John Dauth, Australia’s straight-talking Ambassador to the United Nations, spoke at ANU Law School tonight. He was pleasantly direct, praising the Secretariat, the Security Council and agencies like UNICEF, but arguing that the UN General Assembly and its committees – including UNHCR and the UN Human Rights Commission – were "in crisis".*

When pushed, he was less than optimistic about the chances of getting the necessary reforms implemented. But he gave the impression that Australia is supportive of the reform plan currently being pushed by Kofi Annan, which sounds like a proverbial step in the right direction.

* As Jason Soon recently pointed out, the UN Human Rights Committee just re-elected Zimbabwe as a member.

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