World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


'Once-In-A Generation' Chance For UN Reform

September 2005 Summit Offers 'Once-In-A Generation' Chance For UN Reform – Annan

New York, Jun 21 2005

The United Nations' 60th anniversary summit of more than 170 heads of Government in September offers a "once-in-a generation" opportunity to make the world body more efficient at tackling global problems by adopting the reforms he has proposed, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan told a US research group on security issues.

"I think we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform the Organization and if we miss it this time I don't know when they are going to get the opportunity again. Stakes have never been higher and those leaders are now under increasing pressure to reach agreement on critical issues. Negotiations are moving ahead. But time is short, and a great deal remains to be worked out," he told the International Councillors of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) yesterday.

The International Councillors, chaired by former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, are international business leaders. They meet twice a year to discuss the implications of changing economic and strategic environments.

Mr. Annan noted that the US Institute for Peace Task Force on the UN, in a sincere and constructive report issued last week, had taken a balanced look at the world body and made recommendations for reform that were similar to his own.

"Overall, I was greatly heartened to see how it reflects a wider understanding of the importance of the UN to the United States. It looks at ways to make the UN more effective – not only in serving the interests of the American people, but in our increasingly interdependent world, the interest of all the world's people," he said.

He quoted John W. Gardner, former US cabinet member and founder of the non-partisan citizen lobbying organization, Common Cause, as saying institutions could get "caught in a savage cross-fire between uncritical lovers and unloving critics" and he said he counted on his audience for support in the crucial time ahead.

In September the issues before world leaders would include how to defeat poverty and reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of targets designed to halve or eradicate listed socioeconomic ills by 2015; how to build a collective security system able to meet the century's common threats and how to increase respect for human rights everywhere.

His report, entitled "In Larger Freedom," offered concrete proposals on those issues. "My report also proposed the most sweeping overhaul of the UN's architecture in all its 60 years," he said.

A revitalized General Assembly, whose members now number 191, up from 50 at the UN's founding, would focus on major substantive issues, while a rejuvenated Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) would play a more strategic role in helping to formulate and implement coherent UN policies for development, Mr. Annan said.

An effective Security Council must continue to include Member States which contribute the most financially, militarily and diplomatically, but also must include a more representative membership, making the Council itself more democratic, he said.

The UN should be willing and able to abolish the institutions that are no longer needed, such as the Trusteeship Council. "I tried in 1997 to get it abolished and did not succeed; but we will try to succeed this time," he said.

Meanwhile, in a closed meeting today, the General Assembly was discussing the draft of the document being prepared for the September summit. General Assembly President Jean Ping of Gabon has coordinated negotiations on Mr. Annan's proposals and released the recommended outcomes to the membership earlier this month.

On Thursday and Friday Mr. Ping is scheduled to moderate informal interactive hearings with civil society representatives on the outcome document. Some 200 civil society organizations have registered to take part.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC