Regional Seminar Examines UN’s Changing Role in Global Governance

8 August 2011: A seminar organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) examined the role of the UN in global governance and heard several calls for the organization to reform to meet the economic and political challenges of the 21st century. The one-day seminar held in Santiago, Chile, on 8 August 2011, discussed the theme "The United Nations in Global Governance."

Opening the seminar, Chile's Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno noted that most collective and multilateral responses to the current economic crisis have come from new networks of countries, such as the Group of 20 (G20), rather than the UN system. He suggested that the relationship between the UN system and non-UN networks be examined and their complementarities considered.

Joseph Deiss, President of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), noted increasing fragmentation and complexity in global governance, and said the UN, as well as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization (WTO), are criticized as not being efficient and representative enough. Stressing that the UN has an essential role to play due to its universality, he called for reform of the main UN bodies, such as the Security Council and Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), so that the UN can fulfill its role in global governance.

Alicia Barcena, ECLAC Executive Secretary, also called for UN reform. She particularly called for reforming ECOSOC so that it could act as a forum that brings together key economic actors, such as the World Bank, IMF and WTO, to discuss current economic challenges. She also stressed the role of regional and subregional institutions in contributing to global governance, and the need to strengthen regional integration processes. [ECLAC Press Release] [Seminar Program]