Annan sets up eminent persons panel to examine UN links with civil society
Secretary-General Kofi Annan today announced the establishment of a panel of prominent persons, headed by former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, to examine the relationship between the United Nations and civil society, and to make recommendations for strengthening such ties.
"Improving the interaction between the United Nations and the many diverse actors in civil society is an essential step towards reforming the United Nations," the Secretary-General said in a statement announcing the formation of the Panel of Eminent Persons on United Nations Relations with Civil Society, and the appointment of Mr. Cardoso as his Special Adviser.
"The goals of the United Nations can only be achieved if civil society as well as Governments and international agencies are fully engaged."
The Secretary-General originally announced the creation of the panel on 30 September 2002 as part of a broad set of reform measures designed to make the United Nations more efficient and more capable of responding to the new demands of the twenty-first century.
In today's statement, the Secretary-General said he would look to the Panel to take stock of the United Nations work with civil society and to recommend how it can be improved. "Such improvement can only benefit the peoples in whose name the United Nations was founded," Mr. Annan said.
In addition to Mr. Cardoso, the members of the 12-person Panel, who are affiliated with governments, non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector, include Bagher Asadi of Iran, Birgitta Dahl of Sweden, Peggy Dulany of the United States and André Erdös of Hungary.
The remaining members are: Asma Khader of Jordan; Juan Mayr of Colombia; Malini Mehra of India; Kumi Naidoo of South Africa; Mary Racelis of the Philippines; Prakash Ratilal of Mozambique and Aminata Traoré of Mali.