11 April 2006

In Message to ESCAP Session, Secretary-General Urges Members to Sustain World Summit Momentum

NEW YORK, 10 April (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the sixty-second session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), delivered today in Jakarta by Kim Hak-Su, Executive Secretary, ESCAP:

It gives me great pleasure to send greetings and best wishes to the delegates attending the sixty-second annual session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.  I thank the Government of Indonesia for hosting this important gathering.

I urge you to use this meeting to sustain the momentum generated by last September's World Summit in New York.  While world leaders did not achieve everything we might have hoped for, they did agree on progress across a broad front.  They gave a resounding reaffirmation of the Millennium Development Goals, with developing countries committing to produce national strategies for reaching the Millennium Development Goals by the end of this year.  They achieved a breakthrough on the responsibility to protect, with all Member States expressing their will to act collectively, through the Security Council, when a population is threatened with genocide, ethnic cleansing or crimes against humanity.  The creation of a Peacebuilding Commission and a Human Rights Council are major milestones.  The Summit also gave us a much-improved emergency fund that would enable us to respond promptly to humanitarian disasters, and it endorsed the new Democracy Fund.  For my part, last month I placed before the membership a new set of proposals for a radical overhaul of the Organization's management.  Building on previous rounds of reform, my goal is a more transparent, accountable and effective instrument of service to humankind.

ESCAP's own reforms of recent years are an important part of efforts to adapt the United Nations.  I know that ESCAP, together with the other four regional commissions, is taking steps to strengthen management, improve coordination, and ensure that its work reflects the priorities of Member States.  I thank ESCAP for its contributions to system-wide reform, and offer my best wishes for a productive session.

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