UNITED NATIONS TO ORGANIZE HEARINGS IN FIVE REGIONS TO PREPARE FOR YEAR 2000 'MILLENNIUM ASSEMBLY'19990408 NEW YORK, 8 April (Office of the Millennium Assembly) -- Fifty-five years after its founding, and in the context of a radically different world than existed even a mere decade earlier, what kind of United Nations do Member States desire?
This is one of several key questions that the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly, which has been designated the Millennium Assembly, will face when it opens in September 2000. The Millennium Assembly will also have, as an integral part, a Millennium Summit at Heads of State level.
In preparation for this milestone session, representatives of governments, civil society and non-governmental organizations will be gathering by region over the next five months to debate how the United Nations can best achieve its goals in the coming millennium.
Drawing on the outcomes of these hearings, which will be held in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and the Latin America-Caribbean region, the Secretary-General will produce a report to Member States on the United Nations in the twenty-first century.
Representatives of States in the region, local and regional non- governmental organizations, academics and opinion leaders will gather to discuss central aspects of the work of the United Nations, including its efforts in the areas of peace and security, economic and social affairs, development cooperation, humanitarian relief and human rights.
The first hearings will be held in Beirut at the headquarters of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) from 23 to 24 May, followed by hearings in Addis Ababa at the seat of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) from 24 to 25 June. The Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) will host the next hearings in Geneva from 7 to 8 July. Hearings will also be held, from August to September, in the regions of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
The General Assembly had designated its year 2000 session as the Millennium Assembly based on the conviction that the occasion constituted "a unique and symbolically compelling moment to articulate and affirm an animating vision for the United Nations in the new era". The hearings are a first step towards bringing this vision closer to reality.
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