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Doctrine of pre-emptive force challenges UN: Annan

Suman Guha Mozumder at the United Nations | September 24, 2003 10:18 IST

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan will set up a high-level panel of eminent personalities to look into the challenges faced by the United Nations in maintaining global peace and security.

The committee will also analyse how to strengthen the world body through reforms.

Annan, who did not name the members of the panel nor when such a panel would be set up, said the panel will focus on peace, security and global challenges.

The report of the panel, to be submitted to Annan before the beginning of the 59th UNGA, will form the basis of the recommendations the secretary general would make to the member states for firm and clear decisions.

"Those decisions might include far-reaching institutional reforms. Indeed, I hope they will," Annan said on Tuesday while speaking at the general debate of the 58th General Assembly.

Annan said that since the world body was founded, states have generally sought to deal with threats to the peace through 'containment and deterrence' by a global consensus based on collective security and UN charter.

But he said that in the face of new doctrine of use of pre-emptive force by one country on another, which poses a fundamental challenge to UN's principles of collective security, the world body has to decide whether radical changes are needed.

"Excellencies, we have come to a fork in the road. This may be a moment no less decisive than in 1945, when the UN was founded," Annan said. "Now we must decide whether it is possible to continue on the basis agreed then, or whether radical changes are needed."

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