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Alanna O'Malley on the election of new United Nations secretary-general António Guterres

The election of a new secretary-general of the UN has reinvigorated the discussion on reform of the institution. Criticism on its functioning often focuses on the role of the secretary-general and Security Council.

On The Conversation, assistent professor dr. Alanna O’Malley of the Institute for History argues that while the UN is indeed not without its flaws and failures, such criticism oversimplifies the role and abilities of the UN. Rather, she and colleague Simon Jackson argue, we should keep in mind that the UN is a highly complex system of agencies and structures. Each of these is responsible for the design and implementation of policy in a vast number of areas, from health reform to climate change. We would be mistaken to underestimate the good the UN does and still can do.

You can read the full article on The Conversation.

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