Minister Cowen outlines EU contribution to work of High-Level Panel of UN Secretary-General
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., has today formally conveyed the European Union’s contribution to the work of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change to the Panel’s Chairman.
The High-Level Panel was established in November 2003 by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to examine current and future global threats to peace and security, as well as related economic and social challenges, and assess how best these can be addressed by collective action.
After writing to the Chairman of the Panel, former Prime Minister of Thailand, Anand Panyarachun, Minister Cowen said:
“The UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel is undertaking a major examination of how the UN, and the whole international system, can meet the challenges and threats of today and of the future. This is vital work. The Panel is looking at the hard questions of how collective action can counter threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, how it can tackle poverty and under-development. It is looking at how an Organization of sovereign states can best act to prevent humanitarian catastrophe and gross violations of human rights. As EU Presidency, we have been working with partners to strengthen EU support of the UN in a number of levels. We believed it was important that the EU provided recommendations, views and insights to assist the Panel in its work.”
The Minister also welcomed the announcement by Minister of State Kitt that Development Co-operation Ireland would make a contribution of € 100,000 to the costs of the work of the Panel. The Panel’s Report will have significant implications for the future of the United Nations and for its role in the prevention of humanitarian catastrophe and in assisting development countries in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Note for Editors:
The High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change was established by Secretary-General Annan last November. The Panel, which is to report to the Secretary General by 1 December, is 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. On the basis of the Panel’s Report, Secretary-General Annan will make his own recommendations to the UN General Assembly.
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 is chaired by a former Prime Minister of Thailand, Anand Panyarachun, and comprises 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.