Reform of the UN

In accordance with the Government Programme, one of the main guidelines of Finland’s UN policy is the strengthening of the world organisation’s ability to act. This is also in line with the European Security Strategy of 2003, which stresses the importance of effective multilateralism and the goals of UN reforms. Finland considers the establishment of the UN Human Rights Council and the Peacebuilding Commission important accomplishments.

Finland will continue to pursue the reforms agreed upon at the World Summit of 2005. Future reform work will concentrate on consolidating the status of the UN  General Assembly and developing the structure of the Economic and Social Council.  As regards the Security Council, Finland strives not only to contribute to reform of its working methods but also to increase the number of both permanent and non- permanent members without expansion of the right of veto. As concerns management  reform of the Secretariat, the aim is to enhance efficiency and   accountability, and to increase the power of the Secretary General to act  independently.

Finland considers that the UN’s economic stability requires strict payment discipline for the Member States. Finland endeavours to ensure adequate resources  or UN mandates, in particular for activities (including reforms) prioritised by Finland  and the EU. Translating goals into action requires appropriate targeting of the  resources of the UN regular budget, the peacekeeping budget and the budget reserved for international tribunals.

Finland emphasises that coordinated UN activities support sustainable development. Efforts are made, at both Headquarters and field levels, to enhance the coherence of the UN’s operational activities. Solutions for enhanced cooperation are sought by means of a pilot country programme in four sectors, including one programme, one budget, one leader and one office (concept of  One UN at country level). The distribution of tasks and cooperation in the development sector need to be improved at the Headquarters level as well. As part of  the reform, Finland supports the idea of bringing the gender units of the UN  Secretariat and the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) under the same administration in order to improve the efficiency of their activities, including in the field. Efforts to increase coherence also have an impact on the UN specialised  agencies.

The International Environmental Governance should be developed and strengthened  as part of the UN reform. During the first phase, Finland aims to contribute to reinforcing the existing structures of UNEP, focusing on improvement and strengthening of its activities. At the next stage, Finland’s aim is to support the transformation of UNEP into the UN Environmental Organization (UNEO).

Finland emphasises more efficient globalisation management with the UN playing a central coordinating role. It is important that the UN intensifies its cooperation with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the WTO. Finland works for a multilateral international cooperation system composed of  representative, effective and influential organisations that cooperate smoothly without  unnecessary overlap. Developing the work of  the Chief Executives’ Board for  Coordination (CEB) of multilateral organisations, chaired by the UN Secretary General, is critical in this respect.

Finland advocates the development of cooperation between the UN, civil society and the private sector. Finland’s goal is that civil society and the private sector have better opportunities to participate and to present their views in UN bodies, at  summits and their monitoring mechanisms.