Holy See Welcomes Reform Proposals at U.N.

Calls Kofi Annan’s Plans «Very Realistic»

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 23, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See expressed its approval of a proposal presented by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to reform the international agency.

On Tuesday, Annan presented to the U.N. General Assembly an ambitious proposal for reform, calling for the establishment of a human-rights council and the enlargement of the number of countries with permanent seats on the Security Council.

Annan revealed that U.N. reform is now a priority for him. He said he hoped the changes would equip the organization with effective means to fulfill its mission and to recover the loss of credibility due to its ineffective decisions and the scandals and abuses that have affected humanitarian and pacification operations.

According to a Vatican Radio report today, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, proposed that the changes give greater political weight to the General Assembly; greater democracy in decision-making; specific rules for recourse to force; and a new strategy to address poverty in the world.

The papal representative said Annan’s proposals are «very realistic.»

«The debate is well under way,» Archbishop Migliore said. «The Holy See, for its part, is very favorable to the fact that a reform be undertaken according to adequate criteria, precisely to give greater democracy and representativeness to this organization.»

The U.N. secretary-general also proposed a change in the rules for the use of force under the aegis of the world body.

Annan’s «proposals endeavor to reflect the emerging conviction of international, collective responsibility to protect peoples,» said the archbishop.

«This responsibility must be exercised by the Security Council, which may authorize military interventions as a last resort, in cases of genocide or other serious violations of humanitarian law, when states do not wish or cannot address them,» he added.

According to Archbishop Migliore, «the big question» posed by the proposal is whether it will succeed in «giving greater executive force to United Nations resolutions.»

«Will a formula be found so that all resolutions are respected?» he asked. «Only in this way can one glimpse the U.N.’s efficacy.»

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