Annan warns deal on UN draft will not meet deadline
* Calls for greater compromise among ambassadors from core group
UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was concerned that agreement on a draft document for UN reform may not be reached in time for next week’s gathering of world leaders.
Negotiators working on the declaration, which is to be adopted by the 180 leaders expected at the Sept 14-16 World Summit at the United Nations, have been focusing on issues ranging from terrorism to overhauling UN management. “I am very concerned that despite some signs of progress, the work may not finish on time and the deadline will be missed,” he said Friday.
Annan called for greater compromise among ambassadors from a core group of 32 nations that began negotiating a draft document two weeks ago. “If member states are going to get a meaningful outcome, there will need to be more give and take,” he said.
The overall goal is to produce a blueprint to reform the United Nations and achieve UN goals to reduce poverty for world leaders to approve at the summit.
Key issues expected in the document are steps to fight poverty; a Human Rights Council with more authority to replace the a new Human Rights Council to replace the discredited Human Rights Commission; a new Peacebuilding Commission to help nations emerging from conflict; new responsibility for governments to protect civilians facing genocide and war crimes; disarmament and nonproliferation. A devastating indictment of UN leadership in a year-long investigation of the oil-for-food programme in Iraq have complicated the effort to come up with a document. The report blamed UN officials for putting $10.2 billion in the pocket of Saddam Hussein’s government. With time running out, ambassadors this week were not optimistic. reuters