Author: Joachim Muller,Sauvant
Category: Political Science
Since the publication of its first edition in 1950, the Annual Review of United Nations Affairs has stood as the authoritative resource for scholars, students, and practitioners researching the latest developments of that august body. From the insightful introduction, prepared each year by a distinguished expert on UN affairs, to the full-text presentation of reports and resolutions and the helpful subject index, ARUNA provides a practical tour of each year's U.N. actions and debates. Theexpert selection of documents by Joachim Muller and Karl Sauvant and the topic-based organization of those documents make any researcher's task much easier than the vast searching, sorting, and pruning required by the U.N.'s website. The series' topic-based organization of the materials and subject index lend invaluable guidance to all researchers. ARUNA presents a comprehensive documentation of the work of the UN on an annual basis, starting in September of each year with the beginning of the regular sessions of the General Assembly. Coverage of the UN's key organs is provided, including the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat. In addition, selected reports of intergovernmental bodies and expert groups are included. Solely official UN documentation is used. ARUNA occupies a special place in the publications on the work of the UN - it allows readers to obtain an overview ofthe principal developments in its key organs. This makes it an important reference source for policy-makers and academic researchers. The highlight of this year's edition is the introductory essay written by the highly esteemed Jose Antonio Ocampo, who is Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs, Director of the Program in Economic and Political Development at the School of International and Public Affairs, and Fellow of the Committee on Global Thought, ColumbiaUniversity. Professor Ocampo previously held the positions of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Economic and Social Affairs, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Minister of Finance of Colombia. In 2009, he was a member of the Commission of Experts of the President of the United Nations General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System. Professor Ocampo is also the author of numerousbooks and articles on macroeconomics policy and theory, economic development, international trade, and economic history. His recent publications include Stability with Growth: Macroeconomics, Liberalization and Development, with Joseph E. Stiglitz, Shari Spiegel, Ricardo Ffrench-Davis and Deepak Nayyar (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006). Professor Ocampo, relying on his expertise as a policy economist and his own considerable experience working on economic issues at the United Nations, has written an incisive introductory essay focusing on the United Nations and the global economic crisis. Professor Ocampo's essay examines the history of the economic policy recommendations of UN institutions and concludes that they have often been more far-sighted and accurate than those of the Bretton Woods Institutions, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He applies this analysis in particular to the recent global financial crisis, and shows how the Monterrey Consensus of 2002, which once again made the UN a forum for global economic issues, gave serious consideration to the concerns of developing countries and set many goals that might have helped to stave off the global financial crisis if they had been more actively pursued. Professor Ocampo also examines the UN's role in the wake of the global financial meltdown, particularly with regard to the Doha follow-up Conference and the Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, convened by the General Assembly and led by Joseph Stiglitz. In spite of some resistance to these initiatives from the United States and other developed countries, Professor Ocampo advocates in this essay for a more influential role for the UN's institutions in global financial reform, especially in light of their superior track record in anticipating economic problems resulting from "the inherent tendency of financial markets to experience boom-bust cycles." The 2008-2009 volumes of ARUNA therefore also devote considerable attention to the financial crisis as well as other international crises. Among the documents in the 2008-2009 volumes are the complete General Assembly resolutions, as well as the Report and Resolutions of the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Annual Reports of note include reports of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Programme and UN Population Fund, the UN High Commissioner for HumanRights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugee in the Near East, and the World Food Programme. Mr. Muller and Dr. Sauvant have also selected progress reports on key peacekeeping, peace-building, and political missions, including those for Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo, the Middle East, Somalia, Sudan, and West Africa. Each annual edition of ARUNA is introduced by a Guest Author, a distinguished expert on UN affairs, who highlights the outstanding themes of the year in review. Together with an overview provided by the editors, this introduction is intended to facilitate access to the material and, above all, to make it easer for users of ARUNA to "see the forest for the trees". As has been mentioned above, ARUNA is fortunate this year to have Jose Antonio Ocampo as the author of its introduction, but the roster of distinguished experts who have contributed this introduction in the past is also worthy of mention: Jeffrey D. Sachs: ARUNA 2007/2008 edition Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs is Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the UN on the Millennium Development Goals. Professor Sachs's introduction to ARUNA 2007/2008 was titled "Towards a New Global Protocol on Climate Change", in which he argued that solving the climate change problem will demand four steps: scientific consensus, public awareness, the development of alternative technologies, and a global framework for action. He dealt, in particular, with the science underpinning the negotiations for a new global protocol on climate change, as a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. Professor Sachs argued that climate change crises can only be solved through the goals, leadership, and treaty mechanisms of the UN. Edward C. Luck: ARUNA 2006/2007 edition Professor Edward C. Luck is UN Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect and Vice President and Director of Studies at the International Peace Academy. From 1984 to 1994, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the UN Association of the USA (UNA-USA). Professor Luck's introduction to ARUNA 2006/2007 covered "The responsible sovereign and the responsibility to protect", in which he addressed the scope and content of what was agreed at the 2005 World Summit, the implications of the responsibility to protect (RtoP) for notions of state sovereignty, and some of the conceptual, architectural, and policy challenges then facing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's commitment to "operationalizing" the responsibility to protect and translating it "from words to deeds". Louise Frechette: ARUNA 2005/2006 edition Ms Louise Frechette is Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo, Ontario. Until March 2006, she was the first Deputy Secretary-General of the UN; before that, she was Permanent Representative of Canada to the UN. Ms Frechette's introduction to ARUNA 2005/2006 covered "United Nations reform: an unfinished story". As the first Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Ms Frechette was uniquely positioned to undertake a personal assessment of what has changed and what has not changed in the past decade at the UN and why. She examined if the UN is functioning better than it was 15 years ago, why reform is so difficult to achieve and what the future holds for the institutions. Rubens Ricupero: ARUNA 2004/2005 edition Mr Rubens Ricupero is Dean of the Fundacno Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP), Sao Paulo and was formerly Secretary-General of UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Minister of Finance of Brazil. Mr Ricupero's introduction to ARUNA 2004/2005 covered "The difficulty of building consensus in an age of extremes" and examined the mysteries of the negotiating process leading to the outcome of the 2005 World Summit. Rather than a "Grand Bargain" of a comprehensive UN reformin the areas of development, security and human rights, it is argued that the Summit ended more on a note of lamentation and regret over a missed opportunity. Mr Ricupero concludes that contrary to the daring proclamation at the outset by the Secretary-General, the conditions indispensable to succeed were not in place. Indeed, it was hard to imagine that an ambitious and balanced reform package for the UN could have had any real chance of succeeding.