Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development Policy (Sub-Committee C)

Press Notice

WEDNESDAY 27 JULY 2005

Lords say EU Member States should focus all diplomatic efforts on progress at UN summit

Between 14 and 16 September 2005 UN heads of state and government  meet in New York to review how the United Nations can help deliver freedom from want, fear and oppression for all the world's peoples.

This Millennium Review Summit will examine four agendas identified by the Secretary-General, Kofi Annan − development, security, human rights and democracy, and reform of the UN institutions.

The Chairman of the Committee, Lord Bowness, said:

"September's Millennium Review Summit will provide a rare and serious opportunity for reform and development within the United Nations."

"The EU Member States, acting collectively, must do all they can to ensure that this opportunity isn't wasted. They must articulate the case for reform, use its transatlantic relationship to influence the US and discuss the reform agenda with African, Asian and Latin American countries."

The report praises the EU's firm commitment to increasing aid to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It also stresses that the EU must use all its political will to obtain agreement on wider reform issues from other UN members.

The Committee urge the UK Government to:

  • Press all UN Members to accept Kofi Annan's reform package to make the UN Secretariat more effective and accountable. (paragraph 109 of the Report)

  • Do its best to ensure that the strategy against terrorism is finally endorsed at the Millennium Review Summit. (paragraph 76 of the Report)

The Committee urge the EU to:

  • Take an active role in talks with the Organisation of the Islamic Conference to reach agreement on a Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism as soon as possible. (paragraph 78 of the Report)

Notes for editors:

1. The inquiry was conducted by Sub-Committee C (Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development Policy) of the European Union Committee. The members of the Sub-Committee are:

Lord Bowness (Chairman)
Lord King of Bridgwater
Lord Boyce
Lord Lea of Crondall
Lord Dykes
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean
Baroness Falkner of Margravine
Lord Tomlinson
Lord Freeman
Lord Truscott
Lord Hannay of Chiswick

2. The report is published by The Stationery Office: The European Union’s Role at The Millennium Review Summit, House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union, 11th Report, Session 2005−06, HL Paper 35, ISBN 010 400736 2, price £14.50. The full text of the report will be available on the internet via www.parliament.uk after publication.

For copies of the report or requests for interviews with Lord Bowness please contact:

Jillian Bailey, Press and Publicity Officer (Committees) on 020 7219 8659.

[ENDS]