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24 / 09 / 2004
Federico Mayor Zaragoza proposes restructuring the United Nations to make it stronger

At the closing session of the Dialogue “Contributing to the Global Agenda”, the keynote speakers discussed the need to reform international institutions so as to adapt them to the new world order and provide greater involvement by civil society.

The secretary general of the Untied Nations for Economic and Social Affairs, José Antonio Ocampo, mentioned that the world today is different than after the post Second World War period, when the UN was founded. However, the three fundamental pillars of the UN remain valid: peace, human rights and development of peoples. Ocampo holds that the UN should continue to be a legitimate forum that acts as a link between governments and civil society, but that it should overcome two obstacles, the fragmentation between agencies and bodies and the fact that citizens have no control so as to demand compliance with resolutions.

Federico Mayor Zaragoza, president of Foundation for a Culture of Peace, expressed his will for international institutions to take on reforms and adapt to a changed world. He challenged these institutions to not withdraw out of lack of courage and stated that he would not like for his grandson to criticize him for “not having dared” to take action while there was still time. Mayor Zaragoza mentioned that the UN was founded with great hope, but that it has lost its initial momentum over time. That is why he is calling for a reform of the UN, for it to maintain its mission, but for it to be more transparent and and for there to be greater equity. He stated that it is necessary to reinforce the UN and to modify its structure; but as regards the ideals it upholds, “not even a comma should be changed.”

The Dialogue came to its highpoint when Federico Mayor Zaragoza concluded that the topics addressed during the debate “are not protests, but proposals that are being made in time so as to make this other world possible.”