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Brit ambassador: We need the US.

Byline: By Emma Brady

Britain's ambassador to the United Nations yesterday claimed the organisation needed the United States, as it would be 'much weaker' without them.

Sir Emyr Jones Parry made his comments during a public debate at the Birmingham and Midland Institute on how to strengthen and reform the UN.

The event, organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the United Nations Association, is part of a string of national debates ahead of a UN summit in New York in September.

The future of the global organisation, founded in San Francisco on June 25, 1945, has been called into question following the war in Iraq.

Britain and the US sent troops into battle without securing a second resolution from the UN Security Council, a move which raised the issue of the conflict's legality.

Sir Emyr, who is based in New York, said: 'The UN needs to do better, we need to see a substantial improvement, we need to produce a more effective and more active UN for the 21st Century.

'It's like a mirror: What you see is a reflection of the wills of the member states, and unless they're willing to see action being taken then no decisions can be made.

'The reason we saw the conflicts in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Iraq is because the UN member states failed to make a decision.'

Sir Emyr, who has been a diplomat for 33 years, admitted the organisation wanted the US to play an even bigger role in international diplomacy.

'The United States is a key part of the UN and we need their input but I also think the US needs to stay within the UN,' he said.

'In fact we need more US in the UN, the world needs more of the US. Without their commitment, the UN would be much weaker.

'I don't believe they are trying to set their own agenda, but we would like to see more consistency in their diplomatic activities.'

In addressing about 100 delegates at the Institute, in the city centre, Sir Emyr was positive the organisation must look to the future as it celebrates its 60th anniversary.

'The UN is as relevant today as it was in 1945. There are still global problems that require global solutions, however the problems we are faced with today know no borders,' he said.

'If the situations in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Iraq have taught us anything, it's that building peace is much more difficult than preventing conflict.

'There can be no justification for terrorism in any circumstances or cultures, and the September summit needs to say that loud and clear

CAPTION(S):

Sir Emyr Jones Parry, British Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, arrives at the Birmingham Midland Institute to give his talk
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 20, 2005
Words:463
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