15 May 2007

Over the past six decades, international organizations have become significant but under-analyzed actors on the global scene. Particularly during the past dozen years, however, they have struggled as never before.

IO Watch provides an ongoing archive to assess the rule-of-law, performance, and management accountability problems of the most-widely known international organization, the United Nations. It also encourages related legal research and initiatives.

IO Watch seeks to help make the UN, the UN System, and other international organizations more accountable and subject to -- rather than exempt from -- international law.

Our attention was drawn to a web site, iowatch.org by a former insider, who served as a senior U.N. management analyst for more than 20 years before being punished as a failed whistle-blower in 1996 and spending his last three years before retirement "on the payroll but not on the job."

He explained that "The idea for the site originated in a very informal network of U.N. management people during the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, who indeed were very concerned with achieving a more effective U.N., especially in light of mounting U.N. operational and performance problems, and managerial non-accountability.

"Sections of the IO Watch archive which include a particular concentration of still-valid staff critiques and suggestions for improvement, including those of a lot of top-level officials, and going all the way back to the 1950s, include:

  • Six-decade overview
  • General performance assessments
  • Where is the Rule of Law?
  • Staff Rights
  • Inept "Administration of justice" system
  • Behind the Scenes
  • OHR (Mis-)management
  • Answers: A Starting Point

"I believe this material, if you would be so kind as to reference the IO Watch site, might rekindle memories and stimulate new commentary from former U.N. staff. Many of them may have put behind them the travails of their careers as unpleasant memories, but could be now reawakened and impelled to comment on their former passions for a better U.N. and how to achieve it. I myself have enjoyed UNforum for its excellent insights and commentary over the past several years, and cite it and excerpt quotes from it regularly. Like the other (for now increasing number of newer) websites actively assessing U.N. performance, I hope you can keep up the good work. The U.N. certainly needs strong stimulus and reform action, not words, more than ever."