|CALLING FORMER INSIDERS: CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEBATE
15 April 2007
A new Secretary General has expressed his determination to retrieve the role and stature of the U.N. He
certainly has his own views from observing the U.N. from the outside. Naturally, he is receiving suggestions from
varied quarters; some sound and sensible; some with vested interest and some clueless. His closet adviser arrogantly
and ignorantly talks with disdain about "U.N. working culture" which needs to be changed.
This crucial period of "remaking the U.N." needs experienced international advice, not haphazard local ones. It is
not just an opportunity but the duty of those with a proven U.N. record to express themselves. We receive lots of
feedback from former colleagues through emails and phone calls but mostly keep it unanimous. While we hold the
confidentiality of our sources, we would urge everyone to openly comment. Make proposals. Give a perspective. Express
your experience of what would work and what didn't and why. For example, is structural reform enough? Which vulnerable
areas could be strengthened? Where are the points to be strengthened?
Talk publicly to the generation that succeeded you. Let them learn from your experience. Most of them will feel
grateful. And, believe me, you'll feel much better.
Starting with the next May issue of www.unforum.com we will be devoting a special place for contributions
by former insiders, pioneered by one of those who left a lasting impact in their international work.
Let us know.