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World: U.S. Welcomes Reform At U.N.

Washington, 18 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - Washington has welcomed plans to reform the United Nations announced earlier today by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said the United States is pleased that Annan has kept to his promise to present a plan in a timely manner.

Burns said that during his first few months in office, Annan has put considerable energy into ensuring greater efficiency and effectiveness of the U.N. He said Annan is also serving as a catalyst for broader reforms throughout the organization.

Burns also said that the United States needs to honor its debts to the U.N. and its affiliated bodies in order to ensure the continuation of U.S. leadership.

The United States owes the U.N. about $1.2 billion in dues it has been holding up until the international organization undertakes concrete reforms.