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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06USUNNEWYORK481 2006-03-14 13:50:00 UNCLASSIFIED USUN New York
Cable title:  

UN REFORM: SECRETARY-GENERAL SEEKS WEOG SUPPORT

Tags:   AORC KUNR UNGA 
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VZCZCXYZ0045
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0481 0731350
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141350Z MAR 06
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8291
INFO RUEHXX/GENEVA IO MISSIONS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
					  UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000481 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC KUNR UNGA
SUBJECT: UN REFORM: SECRETARY-GENERAL SEEKS WEOG SUPPORT
FOR MANAGEMENT REFORMS

REF: A. USUN 0442


B. USUN 0461



1. In a briefing March 10 to ambassadors from the Western
Europe and Other Group (WEOG), Secretary-General Kofi Annan
said that the Summit initiative by world leaders last
September had provided an unprecedented opportunity to push
forward a comprehensive proposal for reforming UN management.
He said the proposal, contained in "Investing in the United
Nations: for a stronger Organization worldwide" (reftels), is
a strategic one that provides broad direction over 3 to 5
years. Some initiatives are simple and can be done quickly,
for example the creation of a Chief Information Officer and
the granting of authority to perform cost-benefit analyses of
certain functions. He said he would soon provide a list of
quick possibilities. Annan also said that recent debates on
other issues had been difficult and divisive for Member
States, but UN management reform would benefit all. He also
indicated that if Member States could agree to create the new
Human Rights Council next week, this would provide momentum
for a concentrated effort on management reform. He further
stated (with a bit of a smile) that once management reform is
dealt with, perhaps Security Council reform could be next.
Annan's briefing to WEOG was one of five given during the
week to the UN's regional groupings.



2. Representatives of WEOG member states were generally
supportive of the Secretary-General's proposal. Following is
a sampling of the comments.

-- The Austrian Ambassador, speaking for the European Union,
thanked the Secretary-General for starting the dialogue for
reform with an approach that was not "business as usual." He
said that the EU would need to study the proposals carefully
and consider them under the guidance of the President of the
General Assembly.

-- The British Ambassador remarked it was important to
proceed quickly with some early wins, given the "needs of the
May-June" timeframe. He also said that the recent action by
the UN Staff Council to vote no confidence in the
Secretary-General was an "irresponsible act."

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-- The Germany Ambassador said some of the
Secretary-General's proposals were revolutionary and likened

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them to proposals that he himself pursued in the German
Foreign Ministry a while ago. Like in Germany, the employees
that might be affected by the changes were worried about
their jobs; it was important to continue dialogues with staff
and other stakeholders to convince them of the need for
reform.

-- The Dutch Ambassador said he was firmly behind the
Secretary-General in his effort to reform the UN. He

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referred to a lack of trust that the Secretariat faced with
UN staff members as well as member states and also asked
about the savings that would be achieved through the
investment in reforms.

-- The Ambassador from Iceland said he would read the report
over the weekend. He also asked whether the UN was getting
the best people for the jobs through the current examination
and recruitment process.

-- The Spanish Ambassador said it was important to make sure
that the soul of the Organization, including its commitment
to multilingualism, was not lost through the reform process.

-- The Australian Ambassador thanked the Secretary-General
for the "high strategic report", comparing the current UN
reform effort to the one started by the Australian Foreign
Ministry a few years ago. As results became evident, the
opposition to the changes was reduced.

BOLTON