High-level panel poised to present to Annan report on global threats

30 November 2004

A high-level panel appointed last year by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is poised to officially release its report on threats to international peace and security in the twenty-first century and recommendations on how to deal with them, including two proposals for expanding the membership of the Security Council.

The report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change - entitled "A more secure world: our shared responsibility" - will be formally presented to the Secretary-General on Thursday at UN Headquarters in New York. He will then transmit the document to the General Assembly for review.

Also on Thursday, Panel member Gro Harlem Brundtland, a former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), will give a press briefing at UN Headquarters to officially launch the report.

The recommendations concerning reform of the Security Council are among the over one hundred proposals made by the 16-member international Panel, which endorses the idea of a collective responsibility to protect civilians from harm, and to spur economic and social development in order to ward off potential problems.

Both formulas for an enlarged Security Council increase the membership to 24, from the current 15, but differ on allowing more permanent seats. The first provides for six new permanent seats without veto power in addition to the five that currently hold it, and three more two-year rotating seats divided among the UN's regional groupings.

The second plan envisages no new permanent seats but creates a new category of eight four-year renewable-term seats and one new two-year non-permanent, non-renewable seat, all without veto power.

In March Mr. Annan will issue a comprehensive report on the 2000 Millennium Declaration, including a review of the progress made on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which will draw on some of the Panel's findings.

Both documents are intended to provide a basis for discussions at the proposed high-level summit in September 2005 before the Assembly's next session, which coincides with the UN's sixtieth anniversary.

In naming the Panel in November 2003, Mr. Annan asked its members to assess the current threats facing the international community, evaluate the UN's ability to address those challenges, and recommend policy and institutional changes to deal with them.

The 16-member Panel is chaired by Anand Panyarachun, a former Prime Minister of Thailand. In addition to Ms. Brundtland, its other members include prominent diplomats and politicians, as well as former senior UN officials, drawn from all regions of the world.


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