WFUNA ACRONYM Webinar

ACRONYM features thought-provoking articles and dialogues, written by experts from various parts of the UN community. The first issue presents the article, "Can We Launch the United Nations?" by Prof. Thomas Weiss.

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  1. 18 April - New York 
    Prof. Thomas Weiss, Presidential Professor of Political Science and Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, launched the inaugural issue of ACRONYM in a live webinar in WFUNA's New York location. 

    WFUNA live tweeted the webinar (link to rewatch can be found on this page)

  2. Before elaborating on the four problems, Prof. Weiss explained different ideas of reform in the long history of the UN, and suggested that what has occurred is "far too little, far too late." 
  3. First problem: What has happened in the past - major conflagrations. Last economic crisis in 2008. One indication that we've begun to make sense involves human rights and the responsibility to protect. Indication that sometimes states can redefine what they mean by sacrosanct state sovereignty. 
  4. "Legitimacy comes from results, not just process. I would like to see people work on issues, move towards issues, " said Prof. Weiss. 
  5. The third problem focuses on the decentralization of the system, which needs consolidation. The best example is the consolidation of disparate parts in UN Women. The UN needs to pursue centralization and consolidation, not just coordination.    
  6. Question and Answer from webinar participants

  7. Prof. Weiss suggested that the essence is to redefine the larger notion of national interests when it comes to Security Council reform.
  8. Questions on how gender issues are being handled at the UN? 
  9. Question on theatrics and diplomacy? 
    Theatrics can become a game within itself. Becomes much more important than the results. Protestors do play a role but 193 ambassadors don't get very far with theatrics. 
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