Effective UN is lifeanddeath matter for many in developing countries Fréchette says

Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette urged the leaders of developing countries to attend the General Assembly summit in September to make sure that United Nations reforms lead to greater efficiency in addressing global challenges and that the world reaches agreed development, human rights and security targets.“The issues are on the table. The time for creative engagement is now. A functioning and effective United Nations is critical for all countries – and, for many of your citizens, it can mean the difference between life and death,” she told the Group of 77’s second South-South summit in Doha, Qatar.The Assembly Summit is scheduled to consider these issues in a framework relating development, security, and human rights proposed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a report called “In Larger Freedom.”“The Secretary-General needs the support of Member States to ensure the Secretariat is able to live up to the highest standards of performance, efficiency, accountability and transparency and can implement the agreed priorities of the Member States in a fast-changing world,” she told the 132-member group.Ms. Fréchette said the Assembly’s first priority must be the effort to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of targets designed to focus the attention of Governments on reducing or eliminating a host of socio-economic ills.“That Summit is an opportunity to remove some of the obstacles that have hampered the achievement of the vision of the Millennium Declaration, including insufficient resources for and commitment to our agreed development agenda, as well as a lack of consensus on how to ensure security and human rights for all,” she said.The peoples of the developing countries “suffer most from inaction in the face of massive violations of human rights. They are too often the victims of acts of terrorism and the events those acts unleash. They pay a price for the proliferation of small arms, light weapons and land mines,” Ms. Fréchette said.Looking on the bright side, however, she noted that the European Union (EU) agreed last month to increase official development assistance (ODA) to 0.7 per cent of gross national income (GNI) and the finance ministers of the Group of Seven (G-7) richest industrialized countries agreed to cancel $40 billion of debt owed by the 18 poorest countries, mostly in Africa.

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