Minister Ahern welcomes official release of Report of UN Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern, T.D. has welcomed the Report of Secretary-General Annan’s High-Level Panel on the future of the UN and the collective security system. The Report was formally transmitted today by the Secretary-General to UN members.
Welcoming the Report, Minister Ahern said:
“In September 2003, the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, warned that the UN had come to a “fork in the road” and it needed to adapt itself to meet the conditions prevailing in today’s world. This report forms a key contribution to these efforts.
Ireland has been a strong supporter of the Secretary-General’s efforts to ensure that the UN system is made more effective and commands greater confidence and support. Indeed, during Ireland’s EU Presidency, we co-ordinated an EU contribution to the Panel which has been reflected in the Report.
The Report makes a compelling case for the multilateral system as the best way for all States, working together, to confront threats and challenges to security and development in today’s world.
However, the UN can only be as effective as its members allow it to be. No Report, even one as good as this one, can, by itself, make the difference. What is now required is a willingness on the part of the Members of the UN to work together to build a new consensus to support and strengthen the collective system of security.
It is critically important that at the high-level meeting taking place at the UN next September, which will also examine progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, we agree a package of reforms to improve the functioning and effectiveness of the UN system.
Secretary-General Annan needs the full support of the United Nations as he assumes the task of securing agreement on a package of reforms. I assured Mr. Annan, when we met in Dublin in October, that Ireland stands ready to assist him in this task.”
Note for Editors:
The High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change was established by Secretary-General Annan in November 2003. The Panel was charged with examining how best collective action can respond to current and future threats to peace and security, broadly interpreted to include also economic and social challenges, such as poverty and under-development.
As well as co-ordinating an EU contribution to the work of the Panel during our Presidency, Ireland also made a contribution of € 100,000 to the costs of the work of the Panel.
On the basis of the Panel’s Report, Secretary-General Annan will make his own recommendations to the UN General Assembly. After consulting with Member States, the Secretary-General will prepare a package of measures, drawn from the recommendations of the Panel, to be agreed at the “Major Event” taking place at the UN in September 2005. The Major Event will review the implementation of the Millennium Summit Declaration and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Secretary-General Annan had flagged the establishment of the Panel in his address to the UN General Debate in September 2003 when he warned that the challenges to the multilateral system of last year had brought the United Nations “to a fork in the road”.
The sixteen-member Panel was chaired by a former Prime Minister of Thailand, Anand Panyarachun, and comprised many experienced international figures such as former US National Security Adviser, Brent Scowcroft, former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, former Norwegian Prime Minister and WHO Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata.
The following for information is a full list of the members of the Panel: Anand Panyarachun (Chairman), former Prime Minister of Thailand. Robert Badinter (France), Member of the French Senate and former Minister of Justice of France. João Clemente Baena Soares (Brazil), former Secretary-General of the Organization of American States. Gro Harlem Brundtland (Norway), former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the World Health Organization. Mary Chinery-Hesse (Ghana), Vice-Chairman, National Development Planning Commission of Ghana and former Deputy Director-General, International Labour Organization. Gareth Evans (Australia), President of the International Crisis Group and former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia. David Hannay (United Kingdom), former Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations and United Kingdom Special Envoy to Cyprus. Enrique Iglesias (Uruguay), President of the Inter-American Development Bank. Amre Moussa (Egypt), Secretary-General of the League of Arab States. Satish Nambiar (India), former Lt. General in the Indian Army and Force Commander of UNPROFOR (UN Mission in former Yugoslavia, 1992-1995). Sadako Ogata (Japan), former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Yevgeny Primakov (Russia), former Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. Qian Qichen (China), former Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. Nafis Sadik (Pakistan), former Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund. Salim Ahmed Salim (United Republic of Tanzania), former Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity. Brent Scowcroft (United States), former United States National Security Adviser. Top