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UN Summit Opens

The UN summit opened Wednesdays with a call to eradicate poverty, enhance collective security and strengthen the world body.


"We, the heads of state and government, owe this to coming generations. We cannot afford to fail. We need to find collective solution based on the rule of law. And for this, we need a stronger UN," said Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, also co-chair of the summit, when he opened the summit.


He said that at this summit, the international community has an opportunity to take decisions that may shape international cooperation for years to come.


Most of the challenges facing the world today are interlinked and can only be met if the international community works together, he added.


The UN, he stressed, must be adapted to changing circumstances, noting that the world body is the prime instrument for effective multilateral solutions and a rule-based international order.


"We need a relevant and efficient UN. We need a strong UN that upholds our collective security system," he said.


The prime minister listed some of the tasks to be addressed at the summit, including taking early action to prevent conflict, protect people from human rights violations, and supporting states in post-conflict reconstruction, and most important among all, the reform of the UN.


He urged the member states to rise above short-term interests and invest in the future for generations to come and take the advantage of this great opportunity to live up to the commitment in the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals.


"Let each and every one of us do whatever we can to contribute to the great enterprise of building a better UN for the benefit of all mankind," he said.


Heads of state and government from some 150 countries are gathering at the UN headquarters in New York for the three-day summit.


(Xinhua News Agency September 15, 2005)

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