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UN States Should Move Quickly To Select Sec-Gen

UN Member States Should Move Quickly To Select Secretary-General, Annan Says

New York, Sep 13 2006 6:00PM

Kofi Annan, who this year completes his second and final five-year term as United Nations Secretary-General, today said the world body’s Member States should move quickly to select a successor and stressed that whoever is chosen will need to work closely with them.

Speaking at a news conference in New York, he encouraged the Member States to choose a new Secretary-General “as soon as possible.”

Asked about the priority issues he hoped to address in his remaining months in office, Mr. Annan cited Lebanon and the broader Middle East, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kosovo and the fight against HIV.

Above all, he called for expeditious action to implement Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 34-day war in Lebanon and authorized an expanded UN force there.

“Quite honestly, when I look at what needs to be done, and having been in the region and discussed this with everybody, I think with a bit of goodwill, reasonableness and hard work, this can be done within three to six months,” said Mr. Annan, who just returned from an intensive diplomatic tour of the region.

“This would also send a message that resolutions dealing with peace in the Middle East can be implemented and help establish peace and stability between nations and borders and that we can build on from there and tackle Palestine and others,” he noted.

Addressing his successors, he said: “The Secretary-General always needs the Member States, and you need to work with them. There are times when they lead, but there are times when the Secretary-General has to lead, become the general and lead them.”

Even in those instances, he added, the Secretary-General cannot act alone. “The UN is its Member States, and so he or she has to find a way of working very effectively with them. I think what happened in Lebanon was a clear demonstration of what can happen when the Secretary-General and the Member States work very effectively together.

He cited pulling together the expanded UN force for Lebanon and getting the Israeli blockade lifted, which were both achieved through intensive consultations with leaders of key countries.

“The Secretary-General can do nothing if the Member States are not willing to help him, give him the means, support him and let him do it. So I hope my successor will develop these kind of relations with the leaders, with the countries, and to be able to work with them effectively.”

Looking back on past accomplishments, he voiced satisfaction that “Member States have accepted that the United Nations has three pillars on which it should build its work: peace and security; economic and social development; human rights and the rule of law.”

He added that much was accomplished in the area of reform and paid tribute to the President of the General Assembly’s 60th session, Jan Eliasson.

“I think the management reform should continue,” Mr. Annan said, calling also for reform of the Security Council. “The world is not the world of 1945. If we really want to make this Organization what it ought to be, we need to reform the Council to make it more democratic, more representative. If we do that, the Council would evenᾠgain in greater legitimacy.


Ends

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