We are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Chart in 1945 in the middle of a huge debate on the “reform” of the organization. For 60 years, the Americans, conservative and liberals, have expected too much form the UN and those expectations have not been met.
In Washington, the debate has been focused in two documents: the report written by Newt Gingrich and George Mitchell on the reform of the UN and the UN Reform Act proposed by Henry J. Hyde, already passed by the House of Representatives. Both documents are similar and I agree with them. It is not surprising. We all want the change. Everybody wants a more transparent administration and a General Assembly more concern with immediate problems and not with old resolutions, a reform of the Human Rights Commission, the creation of a Commission on the reconstruction of countries in war and more strict rules of conduct for the peace keeping operations. _The difference between Hyde’s project and the older ones lies in the methods to get such reform and in the view of the world. For Mr. Hyde, the reform will only be made if threatened with the elimination of the American contribution. Acting like this is a mistake. States’ contributions are the result of an international treaty signed by sovereign States. The only way to reform is through negotiations. As recommended by the Gingrich-Mitchell plan, great coalitions must be formed to support the reforms.
With regard to the view of the world, it is obvious terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction must be fought. But to fight poverty, diseases, environment degradation... etc, must be a concern too. We have to deal with these topics united. This is what we must have in mind when we meet in September.

Wall Street Journal (United States)

United We Stand”, by Kofi Annan, Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2005.