Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
2005 could well prove to be the decisive year for a revitalization of the United Nations. The present reform constellation is more favorable than it has been for years. A conference of the world’s heads of state and government scheduled for autumn 2005 offers a historic opportunity to identify cooperative solutions for crucial conflicts in the global arena and to revamp the world organization with a view to bringing it into line with the challenges of the 21 st century. The task topping the agenda is no less than to take a new look at the groundwork needed for an effective multilateralism, the ultimate aim being to ensure that security and prosperity, sustainability and equity become a reality for all people on the planet. The German government should make use of the dynamics developing over the coming months in order to stake out a position of leadership in the task of further developing the structures of the international system. This calls for timely and strategically placed contributions. If the member states fail to come up with significant successes in 2005, it will be a long time before anything is moved in the United Nations. A failure of the conference would heighten the antagonisms between poor and rich, between North and South, and jeopardize global stability.