Minister O'Donnell T.D., supports reform and strengthening of the UN
Minister O'Donnell T.D., supports
reform and strengthening of the United Nations.
Ms. Liz O'Donnell, T.D., Minister of State for Overseas Development and Human Rights emphasised why the United Nations is needed in today's world when giving the opening address at the National Forum on Development Aid today (Wednesday 8th October 1997) at the O'Reilly Hall, University College Dublin. "To defend the United Nations is to defend the very principle of internationalism and is why nations should work together for the common good rather than pursue selfish national interests, a philosophy that twice in this century brought the world to ruin. We do not have the option of a third throw of the dice. Above all else, that is why we - all of us - need the United Nations".
On the challenge of reforming and strengthening the UN, the Minister referred to her support for Secretary General Kofi Annan's reform proposals. "Secretary General Kofi Annan has courageously accepted this challenge and his reform proposals will significantly strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of United Nations programmes and activities".
"In the field of development cooperation, I believe that the proposals of the Secretary General will significantly strengthen the effectiveness of the United Nations in its economic and social programmes. For example, the establishment of a United Nations Development Group - consisting of its core membership of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNICEF and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities - can only increase coherence and coordination across the range of United Nations Development Programmes", Minister O'Donnell continued.
The Minister referred to the importance of Member States providing sufficient resources on a predictable basis to the UN Funds and Programmes in the development field."Our objective in seeking reform must not be about cost-cutting or reducing the role of the United Nations.
On the contrary, we must aim to enhance and strengthen the role of the United Nations, and multilateralism generally, by making the United Nations a vigorous, effective, and well organised instrument of international cooperation".
Specifically the Minister welcomed the emphasis given by the Secretary General for an enhanced role by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in making certain that Human Rights issues are fully integrated into the work and activities of the united Nations system. "We in Ireland take pride in the appointment of Mrs. Robinson. We know her to be a strong advocate of human rights and the rights of the marginalised and the dispossessed. We believe she will bring honour to the United Nations in the performance of her responsibilities", concluded Minister O'Donnell.
8 October 1997
Note for Editors.
The Department of Foreign Affairs established the National Forum on Development Aid in 1993 to provide a platform for discussion with NGOs and other interested groups on Irish development aid policies and broader aid issues. The theme at this fourth National Forum is "The Role of Multilateral Agencies in Development". This topic was selected to encourage debate in Ireland on the role of the international community and particularly the United Nations (UN) concerning development aid, at this time of significant reform and rethinking in the UN system. Top