steps to implement the agreements enshrined in the Summit’s outcome document. The UK, as a leading member of the international system and a key ally of the world’s superpower, has an instrumental role to play in promoting a global consensus 3
  14. 14. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 4 In larger freedom in the UK: report of the FCO–UNA national engagement on UN reform on threats and in driving forward the reform of the UN so that it can implement this consensus. Preventing catastrophic terrorism Effective multilateral counter-terrorism measures depend ultimately upon a common basis of understanding. The international community should continue to seek agreement on a definition of terrorism. Member states should fulfil the commitment made to agree a comprehensive convention on terrorism, to lend coherence and strength to international counter-terrorism strategies. All initiatives should respect human rights, humanitarian and refugee laws. The UK government – a vocal proponent of human rights – should ensure that both the proposed comprehensive convention and all international counter-terrorism measures in which the UK is involved are consistent with the highest human rights standards. The UK should give full support to the comprehensive strategy put forward by the Secretary-General, in which the defence of human rights forms one of five pillars of action. Nuclear, biological and chemical weapons The threat posed by nuclear, biological and chemical weapons is clear. It is imperative that efforts are directed at containing and diminishing stockpiles of not only nuclear but also chemical and biological weapons. Neither the most recent conference to review the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) nor the 2005 World Summit made progress towards overcoming the nuclear threat. Urgent and radical measures need to be taken to revive the NPT and to reinvigorate the bargain upon which it is based – namely that the nuclear-weapon states (NWS) progressively disarm, and the non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS) cooperate to stem proliferation. The NWS’ failure to disarm is counter-productive and contravenes the NPT: the NWS should now take concrete and irreversible steps towards disarmament, extend negative security assurances to the NNWS, conclude a fissile material cut-off treaty, and reaffirm commitment to a moratorium on nuclear test explosions until the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. In parallel, and in support of non-proliferation, agreement should be secured on adopting the Model Additional Protocol for strengthening the capacity for verifying compliance with the NPT. The UK government should set an example among the NWS by complementing its support for counter-proliferation measures with concrete, and irreversible, steps towards nuclear disarmament. There should be a national debate on the merits of replacing Trident which should consider whether the resources recovered would be put to better effect in safeguarding the strategic security interests of the UK by being redirected elsewhere. Other uses could be as follows: funding an increase in overseas development assistance to enable the UK to realise the 0.7% target earlier than 2013; increasing the cultural and historical expertise of the UK’s intelligence services in order to enhance the success of its 4
  15. 15. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 5 Executive summary with post-Summit recommendations ‘hearts and minds’ strategy for combating terrorism and addressing intra-state conflict; and improving the training, quantity, availability and readiness of military, police and civilian contingents available for UN peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and democracy-building. Reducing the risk and prevalence of war The UN’s capacity for conflict prevention should be enhanced, as proposed in In Larger Freedom. Among the range of tools available to the UN, sanctions should be applied only with selectivity. While regionalising peacekeeping can ease the strain on the UN’s resources, regional organisations cannot always intervene with impartiality, and have variable capacity for taking on peace operations. The establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission will furnish the UN with the means to effect and sustain the transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding. Although the Commission will – indirectly – serve a preventive function by interrupting the cycle of conflict, consideration should be given to equipping it with explicit mechanisms for this purpose. The Commission should work closely with the international financial institutions and with civil society groups to ensure that the development needs of countries emerging from conflict are adequately taken into account. In accordance with Security Council resolution 1325 women should play a prominent role in the formulation and implementation of conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding initiatives. The UK’s support for the Peacebuilding Commission has proved positive; it should now strive to effect its timely establishment. The government should ensure that the activities of the Commission are closely coordinated with those of the international financial institutions and that civil society, women and minorities are assured input into the Commission’s work. Use of force Except in cases of self-defence from imminent attack, the UN Security Council is the sole body that can legitimise the use of force under international law. In order to enhance the political legitimacy of the Council’s authorisation of military force, the Council should agree a resolution establishing criteria for the use of force, along the lines of those proposed in In Larger Freedom. The UK government should initiate negotiations on a draft resolution in informal consultations of the Council, with a view to seeking broad support among both non- permanent and fellow permanent members of the Council for criteria for the authorisa- tion of the use of force. C. FREEDOM TO LIVE IN DIGNITY Rule of law The endorsement at the 2005 UN World Summit of the principle of the responsibility to protect is potentially a landmark decision and, depending on whether the Security 5
  16. 16. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 6 In larger freedom in the UK: report of the FCO–UNA national engagement on UN reform Council can agree on guidelines and trigger mechanisms for non-military and military intervention, could equip the UN with the capacity to prevent genocide and a repeat of the gross abuses perpetrated in Rwanda and Srebrenica, and now occurring in Darfur. The UK government should table a Security Council resolution, following negotia- tions with other Council members, setting out guidelines for the practical application of the principle of the responsibility to protect. Human rights The UN’s human rights machinery has made a pivotal contribution to the formulation of human rights norms, and has played an indispensable role in monitoring compliance with human rights laws. Though central to these successes, the Commission on Human Rights has been undermined by politicisation and severe resource constraints, and the decision to replace the Commission with a new Human Rights Council is welcome. The agreement at the World Summit to double the regular budget of the Office of the High Commissioner over time is positive, but an increase in funding of a much greater magnitude is necessary if the UN human rights system is to respond effectively to the abuses reported to it. The treaty body system should be harmonised and reporting proce- dures made less cumbersome. Steps should also be taken to enhance the diversity of the membership of the treaty bodies. The UK should support the strengthening of the treaty body system as a means of enhancing the UN’s ability to promote and defend human rights, including by acting as an early warning mechanism for conflict prevention. Democracy Attempts to promote the principles of democracy should recognise that democracy has multiple manifestations. Imposing democracy on another society or political system is itself undemocratic and ineffective; democracy must be built upon a foundation of consent, by the host government and grass-roots society. The capacity of the UN to conduct democracy-building should be strengthened. Resources allocated to the Democracy Fund should be additional and not at the expense of other development initiatives. The UK government should support democracy-building and the UN’s role within these activities. The UK should advocate long-term approaches to democracy-building which focus on grass-roots involvement and which encourage the input of civil society, women and minority groups. The UK should provide financial resources to the Democracy Fund. D. STRENGTHENING THE UN General Assembly The General Assembly needs radical reform to match the legitimacy it derives as a universal forum with effectiveness and practical impact. The Assembly’s agenda must be 6
  17. 17. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 7 Executive summary with post-Summit recommendations streamlined and focused on issues of substance, in keeping with the agreements made at the 2005 World Summit. The General Assembly will profit from a more open relation- ship with civil society and measures should be implemented to simplify access to UN bodies for all appropriate NGOs but particularly those from the South. Greater outreach by the General Assembly to the private sector is important but should be extended only on the basis that companies enact clear and concrete changes to practice and policy, in line with the principles of the Global Compact. The UK should work with other member states to reform the General Assembly, in particular focusing on restructuring its agenda in accordance with the mandate emerging from the 2005 UN World Summit. The Councils Security Council Security Council expansion should aim to increase the representative nature of the Council’s composition without compromising its effectiveness. Models for Security Council enlargement should not be restricted to what is politically feasible in terms of geographical distribution of membership, but should also address the Council’s primary function under Article 24 of the Charter – to take prompt and effective action to advance peace and security. Disagreements among member states over models for Security Council enlargement should not be permitted to obstruct the wider process of UN reform. In the absence of agreement on Security Council expansion, the UK should volun- tarily restrict the use of its own veto to Chapter VII resolutions and should foreswear the application of the British veto to the appointment of the Secretary-General. The UK could also spearhead a broader evaluation of types of Security Council decisions to determine which could be defined as procedural in nature and thus exempt from the veto. Economic and Social Council The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is in urgent need of reform if it is to make a substantive contribution to international development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. ECOSOC’s membership is presently too large, its remit too wide and its mandate too weak for it to have an impact in global decision- making with respect to economic and social issues. In the short-term the UK government should support efforts by ECOSOC to coordi- nate its work with the Bretton Woods Institutions and, when established, the Peacebuilding Commission. In the long-term, the government should support the replacement of ECOSOC with an Economic and Social Security Council, with a mandate to coordinate relevant activities of the Bretton Woods Institutions and the UN, and imbued with greater authority to galvanise resources in support of economic and social objectives. 7
  18. 18. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 8 The new Human Rights Council The replacement of the Commission on Human Rights with a Human Rights Council is a positive step towards reforming the UN’s machinery to reflect more directly the UN’s commitment to human rights. The modalities of the new Council must be geared to avoid the politicisation which undermined the achievements of its predecessor. The UK should support the process of establishing the Human Rights Council, so that this body is equipped to fulfill its important mandate, including ensuring that the vital contribution of civil society to the work of the Council is reflected in access and participation rights. The Secretariat The Secretariat must be based on a culture of efficiency, accountability and transparency. To facilitate this, UN member states must curtail interference in Secretariat employment and micromanagement of the Secretary-General. Member states should empower the Secretary-General to manage the human and financial resources of the Secretariat and support the introduction of effective systems of independent management and financial oversight. Approval should be given to the one-time staff buy-out requested by the Secretary-General. Appointments at the UN should be on the basis of merit. Proactive ‘headhunting’ can ensure equitable geographical representation whilst promoting excel- lence in recruitment. The UK government should provide leadership in ensuring that the lessons learned from the Oil-for-Food Programme are implemented, in particular that 1) management practices and financial oversight within the Secretariat are improved and 2) programmes initiated by the Security Council are designed to minimise opportunities for corruption, with clear lines of responsibility drawn between member states and the Secretariat. System Coherence The sheer breadth of the UN’s activities has engendered, in some cases, the duplication and overlap of remits. These mandates need urgently to be rationalised, and member states should support this process by instructing diplomats on the governing boards of UN agencies to pursue policies which do not compromise the coordination of UN agencies. There is an urgent need for better international governance for the protection of the environment. The UK government should work with its partners in the international community to foster better coordination among UN agencies. With a view to improving environmental governance, the UK government should consider the utility of establishing a new UN Environment Organisation to replace UNEP. Regional Organisations Greater cooperation between the UN and regional organisations is a potentially valuable means of burden-sharing. Regional organisations have an important role to play in 8
  19. 19. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 9 Executive summary with post-Summit recommendations fostering good governance, coordinating initiatives to combat infectious diseases, and reducing supply-side constraints to trade in poor countries. Member states should give full support to initiatives aiming to build capacity in regional organisations such as the African Union. The UK government should support regional capacity-building initiatives by scaling up financial and technical assistance to the AU and other suitable regional arrangements. Updating the Charter Although the UN Charter remains relevant 60 years after its creation, modifications are necessary. The references to the ‘enemy states’ are obsolete; the World Summit’s decision to delete these clauses from the Charter is welcome and constitutes a recognition of the contribution of Germany, Japan and Italy to the work of the UN. The decision to abolish the Trusteeship Council is welcome due to the expiry of the body’s purpose. Whatever decision is eventually taken with respect to the Military Staff Committee, it should not negate the quid pro quo upon which the privileges of the P5 are based – namely that, in exchange for the veto, these countries must make a special contribution in armed forces and/or resources for the maintenance of international peace and security. As a permanent member of the Security Council, the UK has a continuing special responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security under the UN Charter. In this context, the UK’s positive contribution of specialist expertise to the start-up, logistical support and command of peacekeeping operations is noted, as is its contribution of personnel in support of the UN-authorised operations in Bosnia and Afghanistan. The UK government should nevertheless also reverse the downward trend in the number of troops it sends to serve in UN peacekeeping operations. 9
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  21. 21. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 11 I. Introduction
  22. 22. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 12
  23. 23. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 13 I. Introduction The FCO-UNA National Engagement Process During the spring and summer of 2005, the United Nations Association-UK, on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, carried out a public and expert engagement process to debate the reform of the United Nations and its future role in international affairs. The FCO-UNA engagement process took as its basis the recommendations put forward by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his report to the General Assembly – entitled In Larger Freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all – which formed a blueprint for the September 2005 UN World Summit. The engagement process also gave detailed consideration to the recommendations of two earlier reports – that of the UN High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, and that of the UN Millennium Project – because their findings inform In Larger Freedom, and are in some cases endorsed explicitly by the Secretary-General. The FCO-UNA engagement process was inaugurated by Secretary of State Jack Straw at the Banqueting House in Whitehall, London, on 10 February 2005. Both Prime Minister Tony Blair and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan delivered keynote speeches. Following the launch, UNA organised a series of national and regional public debates around the country. These events provided the key vehicle for engaging with the public and were structured around workshops covering core aspects of the Secretary-Generals recommendations. This unique process gave government ministers and civil servants direct and sustained feedback on the proposals of the UN Secretary-General as the UK engaged in negotiations leading up to the World Summit. UNA-UK recorded hundreds of pages of public feedback and contacted over 200 academic and policy specialists to provide written submissions on specific areas of expertise. In this report, titled In Larger Freedom in the UK, we now present these views, making every attempt to express the broad range of opinion within the constraints of space. Where appropriate, we have supplemented the feedback and submissions with references to relevant academic, NGO and UN sources. This report also articulates the central messages emerging from the public engagement process: that there is overwhelming support in the UK for the UN, as well as a frank recognition of its imperfections, and that, while opinion differs on how exactly to correct these flaws, there is also broad agreement that to make the UN stronger and more accountable would bring us closer to that world foreshadowed in the Preamble to the UN Charter – a world of larger freedom. In Larger Freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan states that the threats facing humanity are diverse and interconnected, and that they traverse development, security and human rights. To each of these three areas, the Secretary-General allocates a section of the report, entitling them, respectively, Freedom from want; Freedom from fear; and Freedom to live in dignity. The fourth, and final, section is cross-cutting and contains recommendations for the reform of the UN itself, so that it is equipped to take this bold agenda forward. 13
  24. 24. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 14 In larger freedom in the UK: report of the FCO–UNA national engagement on UN reform For ease of reference we have followed as far as possible the structure of In Larger Freedom. The feedback from the FCO-UNA engagement process has thus been grouped under the headings of the corresponding recommendations in the Secretary-Generals report. We recommend that In Larger Freedom in the UK is read with the Secretary- Generals report to hand. The 2005 World Summit Outcome The 2005 World Summit has now concluded. Its declaration – the World Summit Outcome – is appended to this report. Defying the pessimism of some but also falling short of its full potential, the Summit has yielded mixed but, on balance, positive results. On most issues contained in In Larger Freedom, the Summit has produced notable, if incre- mental, progress. Member states have agreed to establish a Peacebuilding Commission to support the recovery of societies emerging from conflict. To renew the UNs human rights machinery, member states have agreed to form a new Human Rights Council, although its membership and modalities have yet to be negotiated. Member states have voiced clear support for reforming the UN Secretariat, but have requested that the Secretary-General put forward more detailed proposals for subsequent decision by the General Assembly. Member states have agreed to work towards a comprehensive convention on terrorism in coming months, though an internationally accepted definition of terrorism remains elusive. Of perhaps greatest significance, member states have endorsed the principle of the responsibility to protect, placing the Security Council at the heart of international responses to genocide and crimes against humanity. These achievements notwithstanding, member states have failed to commit significant additional resources to meet the Millennium Development Goals, and have failed to reflect in their response to climate change the magnitude of the challenge it represents. Most disap- pointingly they have failed, yet again, to take steps towards fulfilling their obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. After the Summit: an agenda for action The Summit represents a staging post, not a finishing line. It has generated what Lord Hannay has described as "a critical mass of decisions", out of which are possible landmark changes. The challenge is now one of realisation, and the next 12 months present a crucial opportunity to implement those of the Secretary-Generals proposals on which the Summit made a start, and to push for acceptance of those which were overlooked. We applaud the leadership of the UK delegation at the Summit. It is vital that the UK government builds upon these achievements and continues to demonstrate strong and active support for the UN. UNA-UK is committed to this process and will campaign tenaciously for development, security and human rights for all through a stronger, more credible and more effective UN. Veronica Lie Sam Daws Head of Advocacy Executive Director UNA-UK UNA-UK 14
  25. 25. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 15 II. Freedom from want
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  27. 27. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 17 II. Freedom from want A. A SHARED VISION OF DEVELOPMENT The ‘vision of development’ put forward in In Larger Freedom [We] share Kofi (ILF) is broad, placing particular emphasis on the linkages Annan’s view that among development, security and human rights. ILF’s develop- security and develop- ment agenda is centred on the framework provided by the ment are inextricably linked. Our experience Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and on the findings of working towards of the Millennium Project. Many of ILF’s recommendations sustainable develop- draw from the Millennium Project’s action plan for achieving ment has taught us the MDGs, set out in the report Investing in Development: a that we cannot hope to practical plan for achieving the MDGs. eradicate poverty The feedback presented in this section focuses on the utility without addressing the pervasive threats to of the development agenda put forward by ILF, and in partic- the safety and well ular the viability of the MDGs as guidelines and benchmarks being of people and for international development policies. their communities. Oxfam During the FCO-UNA public engagement process, support International was expressed for the comprehensive definition of develop- ment adopted in the Secretary-General’s report, in which There is an obvious ‘development’ is interpreted broadly, as an integral component, imbalance between and likely product, of increased security and human rights. environmental/poverty However, many participants viewed the emphasis on these issues and security putative interlinkages with some scepticism, noting the issues within In potential risk that urgent development priorities would be Larger Freedom and this could help to subordinated to security considerations, reflected for example explain why the US is in the distortion of aid to serve security interests. relatively supportive, Recommendations were accordingly put forward which a) because it more readily stipulated that necessary security measures should not be meets their own broad resourced at the expense of equally necessary development agenda. initiatives and b) asserted that development should be pursued Professor Vaughan Lowe, University of as an end in itself, rather than as a subsidiary wing of the ‘war Oxford on terror’. Participants agreed that development is a responsibility to be shared by rich and poor countries and supported recommenda- tion 5 (a) which urges heads of state and government to: Reaffirm, and commit themselves to implementing, the develop- ment consensus based on mutual responsibility and accountability 17
  28. 28. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 18 In larger freedom in the UK: report of the FCO–UNA national engagement on UN reform I agree with the recog- agreed in 2002 at the International Conference on Financing for nition that the MDGs Development held in Monterrey, Mexico, and the World Summit should remain aspira- on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, South Africa. tional so that ways can Consistent with that historic compact, centred on the Millennium be developed to ensure that governments Development Goals: support each other in going for internation- i. Developing countries should recommit themselves to taking ally agreed targets. primary responsibility for their own development by strength- Professor Chris ening governance, combating corruption and putting in place Corrin, University of the policies and investments to drive private sector-led Glasgow growth and maximise domestic resources to fund national development strategies; and ii. Developed countries should undertake to support these efforts through increased development assistance, a more develop- ment-oriented trade system and wider and deeper debt relief. ILF’s espousal of the Millennium Development Goals received strong support. The MDGs were seen by the majority of participants to constitute a useful global framework for improving the alignment of international development strate- gies and for providing clear benchmarks by which to hold both donor and recipient countries to account. We acknowledge that However, a number of contributors argued that the potential there needs to be effectiveness of ILF’s development agenda was compromised by coherence between flaws in the MDG framework. Though the Secretary-General poverty reduction acknowledges certain limitations of the MDGs, disappointment efforts and counter- was expressed that the subject had not been engaged with greater terrorism initiatives, analytical vigour. The following shortcomings were highlighted as but the Millennium Review Summit must areas of concern: explicitly acknowledge that the war on terror First, the MDGs are not exhaustive and suffer from notable and the war on gaps, which have been reproduced by the Millennium Project poverty require and ILF. According to the International Confederation of Free different and separate Trade Unions and the World Confederation of Labour, for strategies. Make Poverty instance, the Millennium Project did not consult adequately History with the International Labour Organisation, with the result that insufficient attention has been given to the contribution of ‘decent work’ to the processes of development. A ninth millennium development goal has accordingly been proposed, recognising the role of appropriate employment as a facet of development, and setting corresponding targets and indicators, 18
  29. 29. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 19 II. Freedom from want to gauge improvements in working conditions for female, male It does seem that the strategy the UN is keen and young persons, including higher and rising wage levels to promote is precisely and more equitable distribution of income. that which has created poverty in the first place Second, the MDGs do not represent optimal standards of – the private sector, neo- human welfare; attaining the MDGs by the 2015 deadline will liberal orthodoxy, serve to ameliorate, and not eliminate, the problems posed by security of property rights and so on. extreme poverty and social inequality. For example, even if the Dr Ray Bush, MDG in support of poverty reduction is achieved, this would University of Leeds represent only a halving of the proportion of people living with acute poverty; the same is true of the MDG working towards improving access to water and sanitation. There is a fundamental flaw in using GDP as a measure of economic Third, the ILF recommendations on development – and the progress. Rather, a MDGs upon which these proposals are based – overlook the measure is needed that contribution of the ‘Washington Consensus’ to the prevailing factors in negative asymmetry of the international economic system and the points against economic ‘poverty traps’ which often constrain developing countries from growth such as numbers making progress on the MDGs. of people in hospital who cannot contribute to economic growth and Fourth, the MDGs privilege quantitative over qualitative indi- require money for cost of cators of human development, reinforcing the neo-liberal treatment. preoccupation with economic, rather than social, indicators of Edinburgh human well-being. Initiatives supporting the MDGs should encourage the redistribution of income as a means of securing In Larger Freedom gains towards poverty reduction and towards enhancing buys uncritically into standards of living. an analysis of poverty and increasing Fifth, the MDGs place disproportionate demands on devel- inequality in terms of oping countries to fulfil seven targets which are time-bound the liberal argument of and concrete; conversely, rich countries are allocated only one ‘lack of market access’, as opposed to one based task, which is furthermore ambiguous, calling vaguely for a on the kind of rich ‘global partnership for development’. Some participants historical under- predicted that it would be poor – rather than rich – countries standing of the social which would be blamed should the global partnership ulti- relations of power, and mately fail to bring about the achievement of the MDGs. critical reflections on the logic of liberalism. Dr Heloise Weber, Participants warmly welcomed, therefore, the Secretary- University of Sussex General’s challenge to rich countries to set aside the political considerations which have hitherto blocked the eradication of the ‘poverty that kills’. The Secretary-General’s stress on the 19
  30. 30. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 20 In larger freedom in the UK: report of the FCO–UNA national engagement on UN reform practical achievability of the MDGs was similarly commended. The concept of sustain- able development To sum up: carries a heavy burden. It needs to cover the The ‘shared vision of development’ which is encapsulated in simultaneous achieve- recommendation 5 (a), and which frames the concept upon ment of three separate which the MDGs themselves are based, was supported sets of objectives – strongly by the majority of participants, in recognition of economic objectives like international development as a matter of fundamental justice, growth and efficiency, rather than charity. The MDGs were seen as a viable guiding social objectives like equity and poverty principle for international development strategies and a useful reduction, and ecolog- mechanism for maintaining political momentum towards the ical objectives such as realisation of development initiatives. natural resource The key message, therefore, was one of broad support, management. qualified by concern that the agenda should have been more Sam Daws, ambitious, that its provisions would not be carried out in UNA-UK practice, and that the MDGs would become yet another set of unfulfilled promises. The feedback relating to the Secretary-General’s specific recommendations for action by developing and developed countries is summarised below, under sections B and C, respectively. It is necessary to utilise B. NATIONAL STRATEGIES expertise at the national level; it is not While the global partnership for development, discussed in sufficient to provide the section above, highlights the obligation of rich countries money alone. to contribute resources and support towards sustainable inter- Birmingham national development, ILF stresses that the primary responsi- bility for a country’s development rests with the government Donor countries have and people of that country. A central aspect of ILF’s recom- remained a persistent mendations for development, therefore, is national ‘ownership’ problem by imposing of development policies, to strengthen the accountability of their own ideas rather developing country governments within processes of develop- than respecting what the local community ment and to ensure that development policies are tailored to want. In Larger address conditions specific to different countries. In keeping Freedom offers an with this, the Secretary-General sets out as a guideline for agenda for aligning nationally-derived development strategies seven investment the actions of donors and policy priorities to encourage sustainable development with the needs of local outcomes. people. Southampton The feedback presented in this section assesses ILF’s 20
  31. 31. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 21 II. Freedom from want promotion of country ownership and evaluates the policy and If the responsibility of investment priorities put forward. development is given primarily to devel- oping countries, Participants in the public and expert engagement process corruption needs agreed with the Secretary-General’s assessment of extreme urgently to be stamped poverty as the product of a highly complex set of problems out. demanding, not only external financial assistance, but also the Southampton implementation of comprehensive domestic programmes with a range of economic and social objectives. Strong support was expressed for recommendation 5 (c) in which heads of state and government are urged to: Decide that each developing country with extreme poverty should by 2006 adopt and begin to implement a comprehensive national strategy bold enough to meet the Millennium Development Goals targets for 2015. Support was expressed for ILF’s emphasis on linking develop- ment efforts to local needs, evaluated on the basis of concrete and monitorable targets; to this end, participants endorsed the Secretary-General’s suggestion that developing country poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs) be aligned explicitly with the Millennium Development Goals. However, one expert contributor noted that to link PRSPs to a unified set of global criteria was somewhat counterintu- itive, given that the ILF’s purported aim is to decentralise development policy. Also highlighted in the expert engagement process was ILF’s failure to address within its proposals for restructuring PRSPs whether the modified criteria will satisfy donors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. It was not guaranteed that the interests of the international financial institutions (IFIs) would correspond to MDG-based PRSPs. A framework for action The Secretary-General proposes that country-level actions The international towards the achievement of the MDGs be supported by three financial institutions complementary features: transparent, accountable systems of have a lot to answer good governance; growth-oriented economic policies supporting for in their part in making countries a vibrant private sector; and the involvement of civil society dependent and poor. organisations at both the domestic and international level. Birmingham 21
  32. 32. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 22 In larger freedom in the UK: report of the FCO–UNA national engagement on UN reform Participants agreed that good governance was a precondi- tion to the success of development initiatives and that encour- aging national agency in the formulation and execution of development policies could help to foster better governance and shore up national capacities for combating corruption. Participants also acknowledged the potential contribution of the private sector to development, but were reluctant to endorse greater private sector involvement in the absence of effective mechanisms for holding it to account. The possibility of alterna- tive paths to economic growth were also highlighted, chal- lenging the prevailing view that interventionist governments are incapable of sound economic policies. The experiences of China and India were cited as examples in this context. The role of civil society was recognised, in particular its potential for sustaining pressure on government actors; for galvanising international political will; and for sharing best- practices with other development actors. National investment and policy priorities The Secretary-General outlines seven ‘clusters’ of public invest- ments and policies to inform wider development strategies. These areas of focus, which are derived from the Millennium Project and which overlap with the MDGs, are as follows: 1. Gender equality 2. The environment and better resource management 3. Rural development 4. Urban development It is rather disap- 5. Health systems pointing to see that 6. Education once again gender 7. Science, technology and innovation equality and improved access to education and Contributors to the engagement process gave broad endorse- reproductive health ment to the investment and policy clusters listed above, but care for girls and women is afforded only highlighted areas which were judged to have been accorded one explicit reference, insufficient attention. For example, some participants despite the fact that expressed the view that measures to improve natural resource poverty is heavily management should have been given greater urgency; others feminised. thought that the recommendation calling for intensified efforts Dr Jill Steans, towards containing and fighting HIV/AIDS should have cited University of Birmingham specific figures to illustrate the shortfall in resources. 22
  33. 33. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 23 II. Freedom from want The most prevalent objection to ILF’s policy and invest- In Larger Freedom completely fails to ment clusters was that the relationship between gender acknowledge that the inequality and underdevelopment had been only cursorily MDGs cannot be acknowledged and that the recommendation relating to gender achieved without equality was too general to be effective. gender equality, Recommendation 5 (j) urges heads of state and government to: women’s empowerment and women’s rights. UN Non- Reaffirm gender equality and the need to overcome pervasive Governmental gender bias by increasing primary school completion and secondary Liaison Service school access for girls, ensuring secure tenure of property, ensuring access to reproductive health access to labour markets, providing opportunity for greater representation in government decision- Thie paragraph on making bodies, and supporting direct interventions to protect gender equality is weak and insufficient. women from violence. Rather than just ‘reaf- firming’ gender Several participants expressed the view that the language of equality, the time is recommendation 5 (j) and the text of the report should have now ripe for setting more explicitly acknowledged the feminisation of poverty. It agreed benchmarks to was strongly emphasised that, as a uniquely cross-cutting issue, be achieved in these areas in order that with implications for education, child mortality, HIV/AIDS these may be assessed etc., gender equality has crucial implications for all of the for ‘successful’ imple- MDGs. mentation and There was broad consensus that pervasive gender monitored over time. inequality compromised not only prospects for sustainable Professor Chris development but also the overall achievement of security and Corrin, University of Glasgow human rights. It was thought that gender should have been given due prominence in ILF, and that the report’s treatment of the subject – in both Freedom from Want and the report overall – should have been more vigorous. To sum up: There was robust support for the Secretary-General’s recom- mendation that developing country actors maintain ownership over formulating and executing development policy. It was stressed that nationally-led efforts needed to be complemented by the support of the international community. While it was agreed that the policy and investment priorities identified by the Secretary-General formed a viable blueprint for national development strategies, certain gaps and insufficiencies were noted, in particular the weak treatment of the links between gender and poverty. 23
  34. 34. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 24 In larger freedom in the UK: report of the FCO–UNA national engagement on UN reform C. MAKING GOAL 8 WORK: TRADE AND FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT The development framework presented by ILF, and enshrined in the eighth Millennium Development Goal, requires devel- oping countries to accept principal responsibility for the management and implementation of development strategies. In keeping with this model, ILF states that, where possible, the resources required for executing development initiatives should be mobilised domestically, and primarily through a straightfor- ward reallocation of government expenditure, geared to facili- tate the policies necessary for delivering the MDGs. However, as ILF recognises, such a reallocation of revenue is practicable only where sufficient revenue exists – i.e. in middle-income and a very few low-income countries. The bulk of low-income countries and nearly all least developed countries lack the basic resources necessary to redirect expenditure towards projects in support of the MDGs. In this case, the terms of the partnership embodied in MDG 8 oblige rich countries to offset the deficit, by increasing flows of official development assistance (ODA); by cancelling and relieving the debt burdens of the poorest countries; and by making the international regime for trade more equitable . The feedback presented in this section is largely rooted in the objectives of the Make Poverty History movement, echoing its demands for more and better aid; debt relief; and fair trade. After 30 years, we are Aid still talking about a target of 0.7%. Participants in the engagement process repeated the Edinburgh Secretary-General’s call for considerable and steep increases in ODA to meet the shortfall in resources which currently obstructs progress on the MDGs, and gave support to recom- We need to move mendation 5 (d) of the report, which urges heads of state and beyond rhetoric to action on increasing government to: ODA. Leeds Undertake to ensure that developed countries that have not already done so establish timetables to achieve the target of 0.7% of gross national income for official development assistance by no later than 2015, starting with significant increases no later than 2006 and reaching at least 0.5% by 2009. 24
  35. 35. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 25 II. Freedom from want However, while participants welcomed the specificity of the The US has voiced timeline put forward, many expressed the view that the active opposition to the schedule’s demands on wealthy countries were too relaxed, and proposed ODA target of 0.7%, so does this that it was furthermore illogical to expect the required increase mean pursuing this in ODA to 0.7% GNI to translate, within the same year, into agenda is counterpro- the demonstrated achievement of diverse development objec- ductive? tives. Participants accordingly urged rich countries to scale up Oxford ODA commitments prior to 2015 and called on the UK government to provide leadership in this area. We deserve an update Participants largely welcomed the Secretary-General’s from the UK endorsement of the UK government’s proposals for the Chancellor on the creation of an International Finance Facility to ‘front-load’ International Finance future flows of aid to secure immediate gains in support of the Facility. MDGs. However, doubts were expressed regarding the initia- Edinburgh tive’s viability in light of US opposition to the scheme. A large number of participants felt also that support for the initiative might have been more robust had it been more fully explained. Apprehension was expressed that the UK government might abandon its commitment to the 0.7% target, should interna- tional support for the IFF ultimately fail. Noting the threat posed by corruption to the success of development targets, and the simultaneous imperative of increasing aid to facilitate the attainment of development objectives, participants welcomed the underlying logic of recommendation 5 (n), in which the Secretary-General calls on governments to: Decide that, starting in 2005, developing countries that put forward sound, transparent and accountable national strategies and require increased development assistance should receive a sufficient increase in aid, of sufficient quality and arriving with sufficient speed to enable them to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Two important qualifications were, however, added to the support expressed for this recommendation. First, it was stressed that the requirement to demonstrate ‘sound’ domestic policies should not serve as a means of imposing deleterious condition- alities on developing countries. Second, participants questioned the degree to which potential structural constraints to aid effec- tiveness in recipient countries had been considered by the archi- tects of ILF recommendation 5 (n) and the Millennium Project. 25
  36. 36. una report text FINAL.qxd 10/11/2005 16:59 Page 26 In larger freedom in the UK: report of the FCO–UNA national engagement on UN reform The Sachs report Expert submissions by the Overseas Development Institute overplays the aid expand upon these two qualifications; for convenience, related component of develop- feedback from the public engagement process is also included ment, but aid is not in the following section. the only relevant issue. Sir Richard Jolly, UNA-UK Conditionality: Conditionality is based on a principle of ‘bottom-up’ accountability (i.e. the obligation of recipients to donors) and was thus judged to be in direct contravention In the case of corrup- of the evolving norm which asserts common responsibility tion, it is necessary to for global development. The application and exercise of recognise that the resourcing of aid is far conditionality, furthermore, were noted to place an unneces- less important than sary burden on recipient countries by fostering financial what is done with it. uncertainty and by compromising the government’s capacity Southampton for forward-planning. This was seen to be a crucial point, given that one prominently cited reason for past failures of development projects has been the unpredictability of aid Aid needs to be more effective; channelling flows. more aid is not the It was advised, therefore, that no new mechanisms be complete solution. established for tying the allocation of ODA to conditions – Aberystwyth particularly since the MDGs themselves provide a structure for guiding and appraising the disbursement of funds earmarked for development purposes. To consolidate the principle of mutual responsibility for international develop- ment, a recommendation was put forward to enhance ‘downward accountability’ – that is, the responsibility of donor countries to deliver on ODA pledges and to maximise the ‘space’ available to developing country governments to manage development. In this context, contributors welcomed the Secretary- General’s endorsement of the Paris High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness and ILF’s related proposal for donor countries to align mechanisms for aid delivery with the MDG-based PRSPs of recipient countries. This was seen by contributors as an important step towards harmonising donor behaviour, the fragmentation of which in the past has swelled the transaction costs of aid for developing countries. Structural constraints in recipient countries to aid effective- ness: The Secretary-General acknowledges the existence of ‘capacity constraints’ to aid effectiveness; nevertheless, the 26