Secretary-General urges Islamic nations to play full role in global efforts
Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged Islamic nations to play their full role in tackling issues from terrorism and human rights abuse to poverty and United Nations reform, as he addressed a world meeting of foreign ministers of Islamic countries in Sana’a, Yemen which ended today.
“The international community has reached a fork in the road. One path leads to a more anarchic, conflict-ridden world of entrenched poverty. The other leads to increased global cooperation and solidarity,” Mr. Annan told the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, meeting from 28-30 June, in a message delivered by Ali Alatas, Envoy of the Secretary-General for the September 2005 Summit.
“I invite you to do your utmost, as the Organization of the Islamic Conference and as individual Member States of the United Nations, to make sure that we use September’s World Summit to commit ourselves decisively to the latter path,” he added.
The international community, he continued, was now deep in debate over how to adapt its collective responses and shared institutions to the needs of a rapidly changing world. Most immediately, the debate was over how to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of eliminating or reducing many socio-economic ills by 2015.
The debate was also about how to reform the UN to make it more effective in achieving those goals, and for that reason he had put forward comprehensive proposals in his March report: “In Larger Freedom.”
“But first let met stress that no reform proposals, however important should distract us from certain urgent tasks, particularly the need to resolve protracted conflicts and ensure that countries in difficult transitions receive all the support and help they need,” he said.
In that context, the UN, as a member of the Middle East Quartet, would continue to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and would continue to be engaged in political, security and humanitarian work in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Afghanistan, in Sudan and in many countries in West Africa.
But reform efforts are vital, in particular, for building a culture of peace, fighting terrorism and human rights abuse, and ending poverty.
“The reform agenda should be of vital interest to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and I believe you have a major contribution to make,” he said.