UN chief backs elimination of excess bureaucracy

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon formally endorsed a radical streamlining of UN operations, delivering a report to the General Assembly on Monday that urged the elimination of unnecessary bureaucracy. The sprawling UN system contains 16 specialized agencies, 14 funds and programs, and 17 departments and offices, leading to costly duplication and competition for resources. Ban also endorsed the report's call for the three UN bodies promoting equality for women "in an uncoordinated and ineffective way" to be merged into a single well-funded organization with higher status. The UN chief urged member nations to move quickly on debating and approving the recommendations.