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World leaders gather for largest ever summit

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World leaders gather for largest ever summit


Around 150 world leaders will be seeking ways to revitalise the United Nations today in what is being billed as the largest summit in the history of mankind.

New York has mounted a massive security operation to protect the 60th anniversary session at the UN headquarters in New York. Some 4,000 police officers have been deployed and an 11-kilometre no-fly zone is being enforced. But the package of reforms approved by the General Assembly yesterday has fallen far short of the bold changes which Secretary General Kofi Annan had envisaged. Bitter negotiations over the last few weeks have watered down several initiatives, with some dropped completely. But while Annan described the omission of non-proliferation and disarmament from the document as a “disgrace” he said it was still a step forward. “It’s in the nature of the organisation: when you have 191 member states, you do not always get what you want. But we have been given something that, I believe, we should work with. So I would encourage you not to describe it as a failure,” he said. “In some areas we could have gotten a stronger language. We didn’t get all that we wanted, but the process is not over,” he added. But there was progress in other areas. Washington’s ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, said he was pleased with pledges made to institute management reforms designed to prevent a repeat of the oil-for-food scandal. On other key issues, the declaration includes initiatives to intervene against genocide and war crimes and plans to set up a new human rights body.
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