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Homepage > Publication Type > Open Letters > Joint Letter Calling on President Bush to Play a Productive Role at the UN Summit 13-16 September 2005

Joint Letter Calling on President Bush to Play a Productive Role at the UN Summit 13-16 September 2005

Brussels  |   9 Sep 2005

Dear Mr. President:

Next week, over 170 world leaders will gather together at the 60th Annual General Assembly Summit of the United Nations. We sincerely hope that you and other Administration officials will be present to work with these world leaders to advance critical reforms being considered at this historic Summit and to promote the UN’s role in realizing Member States’ shared commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

At the center of this year's General Assembly agenda is the advancement of unprecedented initiatives to improve the United Nations. Every institution needs periodic retooling to meet new challenges. After 60 years, the UN is no exception. The UN must modernize to meet 21st century challenges ranging from security and terrorism to poverty, disease and sustainable development. U.S. leadership is vital to achieve the summit’s goal of revitalizing the UN. We urge the full engagement of your Administration to build broad support, both at home and abroad, for a stronger, more effective United Nations.

Many of the reforms that will be considered were included in Secretary-General Kofi Annan's report, "In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security, and Human Rights for All." Moreover, the creation of a new Human Rights Council, the Democracy Fund and a Peacekeeping Commission are important common sense initiatives that enjoy bipartisan support and are included in the State Department's "U.S. Priorities for a Stronger, More Effective United Nations."

Now more than ever, an effective and accountable United Nations is critical to U.S. interests. The United States and many other UN members face pressing international challenges from the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran to the ongoing violence in Sudan. No single nation should bear the entire burden and cost of resolving these international challenges. Therefore, it is imperative that the UN be even more capable of working effectively with the United States to meet these complex and costly challenges. We have many recent examples such as tsunami relief in Southeast Asia, the elections in Afghanistan and the peace agreement in Sudan of the UN's ability to promote peace, democracy and development around the globe. We must ensure the UN can continue to replicate and improve on such successes, while also committing to a responsibility to protect civilians from future atrocities, including genocide.

The Summit is also an opportunity to improve the lives of the most impoverished of the world by affirming the Millennium Development Goals and committing to concrete policies on development. All nations, both rich and poor, must work together to reduce poverty through timebound, measurable internationally agreed development goals that promote good governance and sustainability. In our view, the Millennium Development Goals represent this important mutual partnership between developed and developing countries. We urge you to state the U.S. commitment to these goals during this historic summit.

In the words of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, "just as the United States took the lead in forging the consensus that led to the creation of the United Nations after WWII, we believe the United States, in its own interests, must lead the organization toward greater relevance and capability in this new era."

We once again urge you and your administration to take a productive role in helping to adopt a comprehensive and constructive agenda on development, security, democracy and human rights, and reform that will be discussed at the upcoming 60th UN General Assembly meeting. Such an outcome would be beneficial to U.S. national interests and to a long term effective United Nations.

Sincerely,

International Crisis Group*
20/20 Vision
African Medical & Research Foundation USA
The American Humanist Association
American Progress Action Fund
Baha'is of the United States
Better World Campaign
British American Security Information Council (BASIC)
The Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) 
Church Women United
Church World Service
Citizens for Global Solutions
Coalition for American Leadership Abroad
Concern Worldwide
Council for a Livable World
Democracy Coalition Project
The Fund for Peace 
The General Federation of Women's Clubs 
Global AIDS Alliance 
Heifer International
The Humpty Dumpty Institute 
International Relations Center 
International Relief and Development 
International Rescue Committee
MercyCorps
National Wildlife Federation
Open Society Policy Center 
Oxford Council on Good Governance
Physicians for Human Rights
Physicians for Social Responsibility 
Population Action International
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Refugees International 
Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights
The Stanley Foundation
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
United Nations Association of the USA
United Nations Foundation
U.S. Chapter of Global Action to Prevent War
Women's Action for New Directions 
Women's Edge Coalition
Women's Environment and Development Organization

*More organisations may be added.

Cc: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Ambassador John R. Bolton
Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns

 
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