Yearbook of the United Nations 2004

A More Secure World - Our Shared Responsibility

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This unique publication, the fifty-eighth volume of the Yearbook of the United Nations, chronicles all the major activities undertaken in the organization in the year 2004. In an increasingly complex international environment, the United Nations addressed, during the year, the many peace and security challenges it faced, especially the threats posed by international terrorism, conflict situations and the potential proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations also sought solutions to such economics and social problems as poverty, hunger, unsafe drinking water, environmental degradation and endemic and infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, by working to implement the Millennium Development Goals.



International peace and security

In 2004, the resolve of the international community to promote and maintain international peace and security continued to be tested by new acts of international terrorism, the unstable security situation in Iraq, a deteriorating Israeli- Palestinian conflict, a surge in violent internal conflicts in Africa and Haiti, and questions about the effectiveness of the Organization’s response to those and other situations. In August, the General Assembly reaffirmed the central role of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security and the promotion of international cooperation, and, in December, the Secretary-General submitted to the Assembly a report entitled “A more secure world: our shared responsibility” by the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, which he had appointed in 2003 to evaluate UN performance in addressing threats and challenges to international security and to make recommendations for strengthening the Organization. The Panel offered a vision of a United Nations for the twenty-first century and made recommendations for change in each of its principal organs, including the Security Council, and proposed the establishment of a new intergovernmental body, the Peace-building Commission. Also, the Assembly, recalling that 2005 would mark the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, declared 8 and 9 May as a time of remembrance and reconciliation to be observed annually and decided to hold a solemn meeting in May 2005 in commemoration of all victims of the war.


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