21.03.2005 General News

Annan calls for overhaul of UN

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Accra, March 21, GNA - The UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, on Sunday called for an overhaul of the world body.

He also called on world leaders to reach a new global deal to tackle the challenges of development, security and human rights, a statement from the UN Information Centre in Accra on Monday said. Mr Annan's recommendations in his report titled "In larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All", lay the groundwork for decisions at the upcoming summit of world leaders at the UN next September.

According to the statement the report, taking its name from a key phrase of the UN Charter, speaks of social progress and better standards of life, promotes a realignment of the world body to give additional weight to key development, security and human rights issues, while setting out plans to make the UN more efficient, open and accountable. "Its recommendations are drawn in part from the conclusions of two UN-commissioned panels on collective security and on the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals, as well as promises made in the Millennium Declaration of 2000."

Mr Annan stressed that the report's proposals should be viewed as an achievable package, to which member states could agree in September. "These are reforms that are within reach," he said.

On UN renewal, Mr Annan proposed the expansion of the UN Security Council to make it "broadly representative of the international community as a whole and the geopolitical realities of today". He also proposed the streamlining of the UN Secretariat to be more flexible, transparent and accountable in serving the priorities of member states and the interests of the world's people.

On development, Mr Annan proposed that developing countries should implement national action plans to meet the Millennium Development Goals, supported by increased development assistance by developed countries, including meeting their commitment to meet the 0.7 per cent gross national income by 2015 or sooner.

He proposed mitigating the impact of climate change by mobilising science and technology and committing to a more inclusive international framework for stabilising greenhouse gas emissions following the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.

Mr Annan proposed agreement on a comprehensive convention against terrorism based on a clear and agreed definition, as part of a broader strategy to prevent catastrophic terrorism.

He proposed that states should complete, sign and implement a fissile material cut-off treaty to reduce the risks of proliferation of nuclear materials and the creation of a UN Peace building Commission to help win the peace in post-conflict countries.

On human rights, Mr Annan proposed the replacement of the Commission on Human Rights with a smaller, more-empowered standing UN Human Rights Council.

He proposed that all states should embrace the "the responsibility to protect" as a basis for collective action against genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

There should be established a Democracy Fund to provide funding and technical assistance to countries seeking to establish or strengthen their democracy.

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