Ref. :  000015714
Date :  2004-12-02
Language :  English
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A more secure world : Our shared responsibility - Executive Summary

Report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change

Author :  ONU / UN


In his address to the General Assembly in September 2003, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned Member States that the United Nations had reached a fork in the road. It could rise to the challenge of meeting new threats or it could risk erosion in the face of mounting discord between States and unilateral action by them. He created the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change to generate new ideas about the kinds of policies and institutions required for the UN to be effective in the 21st century.

In its report, the High-level Panel sets out a bold, new vision of collective security for the 21st century. We live in a world of new and evolving threats, threats that could not have been anticipated when the UN was founded in 1945 – threats like nuclear terrorism, and State collapse from the witch’s brew of poverty, disease and civil war. In today’s world, a threat to one is a threat to all. Globalization means that a major terrorist attack anywhere in the industrial world would have devastating consequences for the well-being of millions in the developing world. Any one of 700 million international airline passengers every year can be an unwitting carrier of a deadly infectious disease. And the erosion of State capacity anywhere in the world weakens the protection of every State against transnational threats such as terrorism and organized crime. Every State requires international cooperation to make it secure.

There are six clusters of threats with which the world must be concerned now and in the decades ahead:

• war between States;
• violence within States, including civil wars, large-scale human rights abuses and genocide;
• poverty, infectious disease and environmental degradation;
• nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological weapons;
• terrorism; and
• transnational organized crime.

The good news is that the United Nations and our collective security institutions have shown that they can work. More civil wars ended through negotiation in the past 15 years than the previous 200. In the 1960s, many believed that by now 15-25 States would possess nuclear weapons; the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has helped prevent this. The World Health Organization helped to stop the spread of SARS before it killed tens of thousands, perhaps more. But these accomplishments can be reversed. There is a real danger that they will be, unless we act soon to strengthen the United Nations, so that in future it responds effectively to the full range of threats that confront us.


Policies for prevention


Meeting the challenge of today’s threats means getting serious about prevention; the consequences of allowing latent threats to become manifest, or of allowing existing threats to spread, are simply too severe.

Development has to be the first line of defence for a collective security system that takes prevention seriously. Combating poverty will not only save millions of lives but also strengthen States’ capacity to combat terrorism, organized crime and proliferation. Development makes everyone more secure. There is an agreed international framework for how to achieve these goals, set out in the Millennium Declaration and the Monterrey Consensus, but implementation lags. Biological security must be at the forefront of prevention. International response to HIV/AIDS was shockingly late and shamefully ill-resourced. It is urgent that we halt and roll back this pandemic. But we will have to do more.

Our global public health system has deteriorated and is ill-equipped to protect us against existing and emerging deadly infectious diseases. The report recommends a major initiative to build public health capacity throughout the developing world, at both local and national levels. This will not only yield direct benefits by preventing and treating disease in the developing world itself, but will also provide the basis for an effective global defence against bioterrorism and overwhelming natural outbreaks of infectious disease.

Preventing wars within States and between them is also in the collective interest of all. If we are to do better in future, the UN will need real improvements to its capacity for preventive diplomacy and mediation. We will have to build on the successes of regional organizations in developing strong norms to protect Governments from unconstitutional overthrow, and to protect minority rights. And we will have to work collectively to find new ways of regulating the management of natural resources, competition for which often fuels conflict. Preventing the spread and use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons is essential if we are to have a more secure world. This means doing better at reducing demand for these weapons, and curbing the supply of weapons materials.

It means living up to existing treaty commitments, including for negotiations towards disarmament. And it means enforcing international agreements. The report puts forward specific recommendations for the creation of incentives for States to forego the development of domestic uranium enrichment and reprocessing capacity. It urges negotiations for a new arrangement which would enable the International Atomic Energy Agency to act as a guarantor for the supply of fissile material to civilian nuclear users at market rates, and it calls on Governments to establish a voluntary time-limited moratorium on the construction of new facilities for uranium enrichment and reprocessing, matched by a guarantee of the supply of fissile materials by present suppliers.

Terrorism is a threat to all States, and to the UN as a whole. New aspects of the threat – including the rise of a global terrorist network, and the potential for terrorist use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons – require new responses. The UN has not done all that it can. The report urges the United Nations to forge a strategy of counterterrorism that is respectful of human rights and the rule of law. Such a strategy must encompass coercive measures when necessary, and create new tools to help States combat the threat domestically. The report provides a clear definition of terrorism, arguing that it can never be justified, and calls on the General Assembly of the UN to overcome its divisions and finally conclude a comprehensive convention on terrorism.

The spread of transnational organized crime increases the risk of all the other threats. Terrorists use organized criminal groups to move money, men and materials around the globe. Governments and rebels sell natural resources through criminal groups to finance wars. States’ capacity to establish the rule of law is weakened by corruption. Combating organized crime is essential for helping States build the capacity to exercise their sovereign responsibilities – and in combating the hideous traffic in human beings.


Response to threats

Of course, prevention sometimes fails. At times, threats will have to be met by military means. The UN Charter provides a clear framework for the use of force. States have an inherent right to self-defence, enshrined in Article 51. Long-established customary international law makes it clear that States can take military action as long as the threatened attack is imminent, no other means would deflect it, and the action is proportionate. The Security Council has the authority to act preventively, but has rarely done so. The Security Council may well need to be prepared to be more proactive in the future, taking decisive action earlier.

States that fear the emergence of distant threats have an obligation to bring these concerns to the Security Council. The report endorses the emerging norm of a responsibility to protect civilians from large-scale violence – a responsibility that is held, first and foremost, by national authorities. When a State fails to protect its civilians, the international community then has a further responsibility to act, through humanitarian operations, monitoring missions and diplomatic pressure – and with force if necessary, though only as a last resort. And in the case of conflict or the use of force, this also implies a clear international commitment to rebuilding shattered societies.

Deploying military capacities - for peacekeeping as well as peace enforcement - has proved to be a valuable tool in ending wars and helping to secure States in their aftermath. But the total global supply of available peacekeepers is running dangerously low. Just to do an adequate job of keeping the peace in existing conflicts would require almost doubling the number of peacekeepers around the world. The developed States have particular responsibilities to do more to transform their armies into units suitable for deployment to peace operations. And if we are to meet the challenges ahead, more States will have to place contingents on stand-by for UN purposes, and keep air transport and other strategic lift capacities available to assist peace operations. When wars have ended, post-conflict peacebuilding is vital. The UN has often devoted too little attention and too few resources to this critical challenge.

Successful peacebuilding requires the deployment of peacekeepers with the right mandates and sufficient capacity to deter would-be spoilers; funds for demobilization and disarmament, built into peacekeeping budgets; a new trust fund to fill critical gaps in rehabilitation and reintegration of combatants, as well as other early reconstruction tasks; and a focus on building State institutions and capacity, especially in the rule of law sector. Doing this job successfully should be a core function of the United Nations.


A UN for the 21st century


To meet these challenges, the UN needs its existing institutions to work better. This means revitalizing the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, to make sure they play the role intended for them, and restoring credibility to the Commission on Human Rights.

It also means increasing the credibility and effectiveness of the Security Council by making its composition better reflect today’s realities. The report provides principles for reform, and two models for how to achieve them – one involving new permanent members with no veto, the other involving new four-year, renewable seats. It argues that any reforms must be reviewed in 2020. We also need new institutions to meet evolving challenges. The report recommends the creation of a Peacebuilding Commission – a new mechanism within the UN, drawing on the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council, donors, and national authorities. Working closely with regional organizations and the international financial institutions, such a commission could fill a crucial gap by giving the necessary attention to countries emerging from conflict.

Outside the UN, a forum bringing together the heads of the 20 largest economies, developed and developing, would help the coherent management of international monetary, financial, trade and development policy.

Better collaboration with regional organizations is also crucial, and the report sets out a series of principles that govern a more structured partnership between them and the UN. The report recommends strengthening the Secretary-General’s critical role in peace and security. To be more effective, the Secretary-General should be given substantially more latitude to manage the Secretariat, and be held accountable. He also needs better support for his mediation role, and new capacities to develop effective peacebuilding strategy. He currently has one Deputy Secretary-General; with a second, responsible for peace and security, he would have the capacity to ensure oversight of both the social, economic and development functions of the UN, and its many peace and security functions.


The way forward

The report is the start, not the end, of a process. The year 2005 will be a crucial opportunity for Member States to discuss and build on the recommendations in the report, some of which will be considered by a summit of heads of State. But building a more secure world takes much more than a report or a summit. It will take resources commensurate with the scale of the challenges ahead; commitments that are long-term and sustained; and, most of all, it will take leadership – from within States, and between them.


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 flecheUN marks World Water Day with calls for integrated management of vital resource
 flecheManejo responsable de peces no nativos
 flecheRemessas à América Latina baterão US$ 100 bilhões em 2010, diz BID
 flecheDiversidade Cultural - Bem protegido
 flecheNew UN estimates predict 2.5 billion increase in world population by 2050
 flecheUN World Court acquits Serbia of genocide in Bosnia; finds it guilty of inaction
 flecheThe fifty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place from 26 February to 9 March 2007
 flecheUN acting quickly to implement counter-terrorism strategy – Ban Ki-moon
 flecheEvidence is now ‘unequivocal’ that humans are causing global warming
 flecheLe réchauffement climatique sape nos efforts pour lutter contre la pauvreté, affirme Ban Ki-mooon
 flecheWorld tourism marks another record year with 842 million arrivals, UN agency reports
 flecheMillennium Development Goals Report 2006
 flecheIn remarks to security council, Secretary-General pledges to play role of harmonizer, bridge-builder
 flecheSecretary-General Ban stresses Darfur, Middle East and conflict prevention as key issues
 flecheBan Ki-moon, United Nations secretary-general
 flecheSpecial representative in Somalia, briefing security council, says crisis ‘escalated dangerously’, fighting expanded across 400-kilometre front
 flecheFormer General Assembly president chosen as UN envoy on Darfur crisis
 flecheNext Secretary-General vows to restore trust in United Nations - Video
 flecheNext Secretary-General vows to restore trust in United Nations
 flecheOIM anuncia fundo para ajudar migrantes em zonas de conflito
 flecheTemperatura média global aumenta 0,4ºC, segundo estudo
 flecheUN remains best device for achieving key goals of international relations – Annan
 flecheTensions in Middle East ‘near the breaking point’, secretary-general tells security council
 flecheAnnan refutes notion of 'clash of civilizations,' points to youth as key to end mistrust
 flecheAlliance of Civilizations - Report of the High-level Group
 flecheNepal: Annan pledges quick assistance following peace accord with Maoist rebels
 flecheSecretary-General, in Security Council debate, stresses need to maintain
political momentum in protecting children affected by armed conflict

 flecheMoyen-Orient : l'envoyé de l'ONU espère qu'un futur gouvernement palestinien d'union nationale fera cesser les attaques à la roquette
 flecheCiting ‘frightening lack of leadership’ on climate change, Secretary-General calls phenomenon an all-encompassing threat in address to nairobi talks
 flecheG-8 nations must lead efforts to combat global water and sanitation crisis: UN report
 flecheNew UN chief not to ignore Africa
 flecheUN health agency launches initiative to fight corruption in medicines procurement
 flechePanama emerges as compromise candidate to fill last vacant Security Council seat
 flecheDelegates voice concern over restrictions on movement of migrants
as Second Committee takes up globalization, interdependence

 flecheFlexible policies needed to address labour, social, economic worries
as globalization picks up pace, panellists tell second committee

 flecheUN Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children
 flecheSecurity Council proposes Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Ban as Secretary-General
 flecheExpertos de la ONU evaluarán daños medioambientales en Líbano
 flecheDéveloppement : le Brésil et l'Afrique du Sud dénoncent un ordre économique 'politiquement et moralement intenable'
 flecheCoup d'envoi officiel d'UNITAID, centrale d'achat de médicaments pour les pays pauvres
 flecheSecurity Council votes to set up UN peacekeeping force in Darfur
 flecheQana attack may illustrate pattern of violations in Middle East conflict: Annan
 flecheSecurity Council calls for greater effort to protect children in wartime
 flecheScientists and policy experts call for creation of international panel on biodiversity loss
 flecheExperts call for overhaul of UN’s internal justice system
 flecheSecurity Council should discuss possible stabilization force for Middle East – Annan
 flecheMoyen-Orient : l'espace ouvert aux initiatives diplomatiques est en train de se refermer rapidement, affirme Ibrahim Gambari
 flecheGestion de l'ONU : l'Assemblée générale adopte une première série de réformes
 flecheUN Council Members agree swift action needed after Korean missile launch
 flecheGlobalização aumenta diferença entre ricos e pobres, diz pesquisa
 flechePoverty is the most serious and widespread human rights abuse, UN official says
 flecheOfficials hail ‘historic’ inaugural session of UN Peacebuilding Commission
 flecheGlobalization and interdependence: international migration and development
 flecheAnnan calls for ‘a new coalition’ on UN reform to bridge north-south divide
 flecheInternational migration can benefit countries of origin and destination, says Secretary-General, presenting new report to General Assembly
 flecheAnnan calls for ‘decisive action’ to protect planet against ecological degradation
 flecheS'unir contre le terrorisme : recommandations
pour une stratégie antiterroriste mondiale

 flecheHigh Level Meeting on AIDS
 flecheUN Security Council authorizes European force in DR Congo
 flecheDarfur: UN Council imposes sanctions on four individuals, urges peace accord
 flecheSahara occidental : les négociations directes entre parties, seule solution à l'impasse actuelle, affirme Kofi Annan
 flecheUN Council warned of 'dangerous deterioration' in Israeli-Palestinian conflict
 flecheVirtually no country immune from human trafficking, UNODC report shows
 flecheFMI/Banque mondiale : allègement de la dette et énergie propre au centre des réunions de printemps
 flecheDarfur relief efforts near collapse due to fading international support: UN official
 flecheCrises humanitaires en Afrique: Des milliers de vies menacées
 flecheLe HCR ouvrira un bureau en Tchétchénie « dès que la sécurité le permettra »
 flecheGrippe aviaire : Kofi Annan plaide pour une aide supplémentaire aux pays pauvre
 flecheWorld Economic Situation and Prospects 2006
 flecheJan Eliasson présente une résolution créant un Conseil des droits de l'homme qui siègera tout au long de l'année
 flecheInternational Women’s Day: Looking Back
 flecheTsunami-affected countries need to do even more to protect rights of victims: UN
 flecheCompliance body set up for Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gases
 flecheSans une stratégie à long terme pour financer la lutte contre la pauvreté, les sources novatrices de financement ne permettront pas d'atteindre les Objectifs du Millénaire
 flecheSituation of detainees at Guantánamo Bay - UN Report
 flecheGrippe aviaire : Kofi Annan appelle les gouvernements à se préparer à une pandémie humaine
 flecheUN agency calls for international aid as millions battle for survival in West Africa
 flecheEl crecimiento de la población mundial y el medio ambiente
 flecheSommet Mondial de l’OMC : espoirs perdus pour l’Afrique à Hong Kong
 flecheUNESCO, INSTRAW sign agreement for increased cooperation to promote gender equality, women’s empowerment
 flecheTime Is Now To Act on Climate Change
 flecheFAO : Le commerce au service des pauvres ?
 flecheUN rights chief: total ban on torture under attack in ‘war on terror’
 flecheUN climate conference finalizes 'rule book' on reducing greenhouse gasses
 flecheCalls for protection of earth's climate heard at UN conference on global warming
 flecheUN refugee agency calls on Mediterranean countries to recognize refugee rights
 flecheInternet governance, funding of technology to be tackled at UN summit
 flecheBird flu: UN-sponsored conference draws up six-point action plan
 flecheUN officials detail priorities for combating potentially deadly bird flu pandemic
 flecheIn fight to feed 10 million in southern Africa, UN agency faces huge shortfall
 flecheIn fight to feed 10 million in southern Africa, UN agency faces huge shortfall
 flecheAs tensions between Ethiopia and Eritrea escalate, Annan urges restraint
 flecheJournée de l'alimentation : 800 millions de personnes souffrent de la faim dans le monde
 flecheEradication of poverty and other development issues: human resources development
 flecheSecurity Council calls on Rwandan rebel group to disarm, leave DR of Congo
 flechePoor States need trade more than aid to overcome poverty, speakers tell UN Assembly
 flecheLe débat général de la 60e Assemblée générale s'est terminé vendredi
 flecheIllicit trafficking in radioactive materials rose substantially from 2003-2004 – UN
 flecheJournée de la paix : le Secrétaire général appelle à observer un cessez-le-feu mondial de 24 heures
 flecheWorldwide overweight and obesity problem ‘staggering’ – UN health agency
 flecheHigh mortality and malnutrition affect Muslim children most says UN children's agency
 flecheEnding its 59th session, UN Assembly approves key draft for World Summit
 flechePetróleo por Alimentos: Annan destaca aspectos positivos del programa y subraya importancia de reformar sistema de la ONU
 flecheHCR : chute des demandes d'asile dans les pays industrialisés
 flecheUnited Nations steps up aid to US in wake of Hurricane Katrina
 flecheSteps must be taken to avoid resistance to latest malaria drug, UN agency warns
 flecheUN launches new guide on sustainable consumption and production
 flecheSommet mondial 2005 : nouvelle version du projet de document final
 flecheWild birds likely to spread potentially deadly bird flu far and wide - UN agency
 flecheKosovo: UN helps set up hotline for victims of gender violence and trafficking
 flecheUN seminar to examine social implications of migration
 flecheUnited Kingdom must not deport people to countries with risk of torture – UN rights expert
 flecheGovernments should urgently address rapid urbanization, growing slums – Annan
 flecheImplementation of the Outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlemets Programme (UN-Habitat)
 flecheRising poverty over past 10 years threatens stability, says UN report
 flecheUN agency declares TB an emergency in Africa; urges ‘extraordinary’ action
 flecheFAO Concerned about Spread of Bird Flu in Russia and Neighboring Asian Countries
 fleche¿Qué le falta a América Latina para reducir la
pobreza?

 flecheEl Banco Mundial y su relación con los países en desarrollo
 flecheAngola pede fim da "Divisão Digital"
 flecheWHO says Millennium development goals cannot be reached without strengthening health systems
 flecheUnited Nations peacekeeping operations
 flecheViolences contre les femmes: un rapport de l'ONU préconise de renforcer la protection des travailleuses migrantes
 flecheGreenhouse effect could melt nearly all world's glaciers, says UN-backed report
 flecheRéforme du Conseil de sécurité : le Japon espère un soutien de l'Union africaine
 flecheRéforme du Conseil de sécurité : le groupe "Unis pour le consensus" propose une voie «plus démocratique»
 flecheUN’s HIV/AIDS Africa envoy questions G8 Summit results, calls for advocacy
 flecheTerrorisme: le Conseil de sécurité demande la coopération de tous les Etats
 flecheAssemblée générale : présentation d'un nouveau projet de déclaration du sommet de septembre vendredi
 flecheLe projet africain de réforme du Conseil de sécurité en débat à l'Assemblée générale
 flecheAnnan meets foreign ministers of countries aspiring to permanent Security Council membership
 flecheRencontre entre les ministres des affaires étrangères du G-4 et le président de l'Assemblée générale dimanche à New York
 flecheInternaly displaced peoples - worldwide
 flecheAfrica: Countries facing humanitarian emergencies
 flechePredicted freshwater stress abd scarcity in africa and Middle East
 flecheUNOCI mission in Côte d'Ivoire
 flecheUNMOGIP mission in Kashmir
 flecheUNFICYP mission in Cyprus
 flecheONUB mission in Burundi
 flecheUNOMIG mission in Georgia
 flecheMINUSTAH mission in Haiti
 flecheMINURSO mission in West Sahara
 flecheUN mission in Kosovo
 flecheUnited Nations political and peace-building missions
 flecheRéforme du Conseil de sécurité : le G-4 contré par l'Union africaine et le groupe «Unis pour le consensus»
 flecheUNTSO - Middle East deployment as of July 1997
 flecheA Londres, le Secrétaire général appelle à une mobilisation historique en faveur des Objectifs du Millénaire
 flecheL'Assemblée générale débat de l'élargissement du Conseil de sécurité
 flecheBombazos en Londres son un ataque a la humanidad, dice Annan
 flecheUNICEF celebra reunión de niños C-8 sobre pobreza y enfermedades infantiles
 flecheCodex comienza reunión sobre inocuidad y calidad de alimentos
 flecheUNAIDS will implement recommendations on streamlining national programmes
 flecheNew UN-sponsored project seeks to rescue Amazon from deforestation
 flecheONU celebra LX Aniversario de Carta de las Naciones Unidas
 flecheAnnan exhorta a respaldar reconstrucción y estabilización de Iraq
 flecheSecretario General encomia apoyo de Unión Europea y OTAN a Unión Africana en Darfur
 flecheFinancement du développement : les ministres français et britanniques estiment qu'il faut passer à la vitesse supérieure
 flecheJamais la possibilité de réaliser les objectifs de la Charte des Nations Unies n'a été aussi proche, estime Kofi Annan
 flecheOn UN's 60th anniversary, Annan sees moment for change
 flecheUnited Nations General Assembly resolution on multilingualism
 flecheL'Assemblée générale exige une parité absolue dans les six langues sur le site Internet de l'ONU
 flecheLula assina convenção da ONU contra corrupção
 flecheKofi Annan déplore que l'ONU soit confrontée, une nouvelle fois, à une menace du Congrès Américain
 fleche«A part le Japon, nous ne citerons pas de noms», déclarent les Etats-Unis sur l'élargissement du Conseil de sécurité
 flecheU.S. supports Japan for UN Security Council - Press conference
 flecheAnnan welcomes US report on UN reform
 flecheDiretor fala sobre crime, drogas e corrupção
 flecheThe Millennium Development Goals - Report 2005