United Nations Millennium Summit

Message by the President of the International Progress Organization, Dr. Hans Koechler, to the Federal Chancellor of Austria, Dr. Wolfgang Schuessel, in support of Charter 99, the Charter for Global Democracy

Vienna, 16 August 2000

On September 6th 2000, the leaders of the world will meet at the United Nations to discuss the future of the world. This event is one of the most important in the UN's history.

The world has changed dramatically since the United Nations Organization was created in 1945, but the Organization's basic structures remain unchanged. Powerful new international agencies have been created, side-lining the UN. Yet the need for an effective and inclusive United Nations is more urgent than ever. Nearly 3 billion people live on less than US $2 a day. In the past decade more than five million people have been killed in wars, most of them women, children and non-combatants. The world's environment is under pressure.

The leaders who gather in New York have a historic responsibility to democratize and strengthen the UN as the central organization of the world's people.

As early as 1985, the International Progress Organization (I.P.O.) convened in New York City in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the UN an experts' meeting on Democracy in International Relations. In 1991, the I.P.O. was the convenor of the International Conference on a More Democratic United Nations (CAMDUN) held at the UN Office in Vienna. In 1999, the International Progress Organization joined the supporters of Charter 99, the Charter for Global Democracy, which is calling for all international institutions to become accountable and transparent. Charter 99 has been signed by people and organizations in over 120 countries, including several prime ministers and many elected representatives.

As an international non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations, the I.P.O. calls upon the government of Austria to ensure that the Summit Declaration supports our call for democratic accountability through the United Nations. The declaration should also include provision for a rigorous review process, so that the people of the world can see the progress being made.