Global perspective Human stories

In Honduras, Annan says small States make big contributions to UN

In Honduras, Annan says small States make big contributions to UN

Wrapping up an official visit to Honduras today, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the UN’s global efforts to combat poverty and disease are well-understood by small nations, which themselves are making important contributions to the world body.

The UN’s agenda “to fight disease, to promote education, to promote good governance and transparent government, and to protect the planet is something that rings a chord with leaders and people from smaller countries,” Mr. Annan told reporters following a meeting with Honduran President Ricardo Maduro Joest. He noted that those States had an effect on the UN’s work “when they are organized and participate fully.”

The Secretary-General, who travelled in the afternoon to Mexico where he will attend the International Conference on Financing for Development later this week, said there was a growing awareness that problems in one part of the world affected all countries. Recently, he noted, more countries realized that “if we do not deal with some of the root causes and some of the problems that we see around the world from poverty to conflict prevention, to diseases, these situations are often exploited by those who would use terrorism to justify their actions.”

Calling attention to the link between development and security, he said, “I think there is a greater awareness of this, and we will, I hope, see determination on the part of the donor governments to do more to help the poor.”

He added that poor countries “have to get their act together too,” noting that they must foster transparent and democratic governance based on rule of law.

Mr. Annan, who had arrived in Tegucigalpa yesterday, received the “Gran Cruz of Morazan” – the nation’s highest award – from President Maduro. The Secretary-General, along with his wife, Nane, also attended the National Forum on HIV/AIDS.