While the principles of the United Nations Charter remain as relevant today as in 1945, the challenges and demands facing the Organization have evolved considerably over the years. Member States' demands of the United Nations and its Secretariat, agencies, funds and programmes have grown continuously.  In many areas, the existing structures, systems and resources of the United Nations are strained, not least due to the high volume of operational activity it has taken on around the world.
Member States have recognized the need for transforming and adapting the United Nations system to today’s realities, and have defined priorities for reform in the 2000 Millennium Declaration and the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. Supported by a number of reports, commissioned and issued by the Secretary-General, these documents set out objectives for innovation in the areas of development; peace and security; human rights and governance; and the strengthening of the United Nations system. In his acceptance speech in October 2006, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asserted: “In order to meet [the] growing mandates and expectations, we have engaged in the most sweeping reform effort in the history of the Organization... we must stay the course.  We need to muster the human, institutional and intellectual resources and to organize them properly”.
A number of formal and informal follow-up processes at the United Nations have made considerable progress in advancing these objectives. Important steps have been taken in the area of system-wide coherence, and negotiations on Security Council reform have been taken to the intergovernmental level. Still, much remains to be done, including in the above-mentioned areas, to make the United Nations more responsive to the challenges of the 21st century.

Information note on 2010 United Nations Reform Course Series

Agenda Part I: Institutional Adaptation

Agenda Part II: Management Reform

Information note on 2009 seminar organization (pdf)

Seminar programme (pdf)

Useful links to find out more about UN reform (pdf)


Towards an Accountability System in the United Nations Secretariat
Ms. Neeta Tolani, Director, Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Management

UN Auditing and UN Reform
Mr. Swatantra Goolsarran Executive Secretary, UN Board of Auditors

The United Nations Regular Budget Process
Office of the UN Controller

General Assembly 64th Session Proposed programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011
Mr. Jun Yamazaki, UN Controller

ICT Strategy for the UN Secretariat
Mr. Choi Soon-hong, Assistant Secretary-General, Chief Information Technology Officer

Triennial/Quadrennial Comprehesive Policy Review (TCPR/QCPR)
Ms. Nadia Isler, Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN

International Environmental Governance
Mr. Benito Jiménez Sauma, Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN

International Environmental Law: Agreements and Their Administration
Nicholas A. Robinson, University Professor and Gilbert & Sarah Kerlin Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law

Related links:

2008 UN reform course materials