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Tharoor pledges better UN peacekeeping

India's candidate for the next Secretary General Shashi Tharoor says urgent tasks would include readiness to tackle old and new challenges.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2006 11:22 IST

Calling for a United Nations that is "stronger than ever", India's candidate for the next Secretary General Shashi Tharoor has said that he will be focussing on a number of areas including reinforcing the operational capacity and speedy deployment of peacekeepers.

Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, Tharoor emphasised the need of the world body to effectively take on the present and emerging challenges such as effective peace keeping operations.

"This 20th century organisation can take on the challenges of the 21st century" Tharoor said in his opening remarks.

Among the urgent and pressing tasks would include the readiness to tackle old and new challenges, management reforms and building "issue-based coalition" with a view to bridge the North-South divide.

"Development must be a major priority for the United Nations" Tharoor told an audience of diplomats, think tank specialists, administration officials and media persons.

"The world will continue to turn to the United Nations since it transcends any one government's interests" he argued going on to make the point that the "New UN" must encapsulate the spirit of the 21st century and amplify the voices of those who not have been heard, serve as a canopy for all and be the "result and source of hopes for a better world".

Both in his formal remarks and in the interactive discussion, Tharoor repeatedly pointed out one of the major functions of the United Nations as it related to peacekeeping and in the fashion in which the world body has responded that had prevented the major powers from facing off one another.

First Published: Sep 08, 2006 09:50 IST