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Studies in Political Economy. Fiscal Monetary Commercial Central bank. Econometrics Economic statistics Monetary economics Development economics International economics. One of the most pressing tasks of this research stream is to investigate the nature of their networks and grasp their role and capacity as a prerequisite for understanding the relationship between NGOs and the United Nations and its Member States. At a time when the Secretariat and UN agencies are facing acute shortages in resources, NGOs' contributions to the UN system are particularly valuable.
There is an immediate need to explore the most effective arrangements between NGOs and UN agencies and ask a number of questions. What role can non-state actors play in securing world peace, enhancing human welfare and dignity?
Which issue areas can NGOs address more effectively when governments are unwilling or unable to act? When and over what interests do governments and NGOs clash? How will this conflict of interests affect the United Nations? Answers to these questions should help us to assess the possibilities and limitations of non-state actors. The international media have increasingly influenced leaders and occasionally made a critical difference in governments' decision-making.
Humanitarian intervention in Somalia and northern Iraq are cases in point. Yet media coverage frequently distorts the image of the United Nations and represents its activities inaccurately. The media's tendency to highlight trouble spots inevitably leads to negative reports of UN "failure", rather than of quiet successes.
Hence, the role of the media - the "CNN effect" - on international and domestic politics needs to be thoroughly studied. Similarly, as a transnational community, scholars, scientists and other experts exchange views and information across borders and influence national and world leaders. Although the role of the academic community has long been debated among international relations scholars, it still remains unclear as to what extent and how it has an impact. Nevertheless, the power of ideas and knowledge is central to the role of the United Nations as global counsel.
Yet the gap between theory and policy is always hard to bridge. It is true that many scholars take refuge in "ivory towers", but cooperation between academics and practitioners has made remarkable progress in the field of empirical studies, particularly information collection and data processing. How can academic work increase its policy relevance without sacrificing academic independence?
Market Forces As the globalization and liberalization of economic activity continue to increase in pace, the role of the private sector in international affairs will expand accordingly. Although the Bretton Woods institutions are part of the UN system, they have not fully developed a symbiotic relationship with UN development agencies. Still, the end of the Cold War has removed long-standing political obstacles to worldwide international cooperation and has created a new opportunity to turn the Bretton Woods regime into a more universal institutional framework. It has become more plausible to develop collaborative relations between the UN economic and development machinery and the Bretton Woods institutions.
However, the UN economic and development bureaucracy has yet to embrace the substantial reform necessary to foster collaboration with the World Bank and the IMF.