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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 August, 2004, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Mbeki seeks urgent UN reform
South African President Thabo Mbeki
Mbeki wants more help from rich countries
South African President Thabo Mbeki has called for reform of the UN and other international institutions.

At the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Durban he said developing countries should not allow powerful nations to dictate the world on their own terms.

Mr Mbeki said it was not acceptable that a "few countries" decided the outcome of major world issues.

He stressed that "multilateral cooperation between equal countries is the only way to proceed".

President Mbeki said the UN, where the security council is dominated by five permanent members, needed to be reformed.

It is not going to be possible to meet these goals without the transfer of resources to poor countries by the West
South African President Thabo Mbeki
"The transformation of the United Nations has taken far too long," he said.

"The other multilateral institutions like the Bretton Woods institutions (World Bank and International Monetary Fund) and the World Trade Organisation also need to be transformed to meet the needs of our people."

He urged the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to cut Third World debt and level the playing field of world trade, and to meet the so-called Millennium Development Goals, which include halving poverty by 2015.

"It is perfectly obvious that it is not going to be possible to meet these goals without the transfer of resources to poor countries by the West.

"How that will happen is not a question in the interest of rich countries to answer," he said.

Fate of Palestinians

Earlier, an NAM committee called for the dismantling of Israel's security wall in Palestinian territory, in line with a decision by the International Court of Justice, which declared it illegal.

The committee said the wall was a flagrant violation of human rights and therefore unacceptable.

"We cannot surrender the fate of the Palestinian people to a selected few as if the rest of us had nothing to contribute to the resolution of that problem," Mr Mbeki said.

The 117-member NAM was formed during the Cold War for those who wanted to opt out of the Western and Soviet blocs, but has become a forum for developing world issues.


SEE ALSO:
Profile: The UN Security Council
31 Dec 03  |  Country profiles
Tackling reform at the UN
05 Nov 03  |  In Depth
World trade talks reach agreement
01 Aug 04  |  Business
UN commission to review reform
04 Nov 03  |  In Depth
World 'failing poverty pledges'
23 Apr 04  |  Business


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