Annan unveils sweeping reforms for UN




 
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Boots
 
March 22nd, 2005  
chewie_nz
 

Topic: Annan unveils sweeping reforms for UN


Annan unveils sweeping reforms for UN




New York: United Nations Secretary-general Kofi Annan yesterday unveiled his blueprint for the most sweeping changes to the United Nations since the world body was founded after World War 2.
Driven in part by the bitter divisions over the United States-led war in Iraq, which he said had brought the world to a crossroads, Mr Annan wants national leaders to agree on an ambitious list of changes this year.
Mr Annan’s 63-page report calls to widen the membership of the Security Council — the UN’s top organ for international security — and asks it to fix guidelines that would determine when nations may legally go to war.
It asks nations to agree on a proposed definition of terrorism, which has been disputed for decades, establish a new human rights council and commit to ambitious goals on development, slashing poverty and building
democracy.
“In an era of global interdependence, the glue of common interest, if properly perceived, should bind all states together in this cause, as should the impulses of our common humanity,” Mr Annan said in the report.
“After a period of difficulty in international affairs, in the face of both new threats and old ones in new guises, there is a yearning in many quarters for a new consensus on which to base collective action,” the UN chief said.
“This is a deal that the secretary-general is offering the world,” Mr Annan’s chief-ofstaff Mark Malloch Brown told reporters at UN headquarters in New York.
“It’s not an a la carte package,” Mr Malloch Brown said. “We believe the whole thing has to hold together.”
World leaders will hold a summit here in September, by which time Mr Annan is hoping most of the changes — including those contentious issues that have defied agreement for years — will be hammered out.
“If it doesn’t come to a head by that [summit], the fear is that it just drifts into another period without a deadline,” Mr Malloch Brown said.
The major changes would have to be agreed by two-thirds of the UN’s 191 member nations as well as by the five veto-wielding permanent Security Council members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
It remains unclear how much political will exists for substantive change.
But Mr Malloch Brown said momentum had been growing for sweeping reforms.
“I think there is a huge support for the idea that it’s time for a bold and practical deal of this kind.”
Mr Annan put forward two options for expanding Security Council membership from the
current 15 to 24 nations — one of which would add new permanent members — and called for the creation of a peace-building commission. He also issued a call for a new human rights council to be elected by member states as part of an overall bid to stress that development, health and rights are essential factors in the freedom and security of peoples and nations.
“Even if he can vote to choose his rulers, a young man with Aids, who cannot read or write and lives on the brink of starvation, is not truly free,” Mr Annan wrote in the report’s introduction.
“Equally, even if she earns enough to live, a woman who lives in the shadow of daily violence and has no say in how her country is, run is not truly free,” he said.
Although in the works for more than a year, the report comes with the United Nations buffeted by a series of high-profile scandals that has focused the spotlight on UN mismanagement.
It also comes with Security Council nations at a deadlock over tackling the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan, where UN officials say as many as 180,000 people have died in fighting between the Sudanese government and rebels. — AFP

Key proposals for changes to the United Nations




DEVELOPMENT
Rich countries should establish a timetable to earmark 0.7% of gross national product for development assistance by 2015. Poor countries should adopt a programme by 2006 to cut extreme poverty in half, ensure primary education for all children, and achieve other UN development goals by 2015. Nations must look beyond the 2012 expiration of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions.
SECURITY
Nations should approve a comprehensive convention against terrorism by September next year, based on a new definition and as part of a broader strategy to prevent terrorism. Nations should swiftly adopt a global treaty against nuclear terrorism. Nations should quickly negotiate a treaty to halt the spread of the highly enriched uranium and plutonium needed to make nuclear weapons. Non-nuclear weapon states should be given incentives to voluntarily forgo development of enriched uranium or plutonium separation facilities, along with fuel for their nuclear energy programmes.
HUMAN RIGHTS
Establish a UN Human Rights Council, possibly as a standing UN body such as the Security Council, to replace the Commission on Human Rights, which has been criticised for a lack of credibility. All nations should accept the “responsibility to protect” and the need for collective action in cases of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. Establish a fund to provide money and technical assistance to countries seeking to establish or strengthen their democracy.
UN RENEWAL
Expand the Security Council to make it more representative of the geopolitical realities in the 21st century. Streamline the UN Secretariat to be more flexible, transparent, and accountable. — AP
March 22nd, 2005  
Corocotta
 
 
Quote:
Mr Annan’s 63-page report calls to widen the membership of the Security Council — the UN’s top organ for international security — and asks it to fix guidelines that would determine when nations may legally go to war.
I think is great that the UNSC becomes into a democratic organization.A five members SC had sense during the cold war, but not now. Great decision of Mr.Annan!!!
March 22nd, 2005  
chewie_nz
 
personally the biggest sweeping change he could announce would be that he is the wrong man for the job and step down
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Boots
March 22nd, 2005  
Corocotta
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewie_nz
personally the biggest sweeping change he could announce would be that he is the wrong man for the job and step down
Well, may be he doesn´t have a lot of carisma. But I think this iniciative is really good. I think that giving the power of controlling the world to 5 nations is not very fare.
March 22nd, 2005  
MontyB
 
 
Umm well I dont really agree with the "DEVELOPMENT" option I think its time "Poor" countries got their collective shit together and did something for themselves (It strikes me as odd that almost all of these countries can afford to arm huge armies and build flash palaces for their leaders but cant afford food for the masses).

I am not a huge fan of the "SECURITY" option either as the definition of terrorist seems to depend less on actions and more on political affiliation on top of that I dont believe it is acceptable for some nations to be "allowed" nukes while others are not, it should be an everyone or no-one deal.

Also I think in order to give the UN more credibility amongst the non-aligned countries the UN should be moved elsewhere (quite a large number on the US non-friendly list have the impression that the UN is where the US goes to tell the world how things are going to be).
March 22nd, 2005  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by staurofilakes
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewie_nz
personally the biggest sweeping change he could announce would be that he is the wrong man for the job and step down
Well, may be he doesn´t have a lot of carisma. But I think this iniciative is really good. I think that giving the power of controlling the world to 5 nations is not very fare.
You would be suprised he is a very interesting and intelligent man, I was fortunate enough to hear him speak once while in Canada.
I think too many assume that because he is quiet he is a weak leader.
March 22nd, 2005  
A Can of Man
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewie_nz
personally the biggest sweeping change he could announce would be that he is the wrong man for the job and step down
I believe this is what should happen.
Remember his record from Rwanda was terrible too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
You would be suprised he is a very interesting and intelligent man, I was fortunate enough to hear him speak once while in Canada.
I think too many assume that because he is quiet he is a weak leader.
Yes there is no doubt how intelligent this man is. But leadership requires more than intelligence. Why, your President will never be the smartest man in the country. Your Prime Minister will never be the smartest man in the country. The best scientist in your country with a Nobel Prize may not be suited for Presidency.
Basically you can be an intelligent guy and a poor leader. Someone who works well in promoting himself in the backstage and coming up with great ideas but when charged with actually getting it done, falters, not because he is a bad person, but because it's just not his strength
March 22nd, 2005  
chewie_nz
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by staurofilakes
Well, may be he doesn´t have a lot of carisma. But I think this iniciative is really good. I think that giving the power of controlling the world to 5 nations is not very fare.
it's got nothing to do with carisma and alot to do with rwanda & the oil for food scandel that his son is embroiled in at the moment.

this shouldn't take away from all the good things he has done but the SG of the UN should be beyond reproach.
March 22nd, 2005  
A Can of Man
 
 
Couldn't agree more Chewie.
March 22nd, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Eh, sounds to me like the line from The Wizard of Oz.

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"