Reforming the UN: Faith-based Organizations
Miguel Ángel Velasco cmf
We are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. The world has changed a lot since the creation of the UN at the end of World War II. We have moved through the Cold War, through the Unilateralism that was born after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and we are entering a new plurilateral or multilateral era. The UN and all the organizations of the "UN system" such as the associations around the UN are working on proposals for the renewal of the Organization. The "OBF" ("Faith Based Organizations"), hasalso made its proposal for improvement. It is the document that we attach and that we invite you to read.
In its contribution, the OBF, recognizes the enormous work that the UN has done since its foundation and highlights two starting points that make the contribution of the "Faith Based Organizations" especially significant. In the first place, the organizations of the OBF have, for the most part, been in operation for centuries, during which they have changed their structure in an effort to be faithful to their founding principles. In a second place, the OFB organizations are in direct contact with Civil Society, spread throughout the world (global organizations) and in direct contact with the recipients of many of the resolutions taken by the UN. Taking into account these two points of departure, the express recognition of the FBOs and their presence in the deliberations and decision making of the bodies of the "UN System" is strongly requested.
The proposal document develops four sections throughout its eight pages of presentation:
1. Make the role of civil society, including FBOs, in UN processes more central and meaningful.
2. Reform the Security Council’s structure and scope of work to reflect a modern, communityfocused understanding of “security” and the UN’s championship of democracy.
3. Develop a UN body dedicated to the coordination of both the internal (i.e. UN institution-wide) and national-level reviews of implementation of UN treaties, declarations, resolutions, and compacts.
4. Scale-up technology capacity, affordability, and accessibility and revise the logistical approach to UN processes to allow remote participation to become a primary mode of operation.
The end of the "OBF" reform proposal is clear:
With seventy-five years of trial and tribulation behind us, and in the midst of a uniquely challenging present:
1. We pledge our steadfast commitment to the common good of the international community.
2. We stand ready, as first responders in times of crisis and community builders with lasting roots on the margins, to rise to the unforeseen challenges ahead alongside our partners in UN agencies, governments, and civil society.
3. We offer our grounding insights, our community-animating passion, and our unifying dedication to truth in service of human rights, in affirmation of the dignity and equal worth of every person, and in support of a sustainable relationship between humanity and the natural world.
4. We keep faith that a better UN and a better world are possible, if only we are willing to build them through collaboration across nations, faiths, cultures, and generations.
Miguel Ángel Velasco cmf