Subject: Alatas appointed UN envoy

Apr 07 14:08 ALATAS TO OBSERVE STRICT NEUTRALITY AS UN CHIEF`S SPECIAL ENVOY

New York (ANTARA News) - Former Indonesian foreign minister Ali Alatas promised here Wednesday he would maintain strict neutrality in the performance of his duties as a special envoy of the UN Secretary General to promote the UN`s reform agenda.

"The attitudes I will adopt will be those of a UN envoy and no longer those of former Indonesian foreign minister or of a representative of Indonesia," he said.

Alatas made the statement at a press conference at the UN headquaretrs here on Wednesday where he was asked about Indonesia`s image in the UN following human rights abuses in East Timor after the 1999 referendum.

In addition, Indonesia was also known to be eager to become a member of UN Security Council if the UN reform package called for an enlargement of the UN Security Council`s membership.

Commenting on existing differences of opinion among certain countries about UN reforms, Alatas said he would accommodate every expressed opinion and bring them up for discussion.

Alatas and three other political figures have been appoineted UN Secretary General Kofi Annan`s special envoys to promote his ideas on reforming the UN in the runup to a UN General Assembly Summit in September. The three others are Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahem, former Mozambique president Joaquin Chissano and former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo.

The special envoys would travel around the world to meet the heads of state or governemnt of many countries to convey Kofi Annan`s agenda and discuss other matters in the runup to the UN General Assembly.

"The commemoration of the Asian-African Conference`s 50th anniversary in Bandung in April could be a good moment for Anan and I to meet world leaders and discuss the agenda," Alatas said at the press conference which was also attended by another special envoy, Dermot Ahem.

Alatas said at the UN General Assembly to discuss UN reform agenda in September, many new opioions would probably come up from the participating countries.

The UN Secretary General`s agenda, according to Alatas, was not only related to reforms in the UN Security Council but also in other UN organs.(*)


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