UN officials preview possible outcome of summit on development, UN reform

5 August 2005

With the General Assembly’s 2005 World Summit less than six weeks away, senior United Nations officials today presented an early look at what global leaders might adopt when they gather in September to mark the world body’s sixtieth anniversary and forge a new global consensus on development, security, human rights and UN reform.

“This is very much a work in progress. We have a long way to go and a very short time to get there,” said Ambassador Christopher Hackett of Barbados, one of Assembly President Jean Ping’s facilitators monitoring the negotiations at UN Headquarters in New York at a press briefing previewing the revised “draft outcome” for the Summit, set to run from 14 to 16 September 2005.

Mr. Hackett, who was joined by Ambassador John Dauth of Australia, acting Assembly President in Mr. Ping’s absence, stressed that the revised text had been drafted following intense consultations among Member States in an attempt to incorporate their reactions to proposals for international action on a host of fronts outlined by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the report “In Larger Freedom.”

That report was released in late March as a five-year update on the UN Millennium Declaration, in which world leaders pledged to build a better and safer planet for the new century.

In the report, Mr. Annan urged world leaders to take decisive action during the Summit on his "bold but achievable" blueprint for making the UN more efficient at tackling global problems, including by establishing new rules for the use of military force, adopting an anti-terrorism treaty, and reforming key UN organs and institutions, such as the Security Council and the Geneva-based Commission on Human Rights.

Mr. Hackett said that the revised outcome document, the second update since June, is more focused on development issues, the concerns of indigenous people, as well as trade and market access. He added that some of the language had been changed slightly in the wake of the decisions taken in Gleneagles, Scotland, last month by the leaders of the “Group of Eight” (G8) most industrialized countries, particularly with regard to development assistance.

Although much work remained to be done before a document acceptable to all Member States was agreed, Mr. Hackett said it was clear that members were committed to making real progress during this “last push” before the Summit. Member States are expected to continue there negotiations on or about 22 August, when Assembly President Ping returned from his homeland, Gabon.

He said that although Member States were prepared to establish the Peacebuilding Commission proposed by Mr. Annan, the size and composition of that body was still under consideration. Discussions would also continue on matters related to dismantling the Commission on Human Rights and creating a more effective Human Rights Council.

He said that negotiations would also continue on finding agreeable language on a definition for terrorism, matters related to the responsibility to protect, Secretariat reform, and Security Council expansion.


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