Relevancy of Brick-and-Mortar Issues

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Author: Zenawi Meles
Date: Nov. 2000
From: Presidents & Prime Ministers(Vol. 9, Issue 6)
Publisher: EQES, Inc.
Document Type: Interview
Length: 2,368 words

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What is your country's agenda of issues that you discussed at this Millennium Summit?

The agendas are bound to be the same. Issues of peace, eradication of poverty and good governance, both nationally and globally. All people benefit from peace, but peace cannot be established just because people want it. We feel that at times international relations have been sacrificed on the altar of extremity, only to come back to haunt us. Our hope is that this will be recognized, and that required norms and principles will be firmly reestablished.

That also applies to issues of governance, particularly international governance. We see a lack of it now. Or at the very least, international governance that is essentially undemocratic, unaccountable and unresponsive to the needs of various countries and peoples. We hope that something will be done to address that issue. And this relates in many ways to the question of globalization.

Globalization now appears to many as a process that is completely out of control. It is overpowering and awe-inspiring, but nobody knows what to do about it and how to manage it. We hope and expect that something will be done in that regard. To establish some sort of democratic governance of international stature that would make it possible for people to benefit from any such phenomena, including globalization.

And of course, poverty is an issue of paramount significance for those of us who live in poor countries. It is linked to international governance and to the impact of globalization. Many countries have committed themselves to combating poverty and supporting those who are trying to get out of it. Our hope is that people will put their money where their mouth is and that a commitment will be made of a material nature. Globally, the agendas we have are similar to those that have been raised at the UN conference. We hope and insist that people keep up the commitments made at such conferences and meetings.

What are your suggestions for UN Security Council Reform?

There has been some talk about changing the membership of the Security Council to make it more responsive, representative and democratic than it currently is. The focus of some countries is to include some additional industrialized powers from Asia and Europe. That may be proper and appropriate, but if it is limited to that, then the security council will be unresponsive to the requirements of the of the majority of the world's population. We need fair representation throughout the continents. One such country that we think should be represented in the Security Council is India. It represents the population of approximately one-sixth of the globe. Over the years, it has been championing issues that are close to the hearts of many of the countries in the developing world. We think that similar representation from Latin America would be appropriate since the OAU has been discussing ways and means of how Africa can be represented and how it can have a voice in the club...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A71317084