In December 2004, at the request of Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), Congress directed the United States Institute of Peace to establish a Task Force on the United Nations. The 12-member bipartisan Task Force, chaired by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, cooperated with the support of leading public policy organizations to assess reforms that would enable the UN. to better meet the goals of its 1945 charter and offer Congress an actionable agenda to strengthen the UN.

Report recommendations include:

  • Addressing urgently needed internal UN management reform by:
    • establishing a single, very senior official in charge of daily operations and filling the role of Chief Operating Officer;
    • empowering the Secretary General to replace his or her top officials;
    • creating an Independent Oversight Board that has the audit powers to prevent another scandal like Oil-for-Food.
  • Action by the U.S. government to call upon the UN and its members to "affirm a responsibility of every sovereign government to protect its own citizenry and those within its borders from genocide, mass killing, and massive and sustained human rights violations."
  • Abolition of the current UN Human Rights Commission, and establishment of a new Human Rights Council, ideally composed of democracies and dedicated to monitoring, promoting, and enforcing human rights.

The Imperative for Action: An Update (PDF, 451KB)
December 2005 | Report
This update tracks the progress of the Task Force and the ongoing issues that must be faced in reforming the United Nations.

Contents: Joint Statement of the Task Force Co-Chairs; Side-by-Side Highlights; Saving Lives, Safeguarding Human Rights, and Ending Genocide; In Need of Repair: Reforming the United Nations; Deterring Death and Destruction: Catastrophic Terrorism and the Proliferation of Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Weapons; War and Peace: Preventing and Ending Conflicts; Helping People and Nations: Development and Humanitarian Assistance. 

American Interests and U.N. Reform (PDF, 3MB)
June 2005 | Report
This first report by the Task Force calls for immediate action and attention for reforming the United Nations.

Contents: Foreword, by Newt Gingrich and George Mitchell; American Interests and the United Nations; Saving Lives, Safeguarding Human Rights, and Ending Genocide; In Need of Repair: Reforming the United Nations; Deterring Death and Destruction: Catastrophic Terrorism and the Proliferation of Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Weapons; War and Peace: Preventing and Ending Conflicts; Helping People and Nations: Development and Humanitarian Assistance.

Latest Publications

Where Is Iraq a Year After Prime Minister Kadhimi Took Office?

Where Is Iraq a Year After Prime Minister Kadhimi Took Office?

Thursday, May 6, 2021

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun; Sarhang Hamasaeed

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi came to power a year ago today after a protest movement toppled the previous government and successive attempts to establish a new one failed. Inheriting a country deep in the midst of political and economic crises, Kadhimi has spent the last year trying to put Iraq back on the path toward stability all while navigating U.S.-Iran tensions playing out on Iraqi soil. USIP’s Elie Abouaoun and Sarhang Hamasaeed look at what Kadhimi has done to attempt to placate protesters, the importance of Iraq’s October national elections and how the prime minister has dealt with U.S.-Iran tensions.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Gender Inclusive Framework and Theory (Swahili)

Gender Inclusive Framework and Theory (Swahili)

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

By: Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.; Danielle Robertson

Mwongozo wa Nadharia na Mfumo wa Kujumuisha Jinsia Zote (GIFT) ni njia rahisi na zana ya kina inayowezesha kujumuisha uchambuzi wa kijinsia katika uundaji wa mradi. Kwa sababu kazi ya kudumisha amani inategemea muktadha, GIFT inaweka mbele njia tatu za uchambuzi wa kijinsia-mtazamo wa Wanawake, Amani na Usalama; mtazamo wa Uume wenye Amani; na mtazamo wa Utambulisho Ingiliani-ambazo zote zinaangizia mabadiliko ya kijinsia katika mazingira fulani ili kutengeneza vyema miradi ya kudumisha amani.

Type: Tools for Peacebuilding

Gender

Border Clash Between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Risks Spinning Out of Control

Border Clash Between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Risks Spinning Out of Control

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

By: Gavin Helf, Ph.D.

A dispute over irrigation water triggered a clash between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan last week that quickly spread along the border, resulting in the death of more than 40 people and displacing 30,000 on the Kyrgyz side — the worst such incident in the region since the collapse of the Soviet Union. While such flare-ups, albeit less deadly, are a regular occurrence in the region, this time the situation could get out of hand as the leaders of both countries are incentivized to stoke a crisis that distracts from the domestic unrest caused by their mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Can India Escape its Devastating Second COVID Wave?

Can India Escape its Devastating Second COVID Wave?

Monday, May 3, 2021

By: Tamanna Salikuddin; Vikram J. Singh

India’s second wave of COVID has quickly turned into one of the worst outbreaks in the world. Since early March, official cases and deaths have skyrocketed, recently breaking world records on an almost daily basis. Meanwhile, Indian officials are warning the country’s health care system cannot keep up with the deluge of patients as supplies run thin, exposing India’s ailing health infrastructure. USIP’s Tamanna Salikuddin and Vikram Singh look at the origins of India’s second wave, its far-reaching consequences in the global fight against COVID and what the international community can and should do to help India weather the storm.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health

View All Publications