Vol. 5 Num 289 Sun. March 20, 2005  
Front Page

Annan 'to propose UN reform plan'

Secretary-General Kofi Annan will propose on Monday sweeping changes to the United Nations, including expansion of the Security Council and changes to a human rights panel, the Los Angeles Times has reported.

The plan, aimed in part at preventing new scandals at the much-criticized world body, will be presented to the General Assembly, the paper said on its Web site on Saturday, citing a draft copy of the reform plan it said it had obtained.

UN officials were not immediately available to comment.

The proposals are intended to maintain the United Nations as the main setting for world security decisions and to keep it dominant in international development issues, the paper said.

The reforms must be endorsed by the General Assembly and by world leaders attending a UN summit in September. They are seen in part as an attempt to make the beleaguered organisation more relevant, the paper said.

Its role has come under increased scrutiny since the U.S. decision to invade Iraq without Security Council approval and scandals involving corruption in an Iraqi oil-for-food programme and sexual exploitation by UN peacekeepers.

U.S. President George W. Bush recently nominated John Bolton, an outspoken critic of the UN, as his pick for U.S. ambassador to the body.

The report urges an anti-terrorism convention by September 2006, new moves to curb nuclear proliferation, and an agreement on rules for the use of force and preemptive action, the Los Angeles Times said.

The proposals include barring nations that violate human rights from joining the panel that monitors such violations.

The plan also calls for zero tolerance for sexual exploitation by UN peacekeepers and other staff, and calls on countries that supply UN troops to prosecute such wrongdoers because it has no power to do so.