G-77 supports U.N. reform process

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 12 -- The General Assembly unanimously decided to approve a package of U.N. reforms aimed at introducing far reaching changes in the U.N. system next year.

The package, proposed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in July, has since undergone changes both for political and financial reasons.

The chairman of the Group of 77, Ambassador Daudi Mwakawago of Tanzania, said his Group along with China had decided to join the consensus in order to facilitate the process.

The package, he pointed out, did not fully reflect the concerns of the Group of 77 as expressed during the negotiations. The Group, however, was encouraged that the resolution approving the package contained useful in-built elements which could cover some of the concerns when measures were implemented.

Ambassador Mwakawago particularly referred to operative paragraph 2 which called on the Secretary-General to take into account the views and comments expressed by member states and groups of member states.

Importance should also be attached to the articles of the resolution stressing the fact that the implementation of the reform measures should be in accordance with the purposes of the U.N. charter, and respect fully the relevant mandates, decisions and resolutions of the General Assembly, including, in particular, the Medium-Term Plan for the period 1998-2001.

The package includes proposals for the creation of a U.N. Development Group, a new Office of Development Financing, a new Department for Disarmament, a system of multi-year pledges for development cooperation, and a U.N. Revolving Fund to assist cash-short member states who are unable to pay their U.N. dues on time.

The reforms also include proposals to rationalise and streamline U.N. operations both at headquarters and in the field, and the creation of new management structures that will enhance accountability in the U.N. system.

The Secretary-General himself admitted in July that U.N. bodies under his overall command had initially expressed reservations over some of his proposals to restructure the United Nations. ''I am glad they spoke out. It is the healthy and right thing to do,'' he said.

''Once I made the decision to go ahead, they have all come on board,'' Annan said. ''They are proposals that are bold but not suicidal,'' he added.

Annan said he is not a ''confrontational person'' and believes that ''conflicts are healthy.'' But admitted he would rather see these U.N. bodies disagree with him now rather than ''undermine'' him later.

Click here to read the statement delivered by Ambassador Daudi N. Mwakawago, on behalf of G-77 and China, following the adoption of the resolution on United Nations Reform: Measures and Proposals.