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East & Central Euro Called To Support UN Reform

Annan Calls On Eastern And Central European States To Support UN Reform

Though eight East and Central European countries are entering the European Union, giving rise to dramatic changes in their region, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) still need “to engage fully in the process of reform and revitalization that is high on the agenda at the United Nations,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

In a message to the ninth St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in the Russian Federation, delivered by Mr. Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director General of the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG), Mr. Annan noted that during the UN’s 60th anniversary year this year he had put before Member States a report entitled “In Larger Freedom.”

It “contains far-reaching recommendations for defeating poverty, strengthening human rights, building an effective collective security system and strengthening the United Nations itself,” Mr. Annan said.

“As these reform efforts move ahead, the United Nations family – including the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and a number of UN agencies – will continue to be your partner,” he added.

The General Assembly’s summit in September, which is expected to take action on the reforms Member States have been negotiating, could be a time of “bold and even historic decisions,” Mr. Annan said. “But success will depend on the ability of Governments and world leaders to heal their divisions and work together for the common good.”

The Forum had an important role to play in preventing new divisions from arising by promoting closer economic ties between the enlarged EU and the CIS, he said.

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