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Annan Names Panel to Review UN Reform - 2003-11-04

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has named a committee to recommend ways to reform the world body. A former prime minister of Thailand will chair the panel.

The secretary-general named former Thai Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun to head the 16-member panel of what are termed "eminent persons." The other appointees include one from each of the five permanent Security Council members, as well as three others from Asia, two from Latin America and three from Africa. The other two are from Norway and Australia.

Both India and Pakistan will be represented among the Asian delegates. Japan and Brazil, two countries with aspirations to join the Security Council, were also included.

The United States will be represented by Brent Scowcroft, a former National Security Advisor to President Ford and the first President Bush.

In a statement, Secretary-General Annan said the panel is being asked to recommend ways the world body can be reshaped to ensure what he calls collective action.

Mr. Annan has recently been speaking often about the need for reform. In a series of speeches marking the opening the General Assembly session in September, he said events of the past year had shaken the international system and left him with the uneasy feeling the system was no longer working as it should.

The panel on reform is being given a broad mandate. A news release says the group is authorized to extend its analysis and recommendations to issues and institutions outside the United Nations to the extent they have a direct bearing on future threats to peace and security.