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Don’t Shut Down the UN

Don't Shut Down the UN.org | Send a message to world leaders. UPDATE: From the Better World Campaign: The Partnership for a Secure America, a bi-partisan group of former high ranking foreign policy officials, ran an advertisement in The New York Times calling for strong U.S. leadership at the UN to build consensus on reforms and for continued funding of the organization at this critical time, addressing the vital role the UN is playing to confront global problems and in foster peace. See the advertisement. (pdf)
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Two Editorials on UN Reform

In case you missed these: Strained relations between U.N., U.S. are bad for everyone "During the late 1990s, congressional conservatives led by Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., vowed to starve the U.N. unless it acceded to a long list of "reforms." In September 2002, President Bush asserted that the United Nations would become "irrelevant" should it fail to join the U.S. in disarming Iraq. You have to wonder why the U.N. is still in business. The short answer is: Because the United States can't do without it.
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WaPo Op-Ed: ‘At the UN, Bluster Backfires’

Sebastian Mallaby: "Last month President Bush issued a rare apology. "Saying 'Bring it on,' kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal," he confessed. "I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted." Well done, Mr. President, you've understood that bluster can backfire. Now how about sharing this insight with your ambassador to the United Nations?"
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Time for Reasoned Diplomacy and Clearly Delineated Goals

In his recent testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ambassador Bolton announced that the U.S. is "prepared to consider" a 90-day extension of the spending cap that threatens to disrupt invaluable UN operations at the end of this month. However, he also acknowledged that "it hasn't met with a lot of support," and that "it's an indication ... that we're not trying to force this to an issue on the 30th [of June]."
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Blair on UN Reform

09-14kofiworldsummit.jpg "The United Nations must become more effective in tackling global terrorism, Tony Blair has said. He said that new worldwide threats mean that the international community must act "earlier and more effectively", and that a UN debate is needed on how that can happen. "The whole point about the international community today is that these problems are urgent, they need to be tackled. If they're not tackled, the consequences are very quickly felt around the world. And you have got to have institutions that are capable of taking them on and tackling them and getting action taken."
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Annan: UN Should Cut Down on Reports

"In 2005, the United Nations delivered 1,200 reports on issues from Guinea-Bissau to the rights of women in the developing world. Its human rights office alone produced 44,000 pages of documents which in turn had to be translated into six official languages. Such a huge volume of information, and the bureaucracy needed to produce it, threatens to overwhelm the United Nations, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a study released Thursday. The 191 member states must fund the things they ask for, and stop demanding so much if the world body is to live up to the ideals and promises of its founders, he said." [More]
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Nations Vote for Creation of Human Rights Watchdog

"The United Nations will soon have a re-minted human rights body to monitor abuses worldwide after the full membership voted in favour of its creation yesterday ... The notion of a reformed council was proposed by Kofi Annan, the secretary general, last year and endorsed by the UN's 60th anniversary summit in September." More
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Annan Proposes Overhaul of UN to Realign Operations from Headquarters to Field

112846.jpg Secretary-General Kofi Annan ©UN Photo/Mark Garten "Aiming to keep step with the shift at the United Nations from bureaucratic tasks to life-saving work in the field, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today presented proposals for a far-reaching overhaul ranging from setting up a 2,500-strong core of mobile peacekeeping professionals to multimillion dollar investments in training and technology. His far-reaching report, "Investing in the United Nations: For a Stronger Organization Worldwide," focuses on ensuring efficiency and accountability in a way that reflects the fact that more than 70 per cent of the $10 billion annual budget now relates to peacekeeping and other field operations, up from around 50 per cent of a $4.5 billion budget ten years ago." [Read more]