Letter : British action weakens UN

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The Independent Online
Sir: There has been little media coverage of the British Government's recent announcement to withdraw, following the example of the United States, from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido).

It is quite unjustified. Unido has over recent years radically reformed itself on lines which Britain and other Western countries have urged. Its work in the field of developing country industrial sustainability is unique in the UN system.

Unido may or may not be abolished as part of a more sweeping UN reform process. But in the meanwhile any unilateral decisions on withdrawal from individual agencies encourage the unravelling of an already weakened UN system.

UN reform needs to be taken seriously, and should be a foreign policy priority for the next government.

JOHN GORDON

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Daventry

London, N6

The writer is a former member of the diplomatic service

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