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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March, 2005, 04:07 GMT
Cautious response to UN reforms
Kofi Annan
Annan called for bold action to reform the United Nations
Secretary General Kofi Annan's plans to reform the United Nations have received a cautious welcome from member states.

They include enlarging the Security Council, setting out rules on when it can authorise military force, and an agreed definition of terrorism.

Several member states have called the report a good start, but all say they want to study it more closely.

The majority of members agree on the need for change, but there is dispute about what the changes should be.

US state department spokesman Adam Ereli called Mr Annan's proposals an ambitious agenda.

REFORM PACKAGE
Enlarge Security Council from 15 to 24 members
Streamline General Assembly agenda
Introduce new guidelines for authorising military action
Replace Commission on Human Rights with Human Rights Council
Introduce zero tolerance policy on abuses by UN peacekeepers
Improve co-ordination of environment and development aid agendas

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The Japanese ambassador to the UN, Kenzo Oshima said his country - like Germany, Brazil and India - favoured an expanded Security Council and wanted to see it reformed to reflect political realities in the 21st Century.

The Nigerian ambassador to the UN, Amin Wali, said Nigeria was pleased with the proposal that Africa would get two permanent seats on the Security Council.

The UK ambassador, Emyr Jones Parry, said the report must be seen as a whole - if it was dismembered, he said, there would be no agreement.

The proposals are designed to ensure the UN, which was shaken by the bitter debate over the war against Iraq, remains at the heart of world security.

The UN must be brought in line with "today's realities", Mr Annan said.

Criticism

The reform proposals come at a time when the world body faces criticism over its management of the oil-for-food programme in Iraq and allegations of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Following the Iraq war, the UN's role has been called into question and the organisation must re-establish itself
Charlotte, UK

The reforms proposed will be discussed by a meeting of world leaders attending a UN summit in September, and must then be endorsed by the General Assembly.

Mr Annan said: "This hall has heard enough high-sounding declarations to last us for some decades to come.

"We all know what the problems are and we all know what we have promised to achieve. What is needed now is not more declarations or promises, but action - action to fulfil the promises already made."

In a report setting out the reforms, Mr Annan urges governments to "act boldly" and adopt "the most far-reaching reforms in the history of the United Nations".

"We will not enjoy development without security, we will not enjoy security without development, and we will not enjoy either without respect for human rights," he said.

The report comes two years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, which took place without explicit Security Council authorisation.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Find out how Kofi Annan wants the UN to change




SEE ALSO:
Annan urges sweeping UN reforms
21 Mar 05 |  Americas
Poll shows backing for UN reform
21 Mar 05 |  Americas
Time to turn talk into UN reform
20 Mar 05 |  Americas
Annan defends United Nations role
10 Feb 05 |  Americas
Support for UN reform increases
24 Sep 04 |  Americas
Profile: The UN Security Council
29 Dec 04 |  Country profiles


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