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UN Dep Sec Gen Talks With German Foreign Minister

Fréchette Holds Wide-Ranging Talks With German Foreign Minister Fischer

Deputy United Nations Secretary-General Louise Fréchette today held wide-ranging talks with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer in Berlin and later addressed the Friedrich Ebert Institute, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary as an organization promoting peace and human rights.

"We in the United Nations welcome and embrace partnerships with foundations such as yours," she told the group. "Foundations have always played pivotal roles in advocating and acting for change. And for our part, in the United Nations, we have opened up ways of working with non-State actors on a scale that no one could have imagined a few decades ago.

"So, as we seek to broaden and deepen coalitions for change around our agenda, we know that we can do this only with the full participation and support of organizations like yours," she added.

In her talks with Mr. Fischer, Ms. Fréchette discussed UN reform, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that seek to slash a host of social ills by 2015, Sudan where a long running civil war in the south has just ended but conflict continues in the west and sexual exploitation allegations in certain peacekeeping missions, where accusations include trading two eggs or making small payments for sex.

The two also discussed the now-defunct UN-administered Oil-for-Food programme allowing Iraq's sanctions-bound regime to buy essential supplies, which has been implicated in allegations of impropriety and mismanagement.

Ms. Fréchette also participated in a roundtable discussion with some 70 officials from Germany's Federal Foreign Office on "the UN in 2005: Challenges and Perspectives," as well as addressing representatives of civil society and the media, dealing with topics that included UN reform and peacekeeping reform.

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