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Annan Hails Breakthrough on Security, Dvpt, Rights

Annan Hails Summit's 'Intellectual Breakthrough' On Security, Development, Rights

New York, Oct 6 2005 6:00PM

Beyond specific commitments ranging from strengthening humanitarian mechanisms to reforming UN management, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today hailed a global mind-change at last month's United Nations World Summit that linked security, development and human rights.

"I think in a way we did make a sort of intellectual breakthrough at the Summit, as the Member States accepted, or acknowledged, for the first time the indivisible links between security, development and human rights," he told an Executive Committee meeting of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva.

"It was clear that security cannot be enjoyed without development, that development can not be enjoyed without human rights, and neither can be enjoyed without respect for human rights," he added in an address devoted to analyzing the Summit outcome, particularly with regard to UNHCR's agenda.

He called the agreement to establish a Peacebuilding Commission "perhaps the biggest innovation" and the clear acceptance of all UN members of the responsibility to protect civilian populations against genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity "another very important step."

He also stressed the pledge to improve the protection of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and applaud UNHCR's commitment to strengthen its efforts to protect IDPs and take a lead role in assuring emergency shelter and coordination in the camps. But the full cooperation of Members States is vital.

"With the commitment to strengthening the humanitarian system comes the hope that the world will guarantee a swifter and more predictable response to the victims of war and natural calamities," Mr. Annan declared.

"But let us acknowledge that humanitarian agencies alone, vital as their work may be, will not resolve crises unless States uphold their responsibilities, address root causes of displacement, and do the political work necessary."

The Secretary-General also visited the headquarters of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) where he reviewed efforts to prepare for a potentially deadly human flu pandemic, possibly generated by the current outbreak of bird flu in Asia.

"As you heard earlier on, the only way to prevent the catastrophe is to prepare and to have early warning systems and for governments to work together," he said of the concern that bird flu could mutate into a worldwide human pandemic which, in a worst-case scenario, could kill tens of millions of people.

"So I would appeal to leaders around the world to come together, to pool their efforts, to make the resources available and to assist those countries which do not have capacity to set up their own systems because we are in this together."

Asked whether he felt enough countries were doing enough seeing that only 40 had preparedness plan, Mr. Annan replied: "No, there is much more to be done. And the question is why aren't other countries doing it?

"Some are blatantly, obviously complacent, others do not have the capacity and need help to be able to do it. And we need to identify those countries and offer them the help to be able to bring their preparedness to the level that we think it should be."

ENDS

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