Magazine article UN Chronicle

After the Prize, No Resting on Laurels: 'Not More Technical or Feasibility Studies'

Magazine article UN Chronicle

After the Prize, No Resting on Laurels: 'Not More Technical or Feasibility Studies'

Article excerpt

Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the United Nations staff have won this year's Nobel Peace Prize, but it is not enough, as Mr. Annan remarked, for the Organization to rest on its laurels. It also needs to continue to look at how to create a shared future. In a report published on 19 September 2001, the Secretary-General does lust that. The report--"Road Map towards the Implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration--examines in detail how Member States, United Nations bodies, international organizations and civil society are putting into practice the goals set out in the Millennium Declaration, adopted by all 189 Member States at the Millennium Summit just over a year ago, in September 2000.

The "Road Map" reviews progress, suggests paths to follow and presents "strategies for moving forward" for each goal of the Declaration.

"The heads of State and Government at last year's Summit charted a cooperative path to meet the challenges ahead", says the Secretary-General. "This road map has attempted to carry forward their vision, identify the areas in which we need to work and offer suggestions for the future."

The road map draws on the work of Governments, the entire United Nations system, including the Bretton Woods institutions, and the World Trade Organization, intergovernmental organizations, international and regional organizations, and civil society. Accordingly, "the entire United Nations family of Member States, international organizations, funds, agencies, programmes, the private sector and civil society must join together to meet the lofty commitments that are embodied in the Millennium Declaration", says the Secretary-General. "Success requires solidarity."

The road map makes clear the scale of the challenge that lies ahead and focuses on implementation. "What is needed", the Secretary-General says, "is not more technical or feasibility studies.

Rather, "States need to demonstrate the political will to carry out commitments already given and to implement strategies already worked out". Its eight sections range from maintaining international peace and security, through development and poverty eradication, to strengthening of the United Nations system. Under the heading, "Peace, security and disarmament", it outlines measures to help promote human security. These steps include strengthening the rule of law and taking action against transnational crime by helping States ratify treaties and harmonize their domestic laws with international obligations. Specifically, States must take concerted action against international terrorism, putting into practice their commitment to prevent and combat terrorist acts.

Other proactive measures include widening the juris-diction of the International Court of justice and promoting the rapid entry into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Addressing the need to take action when the rule of law fails--for example by deploying peacekeeping operations and peace-building missions--the Secretary-General stresses replacing the culture of reaction to conflict by one of prevention.

This, the road map argues, will require the completion of ongoing United Nations peacekeeping reforms and support for peace-building efforts on the ground.

A further area for progress and reform is the "targeting" of sanctions in order to make them more effective and to reduce their impact on civilians. Of overriding importance is the need to pursue disarmament in all areas, from weapons of mass destruction to the illicit small-arms trade.

The second section of the road map is entitled "Development and poverty eradication: the Millennium Development Goals", while an annexed section pinpoints, in concrete and specific terms, the indicators that will measure the implementation of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is crucial, the report says, that the MDGs become national goals and serve to increase the coherence and consistency of national policies and programmes. …

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