Press Releases

    ORG/1437
    PI/1637
    22 March 2005

    Secretary-General Calls for Deal by World Leaders on Poverty, Security, Human Rights

    NEW YORK, 20 March -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on leaders to reach a new global deal to tackle the challenges of development, security and human rights, and to overhaul the United Nations.  The recommendations in his report, titled “In larger freedom:  Towards development, security and human rights for all”, lay the groundwork for decisions at the upcoming summit of world leaders at the United Nations in September 2005.

    Taking its name from a key phrase of the United Nations Charter, which speaks of social progress and better standards of life, “in larger freedom”, the report promotes a realignment of the world body to give additional weight to key development, security and human rights issues, while setting out plans to make the United Nations more efficient, open and accountable.  Its recommendations are drawn in part from the conclusions of two United Nations-commissioned panels on collective security and on the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals, as well as promises made in the Millennium Declaration of 2000.

    The Secretary-General stressed that the report’s proposals should be viewed as an achievable package, to which Member States can agree in September:  “These are reforms that are within reach.”

    Key proposals include:

    Development

    -- Developing countries to implement national action plans to meet the Millennium Development Goals, supported by increased development assistance by developed countries, including meeting their commitment to meet the 0.7 per cent target of gross national income by 2015 or sooner;

    -- Mitigating the impact of climate change by mobilizing science and technology and committing to a more inclusive international framework for stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions following the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012;

    Security

    -- Agreement on a comprehensive convention against terrorism based on a clear and agreed definition, as part of a broader strategy to prevent catastrophic terrorism;

    -- States to complete, sign and implement a fissile material cut-off treaty to reduce the risks of proliferation of nuclear materials;

    -- Creation of a UN Peace-building Commission to help win the peace in post-conflict countries;

    Human Rights

    -- Replacement of the Commission on Human Rights with a smaller, more-empowered standing UN Human Rights Council;

    -- All States to embrace the “responsibility to protect” as a basis for collective action against genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity;

    -- Establishment of a Democracy Fund to provide funding and technical assistance to countries seeking to establish or strengthen their democracy;

    UN Renewal

    -- Expansion of the UN Security Council to make it more broadly representative of the international community as a whole and the geopolitical realities of today;

    -- Streamlining of the Secretariat to be more flexible, transparent and accountable in serving the priorities of Member States and the interests of the world’s peoples.

    The full report and supplemental information can be accessed at www.un.org/largerfreedom.

    * *** *