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US panel calls for UN reform as funding dispute looms

[JURIST] The Task Force on the United Nations [official site], a bipartisan group created by the US Congress in December 2004, released a report [text] Wednesday calling for significant changes in the UN, a number of which echo proposals advanced by the world body itself [JURIST report]. The recommendations include restructuring leadership positions and powers, creating an oversight board to fight corruption, and abolishing the UN Human Rights Commission [official website] while replacing it with a Human Rights Council "whose members are democracies dedicated to protecting human rights". In a statement, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he welcomed the report [press release]. Rep. Henry Hyde [official website], (R-IL), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, introduced a UN reform bill on June 7 that would allow the US to withhold UN dues if changes were not made [JURIST report]. But the Bush administration has now told Congress it opposes that legislation, saying that it would undermine American credibility and effectiveness [Washington Post report]. The Boston Globe has more.

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