31 May 2006

Together, United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement Can Make Real Difference in Lives of those Who Need It Most, Says Secretary-General to Malaysia Meeting

NEW YORK, 30 May (UN Headquarters) -- Following is UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's message to the Non-Aligned Movement Coordinating Bureau Ministerial Meeting, delivered by Vijay Nambiar, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, in Putra Jaya, Malaysia, 29 May:

It is a pleasure to send my greetings to all participants at this ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement.  I would especially like to thank Malaysia for hosting this gathering.

The world has changed tremendously since your Movement was founded decades ago.  Yet the Non-Aligned Movement's underlying goals -- to give voice to the developing world, and to advance a just and democratic international order -- remain as relevant as ever.  You are fighting poverty and underdevelopment.  You are concerned about the spread of infectious disease and environmental degradation.  You are committed to ending conflict and to securing your independence, as well as to checking the spread of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

These issues concern the United Nations as well, and were the focus of last September's UN World Summit.  Meeting in New York, world leaders agreed on progress across a broad front.  They gave a resounding reaffirmation of the Millennium Development Goals, with countries committing to produce national strategies for achieving the Goals by the end of this year.  They affirmed the will of the international community to act collectively when a population is threatened with genocide, ethnic cleansing or crimes against humanity.  The creation since then of a Peacebuilding Commission and a Human Rights Council are major milestones.  The Summit also gave us a much-improved emergency fund that will enable faster responses to humanitarian disasters, and it endorsed the new Democracy Fund.

As the United Nations works to realize the World Summit's commitments, I count on the support of non-aligned countries in attaining our goals, including changes in the working practices of the Secretariat.

At the same time, the Non-Aligned Movement's support for the recent peace agreement in Sudan, and for elections in Haiti, illustrates the crucial and constructive role you can and must play in promoting peace and security in our world.

I am grateful to your Movement for the support it has consistently extended to the United Nations, and to me as Secretary-General. I also look to you as we continue to reform and reinvigorate our Organization to make it a more transparent, responsive and effective instrument of service to humankind.

The United Nations exists, above all, to give voice to the principles of the Charter.  It is in your Movement's interest to see the UN work efficiently and effectively towards this goal.  Working together, we can achieve great progress, and make a real difference in the lives of those who need it most:  the peoples whom the Non-Aligned Movement represents.

It is in this spirit that I wish you a most productive meeting.

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