After intensive, down-to-the-wire negotiations, the United Nations General Assembly today concluded its 59th annual session by approving the text of the draft outcome document that will be considered by some 150 leaders attending the 2005 World Summit that opens tomorrow at UN Headquarters in New York.
The draft declaration would have Heads of State and Government reaffirm "the importance of an effective multilateral system, in accordance with international law," to address multifaceted threats and challenges facing the world today.
The document would also have them reaffirm their commitment to eradicate poverty and promote sustained economic growth, sustainable development and global prosperity for all.
"It is hoped that the decisions that will be taken at the Summit will prove to be a decisive turning point for the United Nations," said outgoing Assembly President Jean Ping of Gabon, as he wrapped up the 191-member body's work.
With Secretary-General Kofi Annan in attendance, he told the Assembly that the 59th session was a particularly busy one, as its end coincided with the 60th anniversary of the UN and beginning of the Summit, officially known as the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly.
The 59th Assembly thus had to do its normal business, he said, as well as prepare for this historical meeting which "will affect the identity and shape of our common future."
"More than half a century after the founding of the United Nations in 1945, it indeed was crucial for the international community to examine, in-depth, the state of our world," he said. "This is why the GA spent many meetings discussing the great problems of our times and in seeking appropriate solutions matching the expectations of our peoples."
To that end, he said, delegates worked tirelessly trying to reach consensus between divergent views on how to achieve greater development, peace and security, and the protection of human rights.
In regard to the declaration on reform and development, Mr. Ping concluded: "After this long and difficult process of consultation and negotiation, we have proposed a document to be submitted to our heads of State and Government, for them to take the important decisions on the process of reforming the Organization and on the new configuration we want to give our world."