Statement by Senator Timothy E. Wirth, President of the
United Nations Foundation, on United Nations Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C.  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 the 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 United Nations, Congress and the Administration to strengthening and modernizing this critical institution.”

For further information on UN reform, please see the attached fact sheet.