Mission & History
UN Watch is a non-governmental organization based in Geneva whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter. UN Watch was established in 1993 under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Morris B. Abram, the former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. UN Watch participates actively at the UN as an accredited NGO in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information (DPI). UN Watch is affiliated with the American Jewish Committee (AJC).
UN Watch believes in the United Nations’ mission on behalf of the international community to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and provide for a more just world. We believe that even with its shortcomings, the UN remains an indispensable tool in bringing together diverse nations and cultures. UN Watch is keenly aware that member states often ask the UN to fulfill mandates and tasks that are neither feasible nor within the means provided. While it would be unrealistic to ignore the UN’s weaknesses, we advocate finding ways to build on its strengths and use its limited resources effectively.
UN Watch is foremost concerned with the just application of UN Charter principles. Areas of interest include: UN management reform, the UN and civil society, equality within the UN, and the equal treatment of member states. UN Watch notes that the disproportionate attention and unfair treatment applied by the UN toward Israel over the years offers an object lesson (though not the only one) in how due process, equal treatment, and other fundamental principles of the UN Charter are often ignored or selectively upheld.
Headed by Ambassador Alfred H. Moses (Chair), former US Ambassador to Romania and Presidential Emissary for the Cyprus Conflict, UN Watch is governed by an international board whose members include: Per Ahlmark (European Co-Chair), former Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden; Professor Irwin Cotler, international human rights advocate and former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Canada; David A. Harris (Co-Chair), AJC Executive Director; Ambassador Max Jakobson, former Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN in New York; and Ruth Wedgwood, professor of international law and diplomacy at Johns Hopkins University.