Global perspective Human stories

Annan sets up panel to mesh UN system’s humanitarian and development work

Annan sets up panel to mesh UN system’s humanitarian and development work

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today announced the creation of a high-level panel to explore how the United Nations can shape a smoother running machine to carry out its worldwide work in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance and environment.

Called for in the outcome document of the 2005 World Summit last September, the panel will turn out a study that can lay the groundwork for a fundamental restructuring of the UN’s operational work, according to a statement issued by Mr. Annan’s spokesman.

The 15-member panel is slated to wrap up its work by this summer so its recommendations can go before the next session of the General Assembly in September of this year. Implementation of the recommendations could take place in 2007.

This restructuring would complement the other major reform initiatives now under way within the Organization, including the formation of a new Peacebuilding Commission, negotiations over the creation of a new Human Rights Council and the proposal for comprehensive management reform that Mr. Annan is scheduled to unveil at the end of this month.

Mr. Annan believes a fundamental review of the UN’s development and humanitarian-related agencies is crucial to the long-term success of the Organization’s reform process and vital to support Member States’ efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the coming years. Known collectively as the MDGs, these targets were set at a 2000 UN Summit and aim to reduce major global ills such as poverty, illiteracy and hunger by 2015.

Shaukat Aziz, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Luísa Dias Diogo, Prime Minister of Mozambique and Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway will serve as co-chairs. Other noted members of the panel include Gordon Brown, the United Kingdom’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Ricardo Lagos Escobar, president of the Republic of Chile; and Benjamin W. Mkapa, the former president of the United Republic of Tanzania.

The work of the panel will be supported by a small Secretariat based in New York.