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Annan Rejects US Proposal to Cut UN Contribution

Annan Again Rejects U.S. House Proposal to Cut UN Contribution

New York, Jun 24 2005 4:00PM

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today again criticized a proposal introduced into the United States House of Representatives by Henry Hyde which would threaten “a draconian and unilateral cut in the U.S. contribution to the world body’s budget to force reform.

“I believe that approach is profoundly mistaken and would, if adopted by the U.S. government as a whole, prove disastrously counterproductive,” Mr. Annan wrote in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal.

“It would break the reformist coalition between the U.S. and other member-states whose collective pressure could otherwise make these reforms happen,” he added. “Fortunately, the Hyde withholding proposal is not backed by the administration.”

The UN is an association of sovereign states and the way to make changes or reforms is to negotiate agreement with other member-states, Mr. Annan said, noting that he had proposed a reform package covering development, security, human rights and the rule of law in the report he released earlier this year – In Larger Freedom.

“Decisions can be taken this September, when political leaders from all over the world meet at U.N. Headquarters for the 2005 world summit,” he wrote. “Over 170 have said they will come, and President Bush is expected to be among them.

“The stakes for the US, and for the world, could hardly be higher. The opportunity to forge a common response to common threats may not soon recur. It is in that context, and for that reason, that a reformed and strengthened UN is so badly needed,” he concluded.

ENDS

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