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Annan call for UN bureaucracy overhaul may impact rights reporting

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official profile] has called for the United Nations [official website] to reduce the number of reports it produces each year as part of his ongoing UN reform [JURIST news archive, UN materials] agenda first announced in March 2005. In a report [text and resources] delivered to the General Assembly [press release] on Thursday, Annan indicated that the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights alone produced more than 44,000 pages of documents in 2004 which were then translated into six official languages. Annan said the huge volume of reports requested and produced threatens to overwhelm the UN, and called for the 191 member states to fund the things they ask for and reduce their demands.

The report also called for a sweeping overhaul of the UN bureaucracy, responding to critics who have long questioned its many reports, statements, conferences, and expert panels, claiming that dozens of committees are redundant or are assigned to study outdated issues. Annan also proposed a review of any UN mandate more than five years old in order to eliminate or streamline redundant or outdated requests, and urged the General Assembly [official website] to reconsider their practice of automatically renewing the mandates every year. AP has more. The UN News Centre has additional coverage.

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