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Dep Sec-Gen Outlines Changes At The World Body

Deputy Secretary-General Outlines Changes At The World Body; Remains Upbeat

Stressing the need for the United Nations to change to deal with the myriad new demands of the 21st century, Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown today reiterated the importance of development, security, and human rights and democracy as the “three pillars” around which the world body is reorganizing.

Mr. Malloch Brown, addressing the Belgian Royal Institute in Brussels, said the UN was built “on the ashes of 1945” but is now facing vastly different issues from what it was set up to deal with, including terrorism, bird flu, and massive levels of inequality and poverty where more than a billion people are still living on less than one euro a day.

“To answer that, let me set out what Secretary-General Kofi Annan saw as the three pillars around which we need to reorganise today’s United Nations to give it focus, and to reconnect it and make it more relevant to its core constituents: the peoples of the world… development, security and human rights and democracy.”

Citing progress made towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and other developments such as the setting up the UN’s Peace Building Commission, as illustrating reform efforts already underway, he further stressed the importance of structural change in the organization, as also outlined earlier this year in the report Investing in the United Nations.

He acknowledged that many of these reform proposals, involving for example human resource management, governance and oversight, had been “largely blocked by the wider political tensions and splits between groups and individual Member States,” but expressed hope of progress in the months ahead, while noting that the next Secretary-General would have to do “much more in the area of management reform.”

Despite such challenges, Mr. Malloch Brown was upbeat about the overall reform process, expressing his belief that it was creating a “genuinely new United Nations… that we hope will reconnect us with the people.”

“And, while the broader crisis of legitimacy facing multilateral organizations is very much with us, in the case of the United Nations at least, I hope we have now got the plan in place to confront these challenges.”

ends

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