Make or break time at UN World Summit

Published: 24 November 2005

As the scope of unmet needs becomes more apparent in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Oxfam America has announced a plan to raise $2 million in an online appeal. The agency will direct the funds to immediate relief work as well as to programs that will help some of the poorest victims of the storm with their long-term recovery.

With less than a week to go before the UN World Summit in New York, International Agency Oxfam is very concerned that negotiations are teetering on the brink of failure because Governments are not reaching agreement on key poverty reduction measures, arms controls and their ‘Responsibility to Protect’ civilians.

Nicola Reindorp, head of Oxfam’s New York office has been lobbying at the United Nations and speaking daily to the UN Ambassadors and diplomats who are negotiating the Summit outcome document.

“Negotiations are on the verge of collapse. Some very fast footwork is needed by ambassadors at the United Nations to get agreements on stopping future genocides and reaching internationally agreed targets to end poverty,” said Nicola Reindorp. “If this does not happen, an historic chance for UN reform will go down as a dismal failure."

The World Summit will be held September 14-16 and Heads of State and country leaders will review the Millennium Declaration – including commitments on development, human rights and security – that they made in 2000. At stake are the big issues of global security and UN reform. Oxfam believes that the largest gathering of world leaders in history is a crucial chance for countries to truly commit to ending the terrible poverty injustice and suffering that kill millions of people every year.

“If countries such as Russia, India, Pakistan, Cuba and Venezuela join the majority of UN member states ready to agree to protect civilians facing genocide, the summit can be rescued,” said Oxfam’s Nicola Reindorp. “These governments will hold the summit hostage if they refuse to support fully the life-saving measure.”

“The United States is very slowly starting to play ball on the summit. It must now work much harder if the Summit is to reach goals on ending poverty and preventing future genocides.”

“From controls on small arms to agreements to end genocide, diplomats are ducking the real issues that would make a difference for millions across the planet.”

“Diplomatic wrangling has taken the place of political will and vision. If governments don’t get serious in the next few days and actually commit to action on poverty reduction and stopping genocides, the Summit will deliver only dashed hopes and broken promises,” Reindorp said.

Contact Information

For further information contact: Caroline Green (US) on +1 202 321 7858