June 16 – 18, 2005
The Westin Hotel, Ottawa, Canada

About the Meeting

Extract – Message from Chair of ACUNS Board – Michael W. Doyle

“I would share with you two observations. The first observation focuses on the UN’s role as a strategic coordinator for the implementation of the Millennium Declaration’s seven “chapters. Its strategic coordination has been radically uneven. While useful effort has been invested in the Millennium Development Goals and, recently, in “peace security and disarmament” and the reform of the organisation (the report of the High Level Panel) strategies to realize commitment on “human rights, democracy and good governance” and “protecting the vulnerable” have moved little beyond their original rhetoric in the Declaration. But where the UN has planned much better, as with the MDGs and the useful Millennium Project strategy elaborated in the Sachs report, member states have done little to implement the development commitments they made. Real progress in meeting the goals has consequently been radically uneven. While the goal of reducing the proportion of people in extreme poverty ($1 a day) is being met, progress made is almost entirely a function of progress in China and India (where many of the extremely poor live) and is not matched by sufficient rates of progress anywhere else. Instead regions, actual regression is taking place.

The second observation echoes Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s own remarks in his In Larger Freedom report of March 2005, where he characteristically affirms a residual optimism: “The MDGs can be met by 2015 – but only if all involved break with business as usual and dramatically accelerate and scale up action.” In my opinion his remark can be generalized to cover the entire Declaration, with the same qualification. Indeed, 2005 may be the last landmark assessment of the Declaration at which we can affirm that the 2015 goals are meetable, if action is dramatically scaled up. I would be pleased to be proved wring in 2010 but I suspect that 2005 is momentous for another reason: If current levels of commitment continue, at the 10th year review advocates for the Declaration will be forced into an obituary rather than a hortatory style.”

Plenary Titles

    • Session 1 – The Declaration after Five Years: Assessing Progress and Taking Action
    • Session 2 – NPSIA/CCTC Session on Disarmament, Nonproliferation and the Millennium Declaration:Going Practically Nowhere
    • Session 3 – Addressing the Declaration: Differing Political and Institutional Approaches
    • Session 4 – CERIUM/University of Montreal Session on “Le driot au dévelopment: du slogan à la mise en oeuvre/The Right to Development: Operationalizing the Slogan

Book Launch – Irrelevant or Indispensable: The United Nations in the 21st Century

Irrelevant or Indispensable: The United Nations in the 21st Century edited by Paul Heinbecker and Patricia Goff (Wilfrid Laurier University Press. 2005).

Suffering from a divided membership, the United Nations is at a crossroads, unable to assure human or national security. The UN has been criticized as irrelevant by its most—and least—powerful members alike because it can’t reach consensus on how to respond to twenty-first-century challenges of global terrorism, endemic poverty, and crimes against humanity.

Secretary General Kofi Annan has proposed a package of sweeping reforms that would safeguard the rule of law, outlaw terrorism, protect the innocent from abusive governments, reduce poverty by half, safeguard human rights, and enlarge the Security Council. Intended to reinvigorate the institution and galvanize its members into action, his proposals are extensive and innovative, courageous and controversial.

This volume assembles the perspectives of current practitioners, leading academics, civil society representatives, and UN officials on transforming the secretary general’s proposed reforms into action. Their assessments are frank and their views varied, but they do agree on one thing—the United Nations must be made more effective precisely because it is indispensable to the promotion of economic development and collective security in the twenty-first century.


Hans Corell 125John Holmes Memorial Lecture – Professor Ramesh Thakur
Senior Vice Rector, United Nations University, Tokyo
“Anomalies in Global Governance: The Case of Nuclear Weapons”