At General Assembly debate, speakers praise UN reforms but urge further action

27 September 2006 –

As the General Assembly continued its annual debate today, speakers voiced support for measures that have been taken to strengthen the United Nations while calling for further reforms to enable the Organization to meet the challenges ahead.

“Even sceptics cannot deny that the UN in 2006 is profoundly different from the UN 10 years ago,” said Alexandr Vondra, the Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, noting that many reform projects were carried out although some, including the “long-overdue reform of the Security Council” were not.

If the UN could succeed in management reform, it will become “stronger, leaner, less bureaucratic and more operational,” he said. “Let us hope that these changes will be backed by the adoption of a new and fair scale of assessments, by adequate budget and payment discipline, and, last but not least, by progress in implementing the Capital Master Plan” for overhauling the UN’s dilapidated Headquarters complex.

Anders Lidén, Sweden’s Ambassador said the High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence provides “a unique opportunity to revitalize the support of the United Nations to the developing countries.”

This, said, will ultimately serve those States where the Organization operates. “If the UN can become more effective at the country level, it will be able to mobilize more resources and ensure that they will reach the countries in need.”

Representing the Observer Mission of the Holy See, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, President of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State, voiced support for reforms that have already been carried out, such as the creation of a new Peacebuilding Commission and Human Rights Council, while stressing the need for further changes.

“The need to improve the system for effective humanitarian interventions in catastrophes brought on by war, civil conflict and ethnic strife will be an important test of the UN reform agenda,” he said.

Also addressing the Assembly today, Gilles Noghès, the head of Monaco’s delegation, said the Principality’s Princess Stéphanie would soon be designated as a Special Representative of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS. This “will further reinforce her commitment to the battle against this terrible pandemic affecting more and more women,” he said.

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