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General Assembly approves watered-down platform on UN reform

[JURIST] The UN General Assembly ended its session Tuesday by approving a draft agreement [UN press release] for the UN's 2005 World Summit [official website], scheduled to begin Wednesday in New York. The watered-down agreement reflects consensus on several issues [BBC report], including a pledge to establish a new human rights council, the obligation to intervene when civilians become the victims of genocide and war crimes, and the creation of a peace-building commission. Negotiations on a broader reform package broke down last month when US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton [official profile] proposed last-minute amendments [JURIST report] to the draft agreement. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official profile; JURIST news archive], said that the document was one he could work with, but called the failure to reach an agreement [UN News report] in the areas of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament a "real disgrace," expressing concern for the possibility that weapons of mass destruction "may even get into the wrong hands." Annan challenged leaders of the member states to make the necessary changes at this week's summit. Reuters has more.

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