International Day of Peace: Making the United Nations fit for purpose is more important than ever

Today, Tuesday, the annual United Nations General Assembly begins. It is by far the most important meeting of the international community. 21 September is also the International Day of Peace.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres opens the 76 session of the UN General Assembly

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly (c) dpa picture alliance / ASSOCIATED PRESS | EDUARDO MUNOZ

Traditionally, the United Nations calls for non-violence and cease-fire on this day. With this holiday, the UN reminds us of its core mission: the maintenance of international peace and security. Recently, the United Nations has received much criticism for the mixed results of its work. Germany in particular should play a decisive role in making the UN more fit for purpose, argues IFSH Director Prof. Dr. Ursula Schröder:

"Strong and capable United Nations are more necessary today than ever before. For the current threats to security and peace have complex causes in which, for example, violence, poverty, climate change and the current global pandemic coalesce. The United Nations is the international organisation best suited to respond to these complex insecurities. Too often in the past, however, the United Nations has failed to meet the expectations placed in it. Germany, as one of the most important member states, should therefore advocate more actively to strengthen the United Nations. In order to create a strong UN fit for purpose, more transparency in decision-making processes, greater involvement of civil society and marginalised groups, more diversity in the appointment of top personnel, reliable funding, and the belief in and support of the principles of the United Nations by all member states, especially in the Security Council, are necessary. Germany should use its good standing within the United Nations to support such changes."