Strengthening the international legal order requires an effective UN

Speaking on Friday to the United Nations General Assembly, foreign minister Uri Rosenthal expressed the Netherlands’ concern about ‘the widening gap between the increasing expectations we have of the United Nations and the UN’s capacity to deliver. 'People expect a lot of the United Nations, but when push comes to shove they don’t deliver.’ 

The Minister pointed to the Security Council’s failure to act on the crisis in Syria. ‘The Security Council should act decisively when international peace and security is at stake, but it has been unable to reach a consensus. The Syrian people are paying too high a price for that failure,’ he said.

‘The UN is indispensable for global peace, freedom and prosperity,’ the Minister added. He believes that we need a more efficient, effective and coherent UN, in which all the constituent organisations act as one. He also urged that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s reform proposals be implemented without delay.

Mr Rosenthal agreed with those calling for a greater reflection of new global political and economic realities in the composition of the UN Security Council. ‘The Security Council needs to increase its legitimacy by reflecting the world of today. Not the world of yesterday. This means that emerging powers should have more influence.’ The Minister added that, ‘This changed balance of power should also be reflected in the relative contributions that member states have to make to the UN budget.’