Subject: BP: UN urged to play more active role

Bangkok Post

28Jan2004

UN urged to play more active role

Nobel peace laureate Jose Ramos-Horta yesterday called on the United Nations to play a more active intervention role in international conflicts and to keep pace with the will of the civil society.

Speaking at an International Peace Foundation function in Bangkok, Ramos-Horta, East Timor's minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, said he was looking forward to suggestions by Anand Panyarachun, head of the UN reform panel, on how to enable the UN body to act as a guarantor of international peace.

"A UN without active US participation could become dangerously ineffective but the US acting outside the US system is also harmful," said Mr Ramos-Horta in his lecture on "The Unipolar World _ Can the US lead ?" yesterday.

The international body has so far lacked the political will to address international conflicts since the genocide in Cambodia in the 1970s, in Rwanda in the 1990s and also in Iraq under the brutal rule of Saddam Hussein, he said.

The much-desired reform at the UN could not materialise unless its members agree to a more active UN role on when and how to intervene to prevent the menacing incidents of the past few decades from being repeated, he said.

Asked about the Bangkok Process for Burma's road map to democracy, Mr Horta said he was willing to join regional efforts in forging national reconciliation.


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