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Rasmussen on UN reforms 25 Oct 1995

THE EARTH TIMES

OCTOBER 25, 1995

INTERVIEW RASMUSSEN

‘Action on problems’

BY ASHALI VARMA

UNITED NATIONS—While world leaders have spoken about the need to reform and streamline the United Nations, Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen of Denmark is candid about who should shoulder the blame. In his speech before the commemorative session of the General Assembly, he said, “The UN is only as strong as we make it. If the organization does not fulfill our expectations, our credibility is at stake. Instead of criticizing the UN for not doing enough, we should take a close look at ourselves to see if we are doing enough for the UN.” In an interview with The Earth Times on Tuesday, Rasmussen said, “The first step is that we must be able to solve the financial crises for the

UN. The second step would be to reform the UN and to make it more effective but the reform process is not an answer to the financial crises. We must attend to both,”

Rasmussen feels strongly that .the new thrust should be toward “Strengthening our  cooperation to implement a soft security policy, that is fight against poverty; economic and social development in the third world; and creating equal opportunities for men and women.”

As the head of the nation that held the Social Summit he said, “The follow-up work after the Social Summit is of fundamental importance and must be a priority on the United Nations’ agenda for the next century.”

On Denmark’s commitment to the implementation of the Copenhagen Programme of Action, Rasmussen said, “I am deeply engaged personally and on behalf of my government to realize the follow-up activity. The Danish government is prepared to take a share of the financial burden in the implementation process.” Regarding reform of the Security Council, Rasmussen said “I think that we should  work for a better geographical balance in the Security Council.  There is a growing understanding among member states that regions in Asia and Africa and other nations should have participation in the Security Council. This must be resolved in the coming years.”

Rasmussen felt that UN50 had generated the political will needed for restructuring the United Nations.  He said emphatically “Yes we shall be more effective.  Yes we shall look into streamlining the organization. Yes we shall do things in a better way with lesser bureaucracy but we cannot use this as an excuse for not solving the financial problem.” He went on to say that no organization, no matter how effectively run can operate without adequate funds. “Peace and security costs money. The destiny and the work of the UN is our credibility. It is our job to create a sound base for it.