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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

United States urges UN to conduct "lasting revolution of reform"

17 September 2005 Calling on the United Nations to “launch a lasting revolution of reform,” the United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the General Assembly today that the world body must become more transparent and accountable to its Member States.

In a speech to the General Debate of the 60th session of the General Assembly, held at UN Headquarters in New York, Ms. Rice said the UN cannot deal successfully with the greatest global challenges unless it has first made the necessary internal reforms.

She said the declaration reached at the end of this week’s UN World Summit made clear there is “a global consensus that reform is imperative” so that the world body can “become an engine of change in the 21st century.”

Ms. Rice said the purpose and performance of every UN programme must be comprehensively reviewed, tougher ethics rules introduced, internal oversight increased and Organization-wide accountability enhanced to make sure the UN is “a more effective – and a more principled – institution.”

“Our fellow citizens deserve a UN that commands their respect – and is worthy of their hard-earned tax dollars,” she said, adding that the US “believes in the United Nations and we have ambitious hopes for its future.”

Ms. Rice said the most serious global threats today are not between States but emerge within them “and melt through their borders,” citing terrorism, weapons proliferation, pandemic diseases and human trafficking.

She said it was vital that every nation outlaw acts of international terrorism and ratify the Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism.

The US Secretary of State also said Washington is “open to expanding the Security Council” so that its membership reflects the world today and not at its creation in 1945.

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