Strengthening the United Nations

Article excerpt


There is still much to be done by the United Nations at the dawn of the twenty-first century. I would like to share my own expectations of the Organization, touching upon the main issues facing the international community, as well as the need to strengthen UN functions in order for it to address these issues effectively.

The maintenance of international peace and security requires a comprehensive approach to conflict at each stage--conflict prevention and resolution, peacekeeping and peace-building--by mobilizing political and diplomatic tools, as well as economic and social policy tools. It is also necessary to take fully into consideration the regional situation and the particular characteristics of each conflict. Lastly, in the context of peace building it is essential that international assistance, from post-conflict emergency humanitarian assistance to long-term development aid, be integrated seamlessly. The UN, for its part, must present visions and take initiatives to enhance conflict prevention efforts.

A variety of disarmament tasks also lie ahead; strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty regime; a prompt entry into force of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty; and the commencement of negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty. The United Nations should continue to promote the efforts of the international community on these issues. The world also expects it to play a pivotal role in addressing the issues of small arms and anti-personnel landmines.

Poverty, deeply entwined with such issues as conflict and environmental degradation, should be recognized as one of the primary concerns of the next hundred years. It is incumbent upon the various players, including the United Nations, other international organizations, States and civil society, to cooperate in working towards its eradication. The United Nations should continue its leading role in identifying development issues and setting human rights standards. It has been a key player in orienting international society to address these issues appropriately for the next generation--examples include the world conferences and the General Assembly special sessions in the last decade on population, small islands, development and women--and the UN should continue these kinds of initiatives. …


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