|A/55/305 - S/2000/809|
| I. The need
for change | II. Doctrine, strategy and decision-making for peace
Identical letters dated 21 August 2000 from the Secretary-General to the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council
On 7 March 2000, I convened a high-level Panel to undertake a thorough review of the United Nations peace and security activities, and to present a clear set of specific, concrete and practical recommendations to assist the United Nations in conducting such activities better in the future. I asked Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, the former Foreign Minister of Algeria, to chair the Panel, which included the following eminent personalities from around the world, with a wide range of experience in the fields of peacekeeping, peace-building, development and humanitarian assistance: Mr. J. Brian Atwood, Ambassador Colin Granderson, Dame Ann Hercus, Mr. Richard Monk, General Klaus Naumann (retd.), Ms. Hisako Shimura, Ambassador Vladimir Shustov, General Philip Sibanda and Dr. Cornelio Sommaruga.
I would be grateful if the Panels report, which has been transmitted to me in the enclosed letter dated 17 August 2000 from the Chairman of the Panel, could be brought to the attention of Member States. The Panels analysis is frank yet fair; its recommendations are far-reaching yet sensible and practical. The expeditious implementation of the Panels recommendations, in my view, is essential to make the United Nations truly credible as a force for peace.
Many of the Panels recommendations relate to matters fully within the purview of the Secretary-General, while others will need the approval and support of the legislative bodies of the United Nations. I urge all Member States to join me in considering, approving and supporting the implementation of those recommendations. In this connection, I am pleased to inform you that I have designated the Deputy Secretary-General to follow up on the reports recommendations and to oversee the preparation of a detailed implementation plan, which I shall submit to the General Assembly and the Security Council.
I very much hope that the report of the Panel, in particular its Executive Summary, will be brought to the attention of all the leaders who will be coming to New York in September 2000 to participate in the Millennium Summit. That high-level and historic meeting presents a unique opportunity for us to commence the process of renewing the United Nations capacity to secure and build peace. I ask for the support of the General Assembly and Security Council in converting into reality the far-reaching agenda laid out in the report.
(Signed) Kofi A. Annan
Letter dated 17 August 2000 from the Chairman of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations to the Secretary-General
The Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, which you convened in March 2000, was privileged to have been asked by you to assess the United Nations ability to conduct peace operations effectively, and to offer frank, specific and realistic recommendations for ways in which to enhance that capacity.
Mr. Brian Atwood, Ambassador Colin Granderson, Dame Ann Hercus, Mr. Richard Monk, General (ret.) Klaus Naumann, Ms. Hisako Shimura, Ambassador Vladimir Shustov, General Philip Sibanda, Dr. Cornelio Sommaruga and I accepted this challenge out of deep respect for you and because each of us believes fervently that the United Nations system can do better in the cause of peace. We admired greatly your willingness to undertake past highly critical analyses of United Nations operations in Rwanda and Srebrenica. This degree of self-criticism is rare for any large organization and particularly rare for the United Nations.
We also would like to pay tribute to Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette and Chef de Cabinet S. Iqbal Riza, who remained with us throughout our meetings and who answered our many questions with unfailing patience and clarity. They have given us much of their time and we benefited immensely from their intimate knowledge of the United Nations present limitations and future requirements.
Producing a review and recommendations for reform of a system with the scope and complexity of United Nations peace operations, in only four months, was a daunting task. It would have been impossible but for the dedication and hard work of Dr. William Durch (with support from staff at the Stimson Center), Mr. Salman Ahmed of the United Nations and the willingness of United Nations officials throughout the system, including serving heads of mission, to share their insights both in interviews and in often comprehensive critiques of their own organizations and experiences. Former heads of peace operations and force commanders, academics and representatives of non-governmental organizations were equally helpful.
The Panel engaged in intense discussion and debate. Long hours were devoted to reviewing recommendations and supporting analysis that we knew would be subject to scrutiny and interpretation. Over three separate three-day meetings in New York, Geneva and then New York again, we forged the letter and the spirit of the attached report. Its analysis and recommendations reflect our consensus, which we convey to you with our hope that it serve the cause of systematic reform and renewal of this core function of the United Nations.
As we say in the report, we are aware that you are engaged in conducting a comprehensive reform of the Secretariat. We thus hope that our recommendations fit within that wider process, with slight adjustments if necessary. We realize that not all of our recommendations can be implemented overnight, but many of them do require urgent action and the unequivocal support of Member States.
Throughout these months, we have read and heard encouraging words from Member States, large and small, from the South and from the North, stressing the necessity for urgent improvement in the ways the United Nations addresses conflict situations. We urge them to act decisively to translate into reality those of our recommendations that require formal action by them.
The Panel has full confidence that the official we suggest you designate to oversee the implementation of our recommendations, both inside the Secretariat and with Member States, will have your full support, in line with your conviction to transform the United Nations into the type of twenty-first century institution it needs to be to effectively meet the current and future threats to world peace.
Finally, if I may be allowed to add a personal note, I wish to express my deepest gratitude to each of my colleagues on this Panel. Together, they have contributed to the project an impressive sum of knowledge and experience. They have consistently shown the highest degree of commitment to the Organization and a deep understanding of its needs. During our meetings and our contacts from afar, they have all been extremely kind to me, invariably helpful, patient and generous, thus making the otherwise intimidating task as their Chairman relatively easier and truly enjoyable.
(Signed) Lakhdar Brahimi
Chairman of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations