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Annan Calls on World Leaders to Implement UN Reform Blueprint

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday called on world leaders to adopt and implement a blueprint to reform the UN and carry on the process by agreeing on other divisive reform issues.


Annan issued the call in an address at the opening of a summit of around 150 heads of state and government and representatives from 41 other countries, which is the largest-ever gathering of such kind in the UN history.


"We must implement what has been agreed," said Annan, referring to a water-downed document for promoting development, strengthening the global collective mechanism and revitalizing the UN system.


The document, finalized Tuesday after days of marathon negotiations, calls for the establishment of a peace building commission, a human rights council, a democracy fund and continued support for the implementation of the millennium development goals.


"We must get the peace-building commission and the human rights council up and running, conclude a comprehensive convention on terrorism, and make sure the democracy fund starts working effectively," he said.


While describing the document as a "far-reaching package of changes," Annan also expressed disappointment about the failure to obtain a more substantive blueprint.


"We have not yet achieved the sweeping and fundamental reform that I and many others believe is required. Sharp differences, some of them substantive and legitimate, have played their part in preventing that," he noted.


Annan urged world leaders to "keep working with determination on the tough issues on which progress is urgent but has not yet been achieved."


"Because one thing has emerged clearly from the process on which we embarked two years ago: whatever our differences, in our interdependent world, we stand or fall together," he explained.


"That is why a healthy, effective UN is so vital. If properly utilized, it can be a unique marriage of power and principle, in the service of all the world's peoples," he stressed.


"No matter how frustrating things are, no matter how difficult agreement is, there is no escaping the fact that the challenges of our time must be met by action -- and today, more than ever, action must be collective if it is to be effective."


"I urge you, as world leaders, individually and collectively, to keep working on this reform agenda -- to have the patience to persevere, and the vision needed to forge a real consensus."


(Xinhua News Agency September 15, 2005)


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