August 2005

Global Summit

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In September 2005, the United Nations (UN) will hold a high level plenary meeting which is also referred to as a summit, to review the implementation of the Millennium Declaration (2000), and the integrated follow-up to the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields. Member States at the summit will also deliberate the Secretary-General's report, released in March 2005, on the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and issues of peace and security, as well as UN reform.

In preparation for this high-level meeting, the Secretary-General released a report, in October 2004, on the event's modalities, format and organisation. The report recommends, among other things, a three-day event taking place at the commencement of the 60th session of the General Assembly in September 2005.

Facts in focus
The Millennium +5 Summit is expected to undertake a comprehensive review of the progress made towards the commitments articulated in the UN Millennium Declaration, including the internationally agreed development goals and the global partnership required for their achievement. Apart from that, the event will review the progress made in the integrated and coordinated implementation of the outcomes and commitments of the major United Nations conferences and summits. The summit will also draw on issues of peace and security, more specifically the findings of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, established by the Secretary-General in early 2004. The report of this panel has been released in December 2004.

Kofi Annan and UN reforms
Just six months after taking office as Secretary General in January 1997, Kofi Annan announced his plan for United Nations reform. He set out an agenda of better management and coordination across the entire UN system and stronger human rights promotion and peacekeeping operations. In 2002, Annan announced further reforms, coinciding with the beginning of his second term. These proposals took up earlier technocratic themes, including enhanced coordination of the organisations in the UN system and greater 'focus' in the UN's work.

Over the years, Annan's priorities have reflected financial and political pressure from Washington amid a deep crisis in UN funding. In such a cash-starved setting, reforms tended to rearrange resources and bleed important programmes to serve ever-new precedence. The consequences brought some modern management into a cumbersome bureaucracy, but they also made the UN more conservative and less democratic, by shaping it to a neoliberal, security-driven US agenda.

Kofi Annan announced his plans to establish the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change in an address to the General Assembly on  September 23, 2003. The panel was created to ensure that the UN remains capable of fulfilling its primary purpose as enshrined in Article I of the Charter

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