Jump to content

2005 World Summit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from World Summit)

U. N. headquarters in New York City

The 2005 World Summit was a United Nations summit held between 14 and 16 September 2005 at the U.N. headquarters in New York City. It was a follow-up summit meeting to the U.N.'s 2000 Millennium Summit (which formulated the Millennium Declaration of the Millennium Development Goals).

The 2005 World Summit is known for articulating a Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in order to address mass atrocities and human rights violations.

Summit Summary


The summit was billed as the "largest gathering of world leaders in history", (as was the 2000 summit),[1] and featured appearances of numerous heads of state and heads of government. According to the organizers, about 170 leaders were present. The majority of those present addressed the U. N. General Assembly (UNGA) and gave speeches reflecting on the U. N.'s past successes and future challenges. All 191 of the then member states gave an address in some form—if the head of state or government was not present, the nation's foreign minister, vice president, or deputy prime minister usually spoke. The meetings were presided over by the Prime Minister of Sweden, Göran Persson, since Swedish Jan Eliasson was President of the 60th UNGA. Negotiations for the World Summit Outcome Document had been under the watchful eye of the President of the 59th UNGA, Mr. Jean Ping of Gabon.[2]

The pre-summit negotiations were blown sharply off course by the appearance in early August at the U. N. of United States Ambassador to the U. N. John Bolton, appointed as a recess appointment by U.S. President George W. Bush. The position had been vacant since January, with responsibilities handled by professional U.S. diplomats. Bolton swiftly issued a list of new demands[3] (including dropping the use of the words "Millennium Development Goals"), which days before the summit had still not been settled. Some observers contended that on the eve of the summit the U.S. struck a more conciliatory tone than expected,[4] something partly credited as a consequence of the outpouring of international support for the U.S. after Hurricane Katrina.

As well as discussing progress on the Millennium Development Goals and re-iterating the world's commitment to them, the summit was convened to address the possible reform of the United Nations; much of this was eventually postponed to a later date. An exception was the endorsement of the "responsibility to protect" (known by the acronyms RtoP and R2P), a formulation of the "right of humanitarian intervention" developed by a U.N. commission[5] and proposed by Kofi Annan as part of his In Larger Freedom[6] reform package. The "Responsibility to Protect" gives the world community the right to intervene in the case of "national authorities manifestly failing to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity". There was also broad agreement at the summit to set up a new Human Rights Council.

During the summit, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption received its thirtieth ratification, and as a result entered into force in December 2005.

The inaugural session of the Clinton Global Initiative, organized by the family of William J. Clinton (former President of the USA), was held in New York City to coincide with the 2005 World Summit. This event attracted as many of the same world leaders as the main summit. During his presidency, Mr Clinton has twice hosted more than 150 world leaders during an UN summit, in 1995 and 2000.

Outcome of the 2005 World Summit


At the end of the 2005 Summit the contents of a document, known as the World Summit Outcome Document, were agreed to by the delegations that attended.[7][8]

It was brought before the United Nations General Assembly for adoption as a resolution on 16 September,[9] where ambassadors made last minute statements and reservations. For example, John Bolton said: "I do wish to make one point clear: the United States understands that reference to the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the use of the phrase 'reproductive health' in paragraphs 57 (g) and 58 (c) of the outcome document do not create any rights and cannot be interpreted to constitute support, endorsement, or promotion of abortion."[10]

The pressure group The United Nations Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UNA-UK) contend that:

Delegates to the UN Summit have been accused of producing a 'watered-down' outcome document which merely reiterates existing pledges. It is true that there is cause for disappointment, in particular the failure to make progress on Weapons of Mass Destruction. But the document also contains important steps forward including:

  1. agreement on the responsibility to protect populations suffering gross human rights violations;
  2. a blueprint for the establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission to prevent relapses into violence following the conclusion of peace agreements; and
  3. agreement on equipping the UN with a new Human Rights Council to strengthen its ability to promote and protect human rights around the world.
    — UNA-UK, [11]

World leaders agreed on a compromise text,[12] including the following notable items:

UN Security Council and the protection of civilians in armed conflicts


The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1674, adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 28 April 2006, "reaffirm[ed] the provisions of paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document regarding the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity" and commits the Security Council to action to protect civilians in armed conflict.[13][14]


  1. ^ BBC News, UN Summit Agenda, published 7 September 2000, accessed 11 October 2022
  2. ^ Alex Bellamy, Global Politics and The Responsibility to Protect: From Words to Deeds (Routledge: New York) 2010
  3. ^ "Archived copy". www.reformtheun.org. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Howard LaFranchi At U.N., Bolton Softens His Tone Controversial U.S. Ambassador Taking More Conciliatory Approach CBS News 12 September 2005 (originally published in The Christian Science Monitor)
  5. ^ Annan calls for endorsement of Responsibility to Protect Archived 10 September 2005 at the Wayback Machine Human Security Policy Division, Human Security and Human Rights Bureau Foreign Affairs Canada
  6. ^ In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all Archived 13 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Report of the Secretary-General. Prepared by the UN Web Services Section Department of Public Information in 2005.
  7. ^ Draft outcome document, 13 September (PDF) on the website of the BBC
  8. ^ United Nations, World Summit Outcome, Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 16 September 2005, accessed 8 October 2022
  9. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 60 Verbatim Report 8. Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields A/60/PV.8 page 44. 16 September 2005. Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  10. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 60 Verbatim Report 8. A/60/PV.8 page 46. Mr. Bolton United States 16 September 2005. Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  11. ^ The United Nations Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UNA-UK) Archived 13 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. 2005 World Summit Outcome Document: A Glass Half Full? Archived 10 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "2005 World Summit Outcome" (PDF). United Nations. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2005. Retrieved 30 September 2005.
  13. ^ Resolution 1674 (2006) Archived 2 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Security Council passes landmark resolution – world has responsibility to protect people from genocide Archived 12 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine Oxfam Press Release – 28 April 2006

Further reading