Two years ago United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan told the General Assembly the UN had come to a fork in the road. But the ambitious plans to reform the organisation and tackle world poverty have all but fizzled out, with the approval of a document that bears little resemblance to its original. The UN wanted consensus on terrorism and the declaration does condemn it “in all its forms”. But it does not provide a definition as western nations wanted.
All references to non-proliferation and disarmament have been dropped, largely after opposition from the US. Expanding the security council has been postponed until at least December. The document pledges to replace the discredited UN Human Rights Commission with a new body and to establish a peace-building commission. The existing goals on poverty and education have been re-affirmed but a commitment to break down trade barriers has been substantially weakened.