Press Release

Madeleine Albright, Ibrahim Gambari Urge UN Reform

in Program

For Immediate Release
September 28, 2015
Contact: Jim Baird ([email protected]; (+1(202) 478-3413); Erwin Tuil ([email protected]; (+31(0) 6 13-600-717)
As the U.N. General Assembly convenes for its 70th session, a major independent commission of leading global statespersons has found that the U.N. and global governance institutions are ill-suited to address many modern, evolving threats and must reform or risk prolonging and deepening global crises. The Co-Chairs of the Commission on Global Security Justice & Governance – former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari – called for pragmatic U.N. reforms today at an event with more than 400 participants hosted by Columbia University.
“The Commission’s report represents the beginning of a process, not the end,” said Commission Co-Chair Madeleine Albright. “It serves as a roadmap to overhaul and strengthen global governance before the 75th anniversary of the United Nations in 2020.”
The Commission issued its landmark report Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance in June to address challenges posed by conflict–affected states, climate change, and the hyper-connected global economy. The report reflects the global perspective of commissioners who have served in leading government and non-governmental posts in Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lebanon, Netherlands, Nigeria, Tanzania, the United Nations, and the United States.
“To better support countries affected by violent conflict, international partners must focus on building just institutions and creating economic and social empowerment opportunities, not only peacekeeping,” said Commission Co-Chair Ibrahim Gambari. “The Commission hopes to change mentalities toward greater investments too in both prevention and peacebuilding after conflict.”

Commission Members include:
Madeleine Albright — Former U.S. Secretary of State; Haifa Al Kaylani — Founding Chair of The Arab International Women’s Forum; Celso Amorim — Former Minister of Defense and Minister of Foreign Relations of Brazil; Lloyd Axworthy — Former Foreign Minister of Canada; Ibrahim Gambari — Former Nigerian Foreign Minister and U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs; Yoriko Kawaguchi — Former Foreign and Environment Minister of Japan; Jane Holl Lute — Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security and U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Field Support; Asha-Rose Migiro — Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of Tanzania and former U.N. Deputy Secretary-General; José Antonio Ocampo — Former Finance Minister of Colombia and U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs; Shyam Saran — Former Foreign Secretary and Chief Climate Change Negotiator of India; Michael Schaefer — Chairman of the BMW Foundation and former Ambassador of Germany to China; Jozias van Aartsen — Mayor of The Hague and former Foreign Minister of The Netherlands; Erna Witoelar — Founder of the Indonesian Environmental Forum and former Minister of Human Settlements and Regional Development; Wu Jianmin — Former Ambassador of China to the United Nations and France.

Commission recommendations include:

  • Create next-generation U.N. conflict mediation and peace operations capacity: build responsive capacity to provide experienced mediators, including a greater proportion of women, for crisis and conflict prevention and peacebuilding; build capacity to deploy civilian, police, and military personnel to meet urgent peacekeeping requirements; build a new cadre of experienced personnel to serve as Heads of Mission and members of mission senior management teams; beyond transitional justice, invest in transformational justice; and coordinate activities closely with regional actors and local civil society, with particular attention to inclusion of women in peace processes.
  • Strengthen the Responsibility to Prevent, Protect, and Rebuild: invest in early-warning capabilities and Responsibility to Protect (R2P) action plans for an approach to atrocities prevention that involves all U.N. agencies and programs; embed U.N. mission monitors in all forces participating in R2P implementation; and set concrete, achievable goals for all international actors seeking to prevent, react to, and rebuild after mass atrocities.
  • Innovate climate governance: facilitate new kinds of engagement between the UNFCCC and other international regimes, subnational authorities, and civil society and business groups; establish an International Carbon Monitoring Entity, a Global Climate Action Clearinghouse, and a Climate Engineering Advisory Board to review all experiments involving atmospheric modification; and define a global goal for climate adaption comparable to the 2 degrees Centigrade atmospheric warming target set for climate change mitigation.
  • Develop a green technology licensing facility within the Green Climate Fund: harness private-sector innovation for climate mitigation and adaptation, especially in support of vulnerable populations in developing countries.
  • Establish a G20+ within a new framework for global economic cooperation to avert financial shocks and deliver on the Post-2015 Development Agenda: enhance G20-U.N.-Bretton Woods institutional coordination to prevent the spread of cross-border financial shocks, promote inclusive economic reform, and foster the equitable growth necessary for achieving the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Develop a global network of cybercrime centers and increase Internet access in the Global South through enhanced capacity-building: bolster the global response to cyber attacks through INTERPOL and national Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), and increase Internet access and cybersecurity in the Global South through multiple initiatives, including the International Telecommunications Union’s Connect 2020 Agenda and the promotion of cyber hygiene.
  • Establish the U.N. Global Partnership: give a greater voice to underrepresented policy issues, such as women’s rights, migration, and training a modern workforce, through new social compacts and a new hub and online platform whereby the entire UN system can tap into the expertise of civil society and the business community.
  • Expand U.N. Security Council membership and nontraditional engagement: create more opportunities for countries, regional organizations, local authorities, and non-state actors to contribute to peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding, while increasing the Council’s representative legitimacy and restraint in the use of the veto.
  • Establish a U.N. Peacebuilding Council: transform the Peacebuilding Commission into a Council—similar to the Human Rights Commission’s transformation in 2005—with new coordination authorities, new financial and knowledge resources, and a new focus on prevention, including through “peacebuilding audits.”
  • Strengthen and more fully use the International Court of Justice: expand acceptance of the World Court’s jurisdiction and make us of its authoritative advisory opinions in innovative ways.

The Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance is a project of The Hague Institute and the Stimson Center. More information on the Commission and its new report can be found at:


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