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UN reform negotiations falter as summit nears

[JURIST] UN diplomats continued feverish negotiations Tuesday in a last-ditch effort to prepare a coherent platform of agreed reforms in time for the World Summit 2005 [official website], but an impasse persists with only days remaining. In the most recent setback, UN General Assembly President Jean Ping [official profile] cancelled a news conference set for last Friday in which he was to announce progress on a summit statement draft. The news conference cancellation, coupled with comments from negotiators still struggling over contentious issues such as nuclear non-proliferation, has left many doubting whether a final statement will be produced in time for the summit. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan returned from vacation early [JURIST report] last week in an effort to push the derailed negotiations forward. Negotiations appeared to break down in mid-August after US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton [official profile] offered up numerous changes and seven position papers [official documents], but Bolton said he was optimistic an agreement could still be reached. The summit, which begins Sept. 14, will mark the UN's 60th anniversary and revisit the Millenium Development Goals [official website] championed by Annan. VOA News has more.

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