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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 June 2005, 07:37 GMT 08:37 UK
UN sets out proposals for reform
By Susannah Price
BBC correspondent at the United Nations

UN General Assembly
The reforms are the most far ranging in the UN's 60-year history
A new human rights council and a convention on terrorism are among sweeping UN reforms outlined by the president of its general assembly.

The blueprint for change, released by president Jean Ping, follows lengthy consultation with member governments.

It endorses reform of the 15-strong Security Council but does not take sides on how the enlargement should be carried out.

Nations are deeply divided on whether it should have new permanent members.

Terrorism undefined

The new document is based on a report drawn up in March by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Mr Annan welcomed the latest paper, calling it an important step towards decisive action.

Jean Ping
Jean Ping said he believed everyone wanted reform

He said he was confident that world leaders, who are due to meet at UN headquarters in September, would agree on the most far-ranging reforms of the UN in its 60-year history.

Change is proposed in three main areas - development, security and human rights.

The report endorses many of the Secretary General's recommendations, which included setting up a peace-building commission, persuading developed countries to increase their aid and strengthening non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.

The report also calls for the creation of a human rights council to replace the discredited Human Rights Commission, which would be elected directly by the General Assembly.

However, although it called for a convention on terrorism, it did not spell out any definition of terrorism, which had been recommended by the Secretary General.

The human rights group Amnesty International said it was deeply disappointed that the draft did not include distinct commitments on human rights.

Mr Ping said he believed everyone wanted reform and there would now be intensive discussions among the 191 member states to try to reach broad-based agreement.



SEE ALSO:
Annan urges sweeping UN reforms
21 Mar 05 |  Americas
Profile: The UN Security Council
29 Dec 04 |  Country profiles


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