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Mbeki seeks urgent UN reform

At the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Durban South Africa's President said developing countries should not allow powerful nations to dictate the world on their own terms. Mbeki said that it was not acceptable that a "few countries" decided the outcome of major world issues. He stressed that "multilateral cooperation between equal countries is the only way to proceed". President Mbeki said the UN, where the Security Council is dominated by five permanent members, needed to be reformed.

"The other multilateral institutions like the Bretton Woods institutions (World Bank and International Monetary Fund) and the World Trade Organisation also need to be transformed to meet the needs of our people." He urged the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to cut Third World debt and level the playing field of world trade, and to meet the so-called Millennium Development Goals, which include halving poverty by 2015. "It is perfectly obvious that it is not going to be possible to meet these goals without the transfer of resources to poor countries by the West. How that will happen is not a question in the interest of rich countries to answer," he said.

The 117-member NAM was formed during the Cold War for those who wanted to opt out of the Western and Soviet blocs, but has become a forum for developing world issues. (Business Day, Johannesburg)

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