HC Deb 22 February 1996 vol 272 cc487-8
Q1. Dr. Godman

To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 30 January, Official Report, column 772, what proposals he has made for the abolition of United Nations bodies. [15047]

The Prime Minister (Mr. John Major)

I believe in an effective United Nations. Eliminating waste must be part of that. As I advised the hon. Gentleman recently, that includes, where necessary, a long-term look at the functions and programmes that have outlived their usefulness.

Dr. Godman

Before any such bodies can be abolished, the United Nations must contend with the election of a new Secretary-General. Why are the Government advocating the re-election of Dr. Boutros Ghali so assiduously? Should not the Prime Minister and other leaders be campaigning for a candidate of the stature of, say, President Mary Robinson of the Irish Republic, or some other stateswoman or statesman of equal standing? As for Dr. Boutros Ghali, should we not be saying cheerio to the old fellow?

The Prime Minister

As I think the hon. Gentleman knows, the Government do not indicate how they will vote on these occasions, and I do not propose to do so now. What I think most important is that the United Nations is efficient, and efficiently run. It is distressing to note that a large number of United Nations bodies have patently outlived their usefulness. They have no proper functions to perform either now or in the future, and they should be removed.

Forward to