Magazine article UN Chronicle

'Saving Millions of Lives, Giving Hope to Billions'

Magazine article UN Chronicle

'Saving Millions of Lives, Giving Hope to Billions'

Article excerpt

We meet at the end of an historic week for the United Nations. Progress has been made across a broader front than on any other occasion in the 60-year history of the Organization.

We did not achieve everything--after all, we were ambitious, and set the bar very high. But by tackling a range of issues together, we clearly achieved a great deal.

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The Summit made breakthroughs in adopting strategies to fight poverty and disease, creating new machinery to win the peace in war-torn countries and pledging collective action to prevent genocide. It made real progress on terrorism, human rights, democracy, management of the Secretariat, peacekeeping and humanitarian response.

Now, we turn to a new task: to implement what has been agreed and to keep working to bridge differences that remain. The Summit outcome imposes responsibility on each of us individually and on all of us collectively. Many items must be completed during the sixtieth session of the General Assembly.

Let me remind you of some of the important items on our checklist, and what each of us must do to make sure that we tick them off, on time.

First, management reform. The Summit document gives the go-ahead for extensive management reforms to make the Secretariat more efficient, more effective and more accountable. I will start to drive that process forward.

To promote accountability, after commissioning a full and independent review of our oversight and management system, I will present a blueprint for an independent oversight audit committee. I will also submit very soon the details of the independent ethics office that I intend to create, which will protect whistleblowers and ensure more extensive financial disclosure.

Second, we must strengthen our human rights machinery. The High Commissioner for Human Rights will move ahead in implementing her plan of action, and you have pledged to assist her in strengthening her Office and doubling its budget. You have also agreed to strengthen the human rights treaty bodies.

Most important, you have agreed to create a Human Rights Council. General Assembly President Jan Eliasson (see page 11) needs your full support in conducting negotiations to finalize agreement on important details in the coming months. Let's have a Human Rights Council that commands respect and achieves results.

Third, we must move forward on terrorism. The Summit contains, for the first time, an unqualified condemnation by all Member States of terrorism "in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes". …

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