2005 World Summit
The UN of the Future
Much left undone
International diplomacy seems so abstract, yet it affects people's lives every day. Among the issues on the agenda for the recent summit of world leaders at the United Nations were the struggle against terrorism, measures to protect human rights, the prevention of conflict, and the reduction of malaria—a preventable and treatable disease that kills more than one million children in Africa every year.
Such varied threats present tough challenges to the political leaders of the world community and to the United Nations, the international body through which they cooperate on these problems. Indeed, world leaders' best prospects for tackling such challenges is by working together, and the purpose of the 2005 World Summit was to equip them with a stronger United Nations for that very task.
The agreement also included strong statements on terrorism and genocide. Its chapter on development pointed the way forward for developing and developed nations to work together to reduce poverty. And in the wake of scandals such as Oil-for-Food and sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers, there were provisions to improve management and oversight.
It was clear at the close o f the summit that much work remained to be done. But it was equally clear that the work must continue. As the secretary-general put it, "Whatever our differences, in our interdependent world, we stand or fall together."
— David Shorr
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