UN in Need of Reforms Trend's Interview with Kofi Annan

Politics Materials 15 December 2006 12:54 (UTC +04:00)
UN in Need of Reforms  Trend's Interview with Kofi Annan

Trend's Exclusive Interview with the UN Secretary General

Question: After the World Summit in 2005, the UN took important steps; in particular, the Peacebuilding Commission and the Human Rights Council were established. However, there are some pending issues, like Security Council and Secretariat reform. How do you see the further reform of the UN and what role can your successor play in that regard?

Answer: Everyone seems to agree that the UN needs reform. What has sometimes been challenging, however, has been mustering up the political will from Member States to push through those reforms.

Nevertheless, important steps have been taken over the past year. In addition to the examples you already mentioned, Member States have created a Central Emergency Response Fund to help the victims of humanitarian disasters. A Democracy Fund has been launched to strengthen institutions and ensure that people can exercise their democratic rights. For my part, I have placed before the membership a new set of proposals for an overhaul of the Organization's management. Building on previous rounds of reform, my goal is a more transparent, accountable and effective instrument of service to humankind.

I still believe very strongly in the need for Security Council reform and I have said time and time again that no reform of the UN will be complete without it. I do not think Member States should let it drop. They should pursue it, because the lack of reform partly explains why we have tensions in the Organization today. The world has changed since 1945, and the UN has to adapt. Many Member States feel that our governance structure is anachronistic, and we cannot continue to have a situation where the power base is perceived to be controlled by only five Member States.

I hope that the heritage I am leaving my successor will include a stronger and more effective Organization. I have tried hard to reform the United Nations and adapt it to the tasks it must perform in the 21st century, and I am continuing in the days that are left in my tenure to ensure that I can hand over a UN system that is equipped to face today's challenges. But as I often say, reform is a process, not an event - and a process that will certainly have to continue under my successor

Question: Question: How could the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh be resolved? Will the UN remain passive observer of Armenia's aggressive policy with respect to Azerbaijan as well as to the so called referendum in Nagorno Karabakh?

Answer: The Nagorno-Karabakh issue is being dealt with by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Regarding the recent referendum, the UN was not involved in any way, and therefore, I will refer you to the OSCE for comments and explanations.

Question: Could you please tell us about your personal plans for the future?

Answer: First, I'd like to take some time off so that my wife and I can actually relax a bit. But once I've done that, I'd like to devote my energy to focusing on the issues of women's education and agriculture in Africa. Helping to improve food security in Africa is an issue of special importance to me; without it I believe Africa's development will retain weak foundations.