Saturday, March 26, 2005

New UN

Kofi Annan has proposed some radical changes in order for the United Nations to be more relevant in today’s world.

- He is calling for an expansion of the Security Council, so that it better reflects the global realities of today
- The Commission on Human Rights would, he proposes, be replaced by a smaller human-rights council, on which it would be harder for tyrants to get seats.
- The UN would agree a definition of “terrorism”, which would be incorporated in a new anti-terror treaty.
- It would also adopt clearer principles on when military force is justified.
- Mr Annan has also called on the UN to embrace the principle that member countries have a “responsibility to protect” civilians suffering atrocities when their own government is failing to act.
- Annan asks every developing country (Kenya) to adopt and begin to implement, by next year, a comprehensive national strategy bold enough to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015; and to mobilise all its resources behind that strategy.
- He also asks developing countries (Kenya) to improve their governance, uphold the rule of law, combat corruption and adopt an inclusive approach to development, making space for civil society and the private sector to play their full part. The challenge of development is too big for governments to face it alone.
- On reducing world poverty: "There is no longer any excuse for leaving well over a billion of our fellow human beings in abject misery. All that is needed is some clear decisions by the governments of both rich and poor countries."
- Asks every developed country to support these strategies, by increasing the amount it spends on development and debt relief, and doing whatever it can to level the playing-field for world trade. Specifically, to commit themselves, this year, to complete the Doha round of trade negotiations no later than 2006, and as a first step to give immediate duty-free and quota-free market access to all exports from the Least Developed Countries.

How will Kenya vote at a Special Summit of the General Assembly in September to approve the reform package? A 2/3 majority will be required to approve the most weeping reform package in the history of the UN - Of course any reforms will be dependent on the United States and without Washington's assistance, Annan is sure to fail.

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