United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the head of the European Commission today stressed their shared goal of strengthening multilateral institutions and emphasized that 2005 was a decisive year for the UN and the world on a wide range of issues.
The Secretary-General and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso ended a private meeting at UN Headquarters in New York with a joint call for action-oriented decisions to be taken this coming September at the General Assembly's summit-level review of the Millennium Declaration, where world leaders are expected to formally consider the comprehensive reform agenda outlined in Mr. Annan's "In Larger Freedom" report.
The two reviewed UN-European Union cooperation, and discussed the process leading up to the September summit. Mr. Annan welcomed EU support for UN reform, and for the ongoing consultations on reform led by the Assembly President. He also welcomed ongoing discussions about ways for the UN and the EU to work together with regional and sub-regional organizations.
Mr. Barroso underlined the need to step up collective efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adding that the EU had been at the forefront of such efforts by making ambitious proposals to increase the quantity and quality of development finance, strengthening policy coherence for development and focusing attention on sub-Saharan Africa.
In their talks, Mr. Annan and Mr. Barroso also discussed the situation in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Iraq. They emphasized their shared commitment to Africa as a clear priority in the work for development, peace and security, welcoming the increasing role of the African Union in this area.