General Assembly wraps up debate on Annan’s proposals for further reform

General Assembly wraps up debate on Annan’s proposals for further reform

After hearing the views of over 70 countries concerning Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s further proposals for improving the workings of the United Nations, the General Assembly today wrapped up its formal debate and set up structures to begin informal talks on the matter.

At the close of the three-day discussion, General Assembly President Jan Kavan of the Czech Republic named a team of diplomats, led by Ethiopian Ambassador Abdul Mejid Hussein, to assist with the negotiations on the Assembly’s response to the Secretary-General’s proposals.

Consultations will begin on Monday, Mr. Kavan said, voicing confidence that a resolution would be agreed on before the end of the Assembly’s regular session in December.

Summing up the deliberations so far, the President said numerous participants had voiced appreciation to the Secretary-General for the new proposals, and recognized the need to take a comprehensive approach to the broader issue of reform.

Participants also highlighted the central importance of the UN development agenda, and agreed that the next budget should better reflect international development goals. “General agreement was also expressed on go-ahead with the reform measures that are within the competence of the Secretary-General,” the President said.

Mr. Annan’s reform report, “An Agenda for Further Change,” contains numerous concrete proposals for action, and follows on efforts he spearheaded after taking office in 1997.