Jan Egeland on Lessons for the UN

From the Financial Times: “[T]he tsunami showed that only the UN has the universal legitimacy, capacity and credibility to lead in a truly global humanitarian emergency. Days after initiating tsunami relief efforts, regional groups and other core group nations handed over the reins to the UN, in recognition that it alone could co-ordinate some 60 donor countries, military assets from 26 countries and hundreds of international, national and local humanitarian partners….

As we approach the 60th anniversary of the UN’s founding, we must summon the courage to listen carefully to our critics and learn from not only our well-publicised failings but also our less-heralded successes. Some of the criticisms are justified, some are not. As Kofi Annan, UN secretary-general, has affirmed, we must fundamentally ramp up our performance, upgrade and modernise our management culture and become the transparent, accountable and effective 21st century institution the world expects the UN to be.”