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Summit endorses watered-down UN reform
Updated: 2005-09-17 11:43

But critics said it was vague on many key points and left out key issues such as disarmament altogether, reflecting persistent divisions within the world body between rich and poor nations.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez spoke just before the document was adopted to complain that its preparation "was confined to a small group of 32 and then an even smaller group of 15 countries."

Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque went on the attack after the text was approved, saying, "This has been the summit of selfishness, arrogance and lies."

The agreed plan was a diluted version of UN chief Kofi Annan's ambitious plan to make the 60-year organization more representative and better able to meet 21st-century challenges.

More than 150 heads of state and government addressed the gathering but much of the real business was conducted away from the podium spotlight in sideline meetings to thrash out solutions to old disputes and fresh challenges.

The pressing issue of Iran's nuclear ambitions was set to extend beyond the summit into the UN General Assembly, with a much anticipated speech on Saturday by Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad, who met with the British, French and German foreign ministers on Thursday, is to unveil proposals Saturday aimed at allaying European and US fears that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons.

The dominant summit theme of how to combat terrorism was taken up again Friday by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who called for greater international cooperation and a focus on the "true causes" of the problem.
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