UNITED NATIONS, Dec 9: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Wednesday called on member states to make the necessary reforms to deal effectively with a new globalization of threats , from HIV/AIDS, nuclear proliferation and genocide to terrorism capable of killing hundreds of thousands of people.
"No country can afford to deal with today's threats alone, and no threat can be dealt with effectively unless other threats are addressed at the same time," he said at the start of informal consultations on the findings of the panel he appointed to look into how the global community could address new security threats, including UN reform.
Mr Annan received a standing ovation by the member states following his presentations. Praising the report of the panel, Mr Annan noted that the UN had "done a good job in many instances and is often undervalued." He added that the world body needed radical changes.
"It is hardly possible to over-state what is at stake, not only for this organization but for all the peoples of this world, for whose safety this organization was created," he said. "If we do not act resolutely, and together, the threats described in the report can overwhelm us.
"Do we want the human cost of HIV/AIDS to accumulate to the point where societies and states collapse? Do we want to face a future cascade of nuclear proliferation?" he asked.
"Next time we are faced with genocide, will we again resign ourselves to watching passively until it is too late? Do we want to raise our children in a world where small groups of terrorists can murder hundreds of thousand at any moment?"
Mr Annan appointed the 16-member panel of prominent politicians, diplomats and development experts a year ago to assess the current threats facing the world and recommend policy and institutional changes to deal with them.
They came out with 101 proposals for dealing with the six areas identified as being the greatest threats to world wide security in the 21st century: continued poverty and environmental degradation, terrorism, civil war, conflict between states, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and organized crime.
"They have risen to the challenge - and now the burden falls on you," Mr Annan said. "It is up to you, the member states, to act on their recommendations and to make 2005 the year of change at the United Nations." He said some of the proposals were in his purview and he intended to take the lead in promoting "a new comprehensive, principled strategy" against terrorism.
Dear visitor, the comments section is undergoing an overhaul and will return soon.