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UN: Talks on summit outcome continue

Talks on summit outcome continue as General Assembly winds down current session

The General Assembly this evening wound down the work of its current session as intensive talks continued on a draft United Nations reform plan slated for consideration by national leaders gathering at the world body later this week.

The Assembly's fifty-ninth session will formally close tomorrow morning, paving the way for Wednesday's opening of a three-day summit meeting that coincides with the UN's sixtieth anniversary.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan's proposals for rendering the UN more capable of meeting global challenges now and in the future have been under discussion since March. While some agreement has been reached, notably in the areas of development, terrorism and management reform, much remains to be done ahead of the arrival of some 180 heads of State and government attending the summit.

In one of its last acts under the presidency of Jean Ping of Gabon, the Assembly this evening unanimously approved a series of measures aimed at reaffirming the 191-member body's authority to take up global issues of concern to the international community. It also deferred a number of items to the sixtieth session, including several related to the UN Capital Master Plan, which aims to refurbish the Organization's dilapidated Headquarters and bring it up to code, thus rendering it safer and more efficient.

At the outset of the meeting, President Ping expressed the Assembly's deepest sympathy to the Government and people of the United States for the tragic loss of life and material damage in the southern Gulf Coast states resulting from hurricane Katrina.

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