Washington, D.C. (March 15, 2005) —Former Senator Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, issued the following statement regarding today’s House International Relations Committee hearing [Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building] on UN reform.

“The challenges of the 21st Century, including combating terrorism, alleviating poverty, addressing global climate change, stopping diseases like AIDS, and helping people recover after the devastation of natural disasters need the commitment of many nations and a United Nations even better prepared and able to meet these challenges. Secretary-General Kofi Annan recognizes the change and reform that is needed and is making modernization of the UN a top priority.

“This week, Congress has a unique opportunity to focus on what the UN has accomplished and the reforms that will make the UN even more effective and efficient. I hope and encourage that Congress will consider reforms that truly strengthen the UN by making it more modern, accountable and transparent. At the same time, I strongly encourage Congress to resist pursuing measures under the guise of reform that have the potential to weaken the institution, restrict its mission or deny it the flexibility it needs to succeed. The United States and the United Nations together share important goals and can together help the UN meet the challenges ahead.

“The reforms underway at the United Nations will only succeed with the full support of its Member States, including the United States. We hope that today’s hearing will further solidify the shared commitment of the United Nations, Congress and the Administration to strengthening and modernizing this critical institution.”

About the Better World Campaign

The Better World Campaign works to foster a strong relationship between the U.S. and the UN to promote core American interests and build a more secure, prosperous, and healthy world. The Better World Campaign engages policymakers, the media, and the American public alike to increase awareness of the critical role played by the UN in world affairs and the importance of constructive U.S.-UN relations.

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