U.N. Member States Must Give U.N. Leadership ‘Space To Act Decisively’

The Guardian: The U.N. is failing — states must back off and give its leader the power to act
Helen Clark, former head of the U.N. Development Programme and former prime minister of New Zealand

“…I advocate the empowerment of the secretary general to take bold initiatives and run the organization as an effective leader and chief executive must. International organizations need leaders empowered to act. Yes, there must be systems of accountability, but when they hamper action on everything from courageous diplomacy for peace to streamlining management, as they do now, they become counterproductive. Worse, they can leave a secretary general looking weak, indecisive, and hamstrung because of fear of offending member states. So, member states must ease up, and give the secretary general and his/her managers the space to act decisively. Coupled with that, there should be only one term served by a secretary general, to avoid the over-caution that is inherent in aiming to secure a second mandate from the day the first one begins. If steps like these aren’t taken, the U.N. will continue to diminish in relevance. The world needs an effective U.N. The current limitations on its capacity to lead and act need to be addressed urgently” (9/13).