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Annan proposes major U.N. overhaul

March 8, 2006 at 10:02 AM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, March 8 (UPI) -- In a proposed major overhaul of the United Nations, Secretary General Kofi Annan Wednesday asked for a 2,500-strong core of mobile peacekeeping professionals.

Annan's proposals, which are aimed at turning the world body from a bureaucracy into an agency for life-saving work in the field, also called for multimillion-dollar investments in training and technology.

The proposals, called "Investing in the United Nations: For a Stronger Organization Worldwide," focuses on ensuring efficiency and accountability. They are meant to reflect the fact that more than 70 percent of the $10 billion annual budget now goes for peacekeeping and other field operations, up from around 50 percent of a $4.5 billion budget 10 years ago.

"Our current rules and regulations were designed for an essentially static secretariat, whose main function was to service conferences and meetings of member states, and whose staff worked mainly at headquarters," the secretary-general said in his presentation to the General Assembly. Today, he said, the U.N. is engaged directly in many parts of the world to improving the lives of people who need help.

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