In this video Dr. Danilo Türk joins UNU Rector David M. Malone to discuss the past and the future of the United Nations in three main areas: human rights, security and development.
Dr. Türk recounts key phases of global human rights from the 1970s until today, noting the role of human rights in inspiring major political transformations, the UN’s leading role in shaping human rights governance throughout the 1990s and 2000s, and the current need for strategic management of human rights bodies that can “capture the imaginations of people and lead further transformations”.
On development Dr. Türk stresses the need to get rid of a world disaster ideology and realize that the global development situation has improved overall. He emphasizes that the UN has made two key contributions to development: 1) financing, which remains a vital force in promoting development; and 2) conceptualization of what development means, including major progress on data collection and indicators (e.g., the Millennium Development Goals) that move beyond Gross Domestic Product to more accurately inform development policy.
Considering the UN’s role in peace and security, Dr. Türk highlights how the concept of collective security has expanded beyond the UN and the UN Security Council to require “sophisticated cooperation” with global players, big and small. Although in many situations the UN is seen as an only hope for bringing together major parties into a peacemaking process, the way forward is a synergy between the UN and a variety of regional and sub-regional actors.