chapter  18
25 Pages

The UN and global development

WithStephen Browne

Development has been one of the four principal pillars of the UN since its inception in 1945, along with peace-keeping, human rights and justice, and humanitarian response. The organizations concerned are loosely grouped into a 'system' and they have certain characteristics in common, including a putative adherence to UN values. This chapter looks at the current structure of the system, its four principal functions and, within them, its mixed record as a supporter of development goals. It reviews the growing challenges facing today's UN development system (UNDS). These are both of structure and of substance. The challenges confronted by the UNDS are well amplified in a recent global perception survey of the system, which also suggests the elements of an urgently needed reform programme. The UNDS's major function of TA is distorted by donor hegemony in setting agendas and steering resources, in spite of early attempts by the UN to encourage developing countries to articulate their needs through country programming.