More on Ban’s reform seminar

The Korean press is full of praises for Ban Ki-moon's reform seminar. This story focuses on the people who spoke at it:

  • Park Soo-gil of Korea, South Korean Ambassador to the UN when ROK was President of the UNSC
  • Danilo Turk of Slovenia, former Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs
  • Ahmad Kamal, former Ambassador from Pakistan to the UN
  • Pera Wells, Secretary General of the World Federation of UN Associations
  • Oh Joon of Korea, Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN

Some choice comments:

Kamal: The United Nations is in one of the greatest crises in all its history. In all of the years I have been around the U.N., I have never seen this level of suspicion or this level of confrontation. In an atmosphere of globalization, an institution that is multilateral, like the United Nations, becomes an essential player. What is needed perhaps is to slow down the level of rhetoric. This is not the time to go fast and to draw lines.

Turk: The United Nations is not yet fit for the challenges of the 21st century. The U.N. has to adjust its structures, its methods of work to be better able to deal with challenges. Of course the big question is whether there is enough agreement about what the challenges are and which challenges have to be taken as a priority.

Oh: I think the question should be more about how we can make the U.N. fit for the new challenges of the 21st century. It seems to me that we do not have much alternative. So it's not really about whether we should continue our efforts or whether we should give up on the U.N., but it's more about how we can make it meet the challenges. That's why we are now discussing reform in the United Nations. The debate itself is very important because it is about the future of the UN.

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