You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Rudd's commission warns UN fate at stake

AAP logoAAP 21/09/2016 Jennifer Rajca

The fate of the United Nations is at stake and business as usual will not suffice at a time of unprecedented global change.

That's the view of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism, which is chaired by former prime minister Kevin Rudd - whose hopes of running the show were recently dashed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Rudd, who is in New York at the same time as Mr Turnbull, will help share his commission's vision for the UN at the launch of its final report Pulling Together: The Multilateral System and its Future, on the sidelines of the general assembly.

At a time of unprecedented change, the commission says the UN is under stress.

"Seventy years after its founding, the UN is regarded by some as old: shopworn, in some cases threadbare, marginalised and increasingly irrelevant," it says in the report released on Wednesday (local time).

But despite this, even its harshest critics would have to admit without the UN the world would be a more dangerous place.

The rise of Islamic State, the global migration crisis and the spread of Ebola show the need for an international system to provide quick responses.

"Either the UN adapts, or it dies the death of a thousand cuts," the report says.

"Those of us who care about the UN's future want to prevent this from happening."

Calling for a sense of urgency, the commission notes anyone watching the news would see the world is in trouble.

"There is concern that crises are outpacing the ability of leaders and institutions to respond," it warns.

"The fate of the UN is at stake, even worse, global order is in jeopardy."

The commission, formed in 2014 to investigate whether the UN is still fit-for-purpose, proposes 10 priority recommendations for the incoming secretary-general to replace Ban Ki-moon.

They include appointing an under-secretary-general to lead and coordinate the UN's global counter-terrorism strategy and work on preventing violent extremism.

There should be a redoubling of efforts to improve the gender makeup of UN staff - at the headquarters and in the field - and a new "Agenda for Peace".

Next year is the 25th anniversary of the original agenda and another single document should be produced laying out a vision and plan to provide leadership to cope with the challenges of change and to work towards peace, it says.

Mr Rudd released his own 65-page chair's report in August, claiming to be just "an ordinary, global citizen".

In it he called for a San Francisco conference in 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the UN.

In July, Mr Turnbull refused to nominate the former prime minister and foreign minister as the next UN boss.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon