9 December 1997
Agenda item 157
RENEWING THE UNITED NATIONS: A PROGRAMME FOR REFORM
Report of the Secretary-General
1. In paragraph 91 of his report entitled "Renewing the United Nations: a programme for reform" (A/51/950), the Secretary-General proposed that the opportunity provided by the advent of the new century and the millennium be used to designate the session of the General Assembly to be held in the year 2000 a "Millennium Assembly", with a summit segment devoted to a review of the role of the United Nations vis-?vis the prospects and challenges of the future. The high-level segment of the Millennium Assembly could be called the "Millennium Summit".
2. The special ministerial-level commission proposed by the Secretary-General in his reform report (para. 89) could play an integral role in contributing to the eventual outcome of the Millennium Assembly. In addition, attention is drawn to the fact that Member States have already mandated a number of activities for the year 2000. These include a special session of the General Assembly for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development; a high-level plenary review to appraise and assess the progress achieved in the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women and the Beijing Platform of Action five years after its adoption; and the tenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. There also exists the possibility of holding a third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries. At the national, regional and interregional levels, there will also undoubtedly be activities and events designed to review and assess strategies and policies in pursuit of peace, progress and social justice. The Millennium Assembly could draw upon and serve as a culminating event for all of these activities in order to articulate a vision for the United Nations as the world enters the new millennium.
3. It would be beneficial, indeed essential, to ensure high-level participation at the Millennium Summit. The Secretary-General would like to emphasize the importance of encouraging the attendance of Heads of State and/or Government. The deliberations of the Summit would provide the guidance required by the United Nations system as a whole as it enters into the twenty-first century.
4. Concerning the timing of the Millennium Assembly in the year 2000, the preparatory mechanism that the General Assembly would establish for the purpose would be the logical forum to examine such details, among others. An ad hoc committee of the whole could be established by the Assembly to handle all practical preparatory aspects of this historic session.
5. Many millennium-related events will be taking place around the world, but none could have the universal character of the Millennium Assembly. This special Assembly could in fact be seen as the focal point for all the millennium celebrations. The absence of an appropriate millennium observation by the United Nations could be seen as an important omission as well as a missed opportunity.