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US threatens UN budget delay without progress on reforms

[JURIST] The US on Tuesday threatened to hold up approval of a two-year UN budget unless reforms agreed to in September were acted on by the end of the year. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official profile] said the reform proposals would not be ready for action until February, according to US Ambassador John Bolton [official profile], who said waiting that long would result in a loss of momentum on UN reform [JURIST news archive; US Mission to the UN backgrounder]. The document agreed to in the September World Summit [official website] calls for the reforms to be proposed during the first quarter of 2006. Annan warned that budget approval was needed by the end of the year so his staff could move forward with planning. Otherwise, the UN could face serious financial crisis, Annan said. Bolton proposed that an interim three- to four-month budget could be approved by the end of the year to keep the UN running until the reforms could be brought to a vote. Some of the higher profile reforms approved in September [JURIST report] include the creation of a peacebuilding commission and a replacement body for the UN Human Rights Commission [official website]. Reuters has more.

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