5 February 2007 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today presented proposals to Member States aimed at improving the Organization’s peacekeeping and disarmament work.
Addressing a closed-door meeting of the General Assembly, Mr. Ban stressed the need for restructuring to enhance UN efforts in these two key areas, according to his spokesperson.
The Secretary-General noted that the number of peace operations is at an all-time high, and there is a need to deal with the surge in demand, Michele Montas told reporters in New York.
“He proposed the creation of a new Department of Field Support that can support field operations more effectively, coherently and responsively, and establish a clear point of responsibility and accountability,” she said.
The Secretary-General also emphasized the need for sustained and determined leadership to deal with disarmament issues, and proposed that the Department of Disarmament Affairs be constituted as an Office “with a direct line to him to ensure access and more frequent interaction,” she added.
Mr. Ban also promised that he continues to listen to Member States and has adjusted his proposals in accordance with their concerns.
Asked about the response from Member States, Ms. Montas noted that discussions are still continuing and pointed out that today’s presentation was just the beginning of consultations with the larger membership, following a period of talks on a smaller scale.
The Secretary-General thanked General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Al Khalifa for her personal contribution in carrying forward the consultations with Member States, said spokesperson Frehiwot Bekele.
“The Secretary-General noted that he has sought to adjust his proposals in accordance with the concerns of Member States,” said Ms. Bekele, a spokesperson for the General Assembly President, adding that he also indicated that he would move forward to fill existing posts as soon as possible, and that decisions about appointments for any new entities would be taken at a later date.
During the meeting, speakers expressed their commitment to support Mr. Ban in his efforts to strengthen and reform the Secretariat. They also indicated that more time as well as information and details would be needed for in-depth consideration of the proposals, Ms. Bekele said.