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The recommendations contained in the Secretary-General's report "In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all" merited serious consideration, but did not go far enough, Jamaica's representative said today, as the General Assembly met to consider the document

The Secretary-General presented the report to the Assembly on 21 March He has urged that they aim to make critical decisions on reform at the September summit in New York

Speaking on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, he said bolder and more far-reaching decisions were needed with regard to the mobilization of resources, to systemic economic issues and policies beyond the narrow framework of the Millennium Development Goals and to international economic governance the real question was not how to gain new commitments, but rather the implementation of those already made in relation to official development assistance (ODA), debt relief and improved mechanisms for the transfer of resources

Peru's representative, speaking on behalf of the Andean Community, said that while the Secretary-General's proposals constituted the concept of a "single undertaking", the variety of the issues covered gave them a specific value, which demanded separate considerations. The Andean Community was concerned that he had paid scant attention to countries which, in spite of their struggle to attain an average income level, still suffered high levels of poverty

Calling upon the Bretton Woods institutions and the World Trade Organization to adjust themselves to the social challenges posed by globalization, he said they impeded the generation of employment and created instability

Samoa's representative, speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, said that the so-called "Mauritius Strategy", a practical blueprint to address the sustainable development needs of small island developing States, had hardly rated a mention in the Secretary-General's report. The Forum trusted that the oversight could be rectified during the consultation process

Luxembourg's delegate, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated countries, said he shared the Secretary-General's view that development, security and human rights went hand in hand. They were also interconnected with justice and the rule of law The European Union was strongly resolved to pursue effective multilateralism, with the United Nations at its centre, as the most effective response to the threats and challenges facing the international community

Other speakers today included the representatives of Malaysia (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement); Estonia (on behalf of the Eastern European States); Malawi (on behalf of the African Group); China; Czech Republic; United Kingdom; Algeria; Egypt; Colombia; Morocco; Chile; Switzerland; San Marino; Brazil; and South Africa


Assembly President PING (Gabon) then introduced the debate on the Secretary-General's report "In Larger Freedom", which had been presented to the Assembly on 21 March. A thorough and more detailed consideration of the report would take place throughout the month in consultations. But, in an effort to make those discussions more transparent, he wished to embark on them in plenary.

On behalf of the European Union, Mr. HOSCHEIT (Luxembourg) said he hoped for the first draft of an outcome document of the General Assembly in early June, in time for the September summit. Last month, 25 heads of State and government of the European Council had welcomed the Secretary-General's report, which was a key contribution to the preparation for the summit

On freedom from fear, the security concerns of all States must be tackled, as with sovereignty came rights and responsibilities

On the use of force, he said the Union welcomed the Secretary-General's view that a set of principles, agreed by the Security Council, could contribute to the "use of force" debates. In particular, the report had called for the strengthening of United Nations peacekeeping and crisis management capabilities through, among other things, improved coordination in the field and between the field and United Nations Headquarters. The Union also supported the establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission, as a way of addressing the gaps between the end of armed conflict and durable peace to prevent a relapse into conflict

He said that flagrant human rights violations and acts of genocide called for a strong international response. In that regard, the Union emphasized strengthening the rule of law at national and international levels, as well as combating impunity

RASTAM MOHD ISA (Malaysia), on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the questions of development and social advancement should remain the centrepiece of the deliberations at the United Nations The Secretary-General, in presenting his report to the Assembly on 21 March, had expressed the hope that the proposals it contained would be adopted as a single package by Member States

He welcomed the subsequent clarification of the proposals by the Deputy Secretary-General in briefings to regional groups on the inter-connectedness of the issues raised in the report, and that a "single package" had not implied a "take-it-or-leave-it" proposition. It was up to Member States to respond to the report, with a view to achieving a balanced outcome The Non-Aligned Movement, whose member countries represented almost two thirds of the Organization's membership, had noted that, generally, the ideas and observations it had submitted had not been taken into consideration in the Secretary-General's report...

Mr. CHIMPHAMBA (Malawi), speaking on behalf of the African States, said there was a need for a clear stipulation of commitments and appropriate means of implementation if the Secretary-General's recommendations were to be considered an acceptable package

On security, he stressed the need to address all perceptions of threats and challenges in order to achieve collective security agreed by all. The Secretary-General had introduced some new nuances and concepts that required further reflection and elaboration

Emphasizing Africa's commitment to human rights, he said it was difficult to define collective security solely in terms of the responsibility to protect. The protection of citizens should not be used as a pretext to undermine the sovereign independence and territorial integrity of States. In addition to the civil and political rights included in the report, human rights should include socio-economic rights, particularly the right to development and the right to determine systems of governance

WANG GUANGYA (China) said the report represented a unique opportunity for the United Nations. The September summit would take important decisions bearing on the future orientation and role of the Organization. Successful completion of the preparations for the summit was a challenging task for all. The many proposals in the report were marked by unique insight and boldness. The report was well intentioned, nobly inspired and contained many practical suggestions, which his country was studying in-depth

The proposals on combating terrorism, on peacekeeping, and the fight against transnational organized crime were, on the whole, sound and positive. Differences still remained, however, on the definition of terrorism, the criteria for the use of force, the concept of "responsibility to protect", and the prevention of proliferation, on which further consultations were needed.

Meanwhile, he was favourably disposed towards establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission, whose main responsibility should be to devise plans for the transition from conflict to post-conflict peacebuilding and to coordinate initiatives of the international community in that respect. At the same time, he had "serious reservations" about abolishing the Military Staff Committee.


MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) In the area of peace and security, the report had not only endorsed, but further accentuated, a concept of collective security that was conceived as an instrument of coercion and intervention rather than of cooperation. That concept, which sought to endorse the undue concentration of authority in the Security Council, would legitimize and reinforce the pervasive inequality - in security, power and wealth - which characterized the times and which the United Nations must seek to rectify.

He said, however, that the United Nations' central purpose, under the Charter, was to prevent, not facilitate, the use of force and military intervention. Yet, the report spells out so-called "criteria" for the authorization of force, which were subjective and could be misused, mostly by the powerful against the weaker States. Furthermore, going even against the High-Level Panel's caution against reinterpreting Article 51 of the Charter, the report's analysis and recommendations open the door to the pre-emptive and even preventive use of force. The endorsement of the so-called "responsibility to protect" would steer the United Nations along the same interventionist path. Those who would decide where and when to intervene to "protect" people supposedly at risk would be the big and powerful States, not the small and weaker ones.
Secretary-General\'s Reform Recommendations.doc

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