JFK asked the man cleaning the NASA steps why he was there. ‘Putting a man on the moon’. Why is the UN there, and can the security guard at the mission in Kinshasa explain it?
Hi, this is Tom Fletcher. Please let us have your thoughts and reactions to the report, and to these questions. This is an experiment in crowdsourcing ideas and inspiration! Thanks, Tom
It’s interesting that the tell-tale signs of an effectively organised agency would have been apparent even over 50 years ago. If an organisation cannot successfully disseminate messaging and engage with its own employees, what hope does it have in bringing its goals and missions into reality? When JFK announced that “We choose to go to the Moon, not because it is easy, but because it is hard”; countless men and women worked together to make this herculean ambition come true in less than 7 years. Success required not just money and manpower, but collaboration — ensuring that everyone worked together with a common purpose. What wonderful things could the UN accomplish if it more fully embraced initiatives to include, share, and communicate better?
We notice that even though the UN Charter and the purposes of the UN did not change over time its activities did. Let’s take the UN peace keeping as an example. “peace keeping” isn’t mentioned in the UN Charter (the closest it comes is in paragraph one of Article 1 of the UN Charter about the purposes of the UN; To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace,…) Originally UN peacekeeping was created to deal with inter-state conflict, it is increasing applied to conflicts within the state itself. After the UN’s failure to prevent genocide in Rwanda and Srebrenica, a panel was formed to assess the shortcomings of the existing Peace Operations (Brahimi Report) which led that UN in 2000 adopted several of its recommendations. The peace operations got a face-lift to tackle the challenges of the 21st century with for example the UN typically authorising UN peacekeeping operations under Chapter VII with an extended focus to use “all means necessary” to protect civilians. In the same line of thought, former Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon established a panel in 2014 to make a comprehensive assessment of the UN peace operations and the needs for the future. The Panel chaired by Mr Jose Ramos-Horta represented its recommendations in 2015 to the UN. So maybe, a similar panel of experts specific on how technology can help the UN, would be a good follow-up on the report. Even more, the report could be a helpful tool to guide the discussions.