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Mbeki calls for reform of United Nations

Published Nov 12, 2000

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By Youssef Kassem

Doha - Thabo Mbeki, the South African president and chairperson of the Non-Aligned Movement, said on Sunday that Israel's failure to implement United Nations resolutions in the Middle East was proof of the need to reform the world body.

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Mbeki was addressing an Organisation of the Islamic Conference summit that is expected to call on Muslim states to cut ties with Israel in retaliation for the killing of nearly 200 Palestinians in recent clashes.

Mbeki noted an apparent inability or reluctance on the part of the international community to use the United Nations to deal with the Middle East conflict by ensuring that Israel complied with UN resolutions.

"(This) will further buttress the conviction that the UN is not allowed by some to carry out its charter responsibility," he said at the opening session of the three-day meeting.

"The situation gives further impetus to the call for the restructuring of the United Nations so that it reflects more correctly the realities of the world of the 21st Century."

In an apparent reference to UN resolutions on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Mbeki said the security council should act immediately to ensure that its resolutions were implemented and fulfil its responsibility to maintain peace and security.

"All United Nations resolutions on the question of Palestine, including those related to Palestinian refugees, should be implemented as a matter of urgency," he said.

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The situation in the Middle East, he added, posed a direct threat to world peace and security.

Mbeki said the Non-Aligned Movement demanded firm steps to secure the rights of the Palestinian people, to end the occupation of Arab land and to end continuing violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

He said the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) should work together to ensure the "democratisation of the United Nations".

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A draft communique, to be presented to the leaders of the 56 Muslim states that make up the OIC, said the leaders had agreed to set up a committee to lobby the five permanent members of the Security Council to create a United Nations force to protect Palestinians against what they say is execessive Israeli force. - Reuters

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