"We will continue and reinforce our efforts to improve the functioning of the UN in the economic and social fields and its impact on development. We will continue to work in partnership with other members to complete the processes underway including Agenda for Development and initiate further processes as required."
Britain supports the reform efforts of the UNSG, Mr. Kofi Annan, and has hinted that the funding crisis be resolved. However, reform cannot take place when the daily operations and existence of the institution are threatened by fiscal crisis. While the British government has presented some promising ideas regarding development initiatives by the UN (see comments by the Foreign Secretary below), there has been little action to back this up and a passing grade cannot be assigned to the Lyon commitment because of this.
In a speech to the UNGA on September 24, 1996, the Foreign Secretary spoke at length about the British proposal of a "Partnership in Development", placing particular emphasis on poverty. Mr. Rifkind stated that "poverty is something we all can do something about, the liberalisation of national economies and global free trade would achieve the previously stated OECD goal of cutting the number of people living in absolute poverty by half by 2015."
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