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Sample Paper on Effects of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights

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Sample Paper on Effects of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights

Executive Summary

This report serves to highlight the effects of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the role played by the UN in upholding these rights. The paper takes us through various functions of the UN including advocacy, the impact of increased membership, a financial analysis of the UN and the functionality of their accounts management system. The report also highlights the UN’s strategy for peace-building, the tag between worldwide engagement and target, and assessing the success of this body. In addition to this, the report highlights the aspect of multiculturalism, cultural diversity in the workplace, and the future role of the UN in globalization. The report ends with commendations given to improve the total performance of the UN body and its agencies such as the UNHCR.  The report majorly highlights the performance of UN and its agencies like the UNHCR and how itis affected internally more than externally. To be able to realize goals and objectives in advocacy, the UN requires specific policies to function. These systems determine the nature of their operations and how the organization is run. A weak policy system affects other areas such as accounting, administration, and management. The main problems arising from a weak structure system at this body include lack of an efficient accounting system, irregular contribution patterns from the member states, increased bureaucracy, poor strategic planning, and the inability to manage a diverse workforce among others. The report offers several recommendations to deal with these challenges.  First, the UN can adopt a more efficient accounting system that ensures prompt feedback and input of quality information, to generate accurate reports used in making crucial decisions. They should also revise their policies regarding membership and contributions, and adopt a strategic plan that will regularly be reviewed to keep their progress in check. 

 

Effects of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights

The Role of UN in human rights advocacy

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights is among the top humanitarian agencies that are tasked with the protection of human rights under the Human Rights Declaration. Even though the respective states are conventionally meant to perform this task, the obligation has been shifted to these organizations. Right from its establishment in 1950, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights has grown to be among the most vocal groups in the fighting for the human rights respect, as part of the United Nations agencies.

The UN plays a significant role in the fight to advocate for the human rights respect. Their success is attributed to their principles upon which the organization was founded on; that guarantee a just system of distributing resources among the affected people. The laws also protect the human rights of the victims receiving the service (Riera & Poirier, 2014). The UN avoids creating a partnership with other organizations to avoid paving the way for the violation of these rights through incitement, exclusion, or preferential discrimination.  It is also responsible for ensuring that the human rights are upheld and protected consistently in the case of working with faith-based or humanitarian groups. However, their active involvement in defending human rights becomes challenged when faced with emergencies. For example, when working with other groups, they may opt to take a charity-based as opposed to a human-rights based action plan. It creates a dilemma for the two because the charity-based group excludes the victim whereas UN’s primary focus is on the victim.

            Another barrier that presents itself in the role of the UN in human rights respect is that the agency may provide healthy and practical resolutions, but they may fail to work due to the working systems of humanitarian groups (Gooda, 2012). Where two teams have set to help to needy victims, they may fail to do so effectively because they have to work in line with their policies (Gooda, 2012). Despite these challenges the U N has been aggressive in continuing to advance the protection of people’s rights by placing sanctions and restrictions on hostile nations (Heupel, 2011).. Initially, the sanctions had little to no effect, but the UN has stepped up in ensuring that they apply selective measures to protect the right to live and gain access to food and health.

The impact of increased membership in the UN body

The UN has experienced significant growth over the years. This increase has, in turn, led to the dilution of power within the body in comparison to the earlier period. Increased membership has also resulted in the weakening of the General Assembly and the strengthening of the five member states of the Security Council. The UNHCR is among the UN agencies that have felt the impact of increased membership especially on the treatment and highlights of agreements about human rights. Other states have been influenced to approve the contracts and maintain their loyalties. In a case where a decision needs to be made, no member state on its own is powerful enough to influence the decision making process.

On a positive note, increased membership has led to an increased collaborative effort in achieving the UN’s goals. The member states work together and develop best practices for their shared values (Gilbert &Beham, 2012). Increased membership also means increased effort in dealing with issues affecting people in different ways. While one group deals with the human rights, another one deals with the problem of poverty, and others deal with health or starvation and so on. The increased collaboration has led to improved co-operation.

 

 

Analysis of the economics of the UN

The UN requires a vast amount of resources, especially in monetary form to carry out its objectives. The member states agreed to make regular contributions to managing the body’s financial requirements. The UN’s funding became a political dispute right from its launch, fuelled by the issue of a fair burden sharing while retaining an equal share of power, and preserving the agency’s interests, remaining a challenge to the body till date.

Their financial system is based on both the compulsory and voluntary donations of the member states. After contribution, the money is assessed and channelled to the organization’s budget to fund their peacekeeping missions. A small percentage of the money is channelled to their International Tribunals and Capital Master Plan (Weisser, 2009). The voluntary donations are used to fund other UN programs. The UN’s agencies gain subsidy from the charitable and mandatory contributions. Usually, these endowments do not have set guidelines or limits among the member states. However, the ability of each member state to pay forms the foundation upon which the donation is categorized as assessed. The contribution rates are calculated from each state’s gross national income. The calculation is done for between three to six years. The contribution rate is also determined by a calculation of each member state’s national debt, currency oscillation, and their per capita income.  The compulsory ceiling contribution rate currently stands at 22% and the only member that has met this standard is the United States, which is also the biggest contributor(Weisser, 2009). The lowest rate presently stands at 0.001%. Other top contributors include Germany, Japan, UK, France, and Brazil among others(Weisser, 2009).

Factors affecting the UN’s Management Accounting System (MAS)

The financial data fed into any accounting system forms its underlying output system. The data also determines the implementation of finances into projects to influence the desired results. The system provides numbers that give critical feedback on efficiency, productivity, opportunity identification, and problematic areas. Getting accurate results is, therefore, crucial to any accounting system and dependent on four factors namely work quality, information timeliness, effective feedback, and the accessibility of resources (Bai and Krishna 2012).

Input quality as a factor plays a huge role in determining the accuracy and validity of results. It requires a sufficient time and attention input towards maintaining the system. Instead of using a generic template, organizations are advised to sub-divide their activities into categories that indicate their operations(Bai and Krishna 2012). This format produces better and precise results that are unique to different functions within the organization. For instance, the UN can further break down their activities into overall operations, agency operations, special UN programs, and funds. These entities are further broken down according to their specific functions. A system that lacks a clear guideline on the funding programs fails to produce the desired results.

Secondly, information timeliness refers to the promptness with which information is relayed. The system used should be timely in providing not only prompt but appropriate feedback(Bai and Krishna 2012). Therefore, this system requires frequent updating. Depending on the company, the duration may daily, weekly, or after a few hours. Setting the system for periodic updates generates the latest information, preventing misinformation or making crucial decisions based on the wrong data.  The UN body faces a similar challenge because they only review their budget every two years.

Thirdly, accessibility of resources refers to human and financial ones. Without financial or human input, no organization can achieve its objectives regardless of the accuracy and quality of information produced by the system(Bai and Krishna 2012). Also, lack of personnel hinders the achievement or execution of any company’s plan because it needs people to carry out those objectives. Likewise, a company with financial resource but lacking in personnel has no difference as compared to one with the human resource but lacking in finances. The most valuable human resource would be able leaders who make decisions and guide others in executing the set mission. The UN currently struggles with having insufficient funds to carry out its activities due to lagging in the contribution by member states. This lack greatly inconveniences their budgeting and program implementation strategies.

The final factor affecting the management system is receiving adequate feedback. It paves the way for creating high organizational standards and a culture that trains its people in working with relevant and updated data(Bai and Krishna 2012). Providing useful feedback means creating and filling logs accurately, feeding the data to the system at the right time, and ensuring that other employees have access to it. This systematic approach to generating feedback enables the UN to perform their tasks efficiently. The organization values feedback as a means of determining the failure or success of a project undertaken.  It should be noted that the four factors work together because the absence of one compromises the others. Data may be invalid if there is adequate feedback, but the information lacked in quality. Without resources, the UN will also be unable to generate relevant data required for effective feedback action. All the four aspects should be taken into careful consideration in their management accounting system.

The UN strategy and policy for peace-building framework

With an increase in violence and war, especially among third world countries, the UN took up an initiative to include maintaining order as part of their missions. It first introduced peace-building as an agenda through the Agenda for Peace program in 1992(Smith, 2014). The UN sought to encourage an overall development of settings, attitudes, and practices that promote socio-economic development in societies (Smith, 2014). This atmosphere can only be created by fostering peaceful co-existence among the warring groups. The UN attempts to create harmony in the world through various programs such as diplomatic mediation, military interventions, and creating initiatives and forming partnerships to carry them out. Their services are limited to working with other groups due to the sensitive nature of the effort. The structure for this UN initiative is made up of the Peace-building Commission, Fund, and Support Office(Smith, 2014). The primary function of this structure is to support the peace efforts in areas facing conflict and to promote a sustenance approach afterwards.

The UN has made improvements in this sector by reviewing their policies to ensure that they respond to the needs of the initiative. For instance, they have created a working dynamic between the Security Council and the UN Commission(Smith, 2014). The relationship between the UN and the General Assembly, and the UN and the ESC has also been improved.

UN priorities: global engagements versus targets

The initial purpose of the UN’s formation was to prevent war from spreading to other generations but ended up taking up more roles in the fight to uphold the human entity in health, education, and farming. This could not be done without having to engage communities at various levels. Through this, the UN body has been able to succeed in managing conflict and placing societies on the path to democracy and peace. 

However, the UN has also been implicated for setting global targets as opposed to engagements. Instead of engaging the world and spreading their mission to globally, the agency is accused of targeting specific countries(Jones & Dobbins, 2016). Some further claim that the UN uses forceful entry and large troops in areas that do not require any. Targeting specific countries portray the organization as biased, weak, and with ulterior motives(Jones & Dobbins, 2016). It can be interpreted as the UN using their power wrongfully as an excuse to frustrate some nations while leaving out those that require the assistance. This reputation sheds a bad light on the organization making it lose its credibility and question their primary intentions. It may lead to hostility among some nations that may refuse to accept their assistance knowing that there may be the ill intent. 

The other issue that arises from prioritization is the problem of competition, which is a healthy way to promote excellent customer service. It may be difficult to envision the need for competition when it comes to the provision of humanitarian aid, but, in this case, the issue of competition arises from the funding states provide to humanitarian organizations. The UN body has currently dominated the industry because it is the only institution that serves the entire world. Due to this, the organization is likely to become biased in the provision of service, as it has been regularly accused of being biased in its service.

Assessing success at the UN

The success of any organization is measured by its achievements of goals and objectives, and how effective they were in the implementation. Even though the UN has successfully brought about global change in all sectors affecting human life, they still face challenges within. The management of their workforce and its diversity poses as the greatest hurdle for UN(Inomata, 2012). As much as they uphold having a diverse labor force, the body still struggles to manage them effectively. Other than lacking in management training on diversity, the organization also struggles with not having strong laws that guide how funds are received. The staff lack competence in budgeting for resources and end up misusing them, leading to the failure of achieving goals. The UN has to be more strategic in how they plan for their funds and manage their staff to carry out their objectives. Having a strategy gives a clear direction as to what is supposed to occur, within a given time frame, and executed in a planned manner.

United Nations multiculturalism

Multiculturalism is a term used to describe coexistence among cultures. It refers to religious, cultural or racial groups in this case. Culture is tied to various assumptions and values that distinguish a particular group from another.  The United Nations brings together all factors together and establishes an even ground for all cultures (Barnett &Finnemore, 2012). The UN has a framework that ensures a level field and calls for different cultures to acknowledge the existence of other individuals in society (Barnett &Finnemore, 2012). It is also paramount for all groups to respect each other and that they can avoid conflict. Unique groups such as the gay and lesbian community should also be allowed their rights. This makes it easier for the UN to apply some basic principles. Varied cultures hence have an opportunity to present their views. Most implemented rights are accepted across cultures.

Diversity in the United Nations workplace and management strategies

Workplace diversity can be termed as the differences that exist between individuals in an organization. Organizations can overcome these differences by executing workable approaches. The UN employs different management strategies in managing diversity in different member states. One step is ensuring individuals from different member states are employed in separate offices (Rosenow-Williams &Behmer, 2015). This ensures that those individuals with different approaches to problems facing society can operate in the same workplace. This practice ensures that different solutions to handling the same issue are given (Rosenow-Williams &Behmer, 2015). A refugee situation in a particular country may require individuals from that particular country. Such individuals would have sufficient information on how best the situation should be dealt with. Different individuals also provide various forms of expertise that are on different levels.

United Nations globalization and its role into the future

International Organizations have expanded their scope in exploring different management ideas. Today every organization prefers an active gathering of qualities which is a positive attribute. There is a great need to manage individuals from various social settings professionally. The UN is a major body that has played a significant role in ensuring this compared to other institutions. The primary purpose of the organization is to translate its inscribed duties into reality for the greater good of the world. Key in ensuring this is making sure that all its aspects are spread out to different parts of the continent. The commission’s pivotal role is ensuring the integration of refugees into society and observing their human rights just like those of fellow citizens. This calls for different key players to come together to ensure these rights are respected, and equal treatment is given. According to Swearingen (2009), the project is productive in endless ways despite the fact that it can be enhanced to serve refugees better. This is by building businesses and salaries for all displaced individuals by taking care of gender and workplace issues. It is the role of the United Nations to implement recommendations on how to improve organizational culture to meet its mandate to society.

The UN is one of the major global bodies charged with the duty of ensuring equality among members of society. The organizational culture is drawn to achieve the stated goals. It has set different measures that facilitate this process even though it still faces a couple of challenges. UNHCR plays a critical role in making sure that all refugees are respected. This sets aside their gender, age or ethnic background. The UN applies multiculturalism in tackling some of the problems mentioned. 

Recommendations

It is evident that the world attributes a significant percentage of its peace, sustenance, and maintenance of human rights to the United Nations. This body has almost single-handedly taken upon itself the burden of ensuring a working global system, especially in matters that affect human life and rights. Due to this, it is expected of the UN to face several challenges as they set to make the world a better place. First of all, they struggle financially for various reasons. They lack an accounting system that is timely and gives practical feedback. For instance, the UN budget gets reviewed after two years. They also face a challenge in receiving contributions from its member states. The UN budget works on the assumption that countries will have contributed by the end of the financial year. This poses a challenge because they may plan for non-existent funds. For them to overcome their financial issues, they need to put in policies that enforce contribution. After this, the budget review period should be shortened because it gives them room to make more frequent reviews of their expenditure. This, in turn, makes their accounting system work efficiently and keeps the body in check to ensure the objectives are met in time. The members may also get accurate feedback on expenses and make crucial decisions about future actions. They should also direct more resources towards employing competent people to manage their systems.

Secondly, the UN struggles to work with other people, groups, or organizations due to conflict of ideas and set standards for their operations. While some focus on a charity-based approach, the UN focuses on using a humanitarian approach. The best way to deal with this is to find a common working ground between the two groups. The primary purpose of the involvement of both groups is to alleviate a situation. Making the situation better should be the top priority instead of focusing in bureaucracies. Where one group refuses to help, the UN should step in and offer assistance regardless, just as their policy dictates. They should also be willing to include other people because the larger picture and aim of both groups is to make the society better.

Another bureaucratic issue affecting the UN is the power struggle between the member states. The conflict is fuelled by the contribution factor, whereby the largest contributor feels more entitled to influencing the whole group. To avoid this, the UN body should distribute power equally between all member states. In that, no country has a larger stake than the other or feels smaller than another. Their objectives should clearly highlight that their work is mostly humanitarian and not political. Making all states equal shifts attention from politics to the humanitarian agenda.

Another challenge facing the UN is that most countries have left the humanitarian work to the United Nations body. Most states only partially involve themselves as they view the humanitarian issue as a UN function and responsibility. Their job would be made much easier if countries fully participated and supported their initiatives through the provision of both human and financial resources. The co-operation between countries and the UN will ease this body’s work and help to achieve their objectives faster. Powerful countries like the United States should be urged to take the initiative in setting an example, and influence others to do the same.

The UN body also struggles with the challenge of managing a diverse workforce. The differences in ethnicity, backgrounds, and culture of staff, having that the UN has employed thousands of them, makes it difficult to understand, let alone manage them. One of the approaches to solving this challenge is by ensuring that the administrators and leaders are well trained on how to manage a diverse population. Secondly, the UN can also separate people according to these differences and work with them on that basis. For example, instead of having everyone in a central office point, the people can be employed in their local regions whereby they will be used as the links between the UN and the particular community. Using this strategy keeps people from diverse cultures within a familiar setting. It will also improve the relations between the unknown UN people and locals as they feel comfortable relating to one of their own. For example,when military troops are sent for UN missions in remote areas. The people from different states can also be posted in various offices to prevent unnecessary conflict or tension at the workplace.

Another matter of concern that the UN struggles with is having a bad reputation due to some of its actions. On the issue of global engagement versus target, the UN has been accused of being biased in their projects. The image painted gives this body a bad reputation, and they need to make an explanation. The policy makers or people in charge should engage other countries more to present a non-biased front. They should also work towards clearing this negative image because they may eventually run into other problems such as internal and external hostility. By being biased, the UN loses its relevance of fighting for the rights of any human regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, culture, or location.

Finally, the UN should work more on their strategic planning. An agency like the UNHCR struggles with its administrative system. Strategic planning is useful in giving direction to an organization’s objectives. It sets a timeframe, allocates the required resources, and outlines the actions that will be undertaken to achieve the desired goals. To make it more efficient, the strategic plan should also be regularly reviewed and refurbished to ensure that the organization keeps track of its progress. By application of strategic planning in the running of their organization, the UN will be able actively to involve all its agencies, programs, and finances and drive them towards fulfilling their goals, and improving their overall performance.

 

References

Bai, G., & Krishnan, R. (2012).Role of management accounting systems in the development and efficacy of transactive memory systems. Journal of Management Accounting Research, 24, 201-220. 

Barnett, M., &Finnemore, M. (2012).International Organizations.Political Science, 4611(101/5611), 101.

Gilbert, D., U. &Behnam, M. (2012). Trust and the United Nations Global Compact: A network theory perspective. Business & Society, 52(1), 135-169

Gooda, M. (2012).The practical power of human rights: how international human rights standards can inform archival and record keeping practices. Arch Sci, 12, 141-150

Heupel, M. (2011). With power comes responsibility: Human rights protection in the United Nations sanctions policy. European Journal of International Relations, 19(4), 773-796

Inomata, T. (2012).Strategic Planning in the United Nations System. Geneva: UN

Jones, S., G. & Dobbins, J. (2016).The UN’s Record in National Building.Chicago Journal of International Law, 6(2), 703-723

Riera, J. & Poirier, M. (2014). ‘Welcoming the stranger’ and UNHCR’s cooperation with faith-based organizations. Forced Migration Review, 48, 64-67

Weisser, E. (2009).Financing the United Nations. New York: Friedrich Ebert Foundation

Rosenow-Williams, K., &Behmer, K. (2015).A Gendered Human Security Perspective on Humanitarian Action in IDP and Refugee Protection.Refugee Survey Quarterly, 34(3), 123.

Swearingen, M. (2009). Does the U.S. refugee resettlement program work? The economic outcomes of programs participants. A Thesis Presented to Georgetown University.

 

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