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    MOSCOW, April 5, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - The UN needs to be reformed, said Chairman of the Duma international affairs committee Konstantin Kosachev.

    He said to reporters on Monday, "the world has radically changed, having gone through the appearance and collapse of military and political alliances, the cold war and the USSR's disintegration."

    According to the parliamentarian, such problems as increasing terrorism in various parts of the world and the risk of WMD, particularly nuclear, landing in the hands of extremists require a new, up-to-date approach from the UN.

    Mr. Kosachev noted that the altered character of present-day threats is already urging the leading nations of the world to review their attitude to the fundamental principles of international law. First of all, this refers to unlimited state sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of separate countries.

    He explained that world powers have found these principles to be dangerous for the security of their population.

    Therefore, the countries should co-ordinate their positions and work out a common approach to various preventive measures, including the use of force in relation to internal affairs of some countries if they pose an obvious threat and in case of humanitarian catastrophes and large-scale ethnic cleansing in countries led by dictators.

    He noted, in this situation the UN should not distance itself from working out common criteria for implementing the will of its members, from restoring territories under the UN mandate for incapacitated countries to military interventions to counter fresh threats and ensure security of the United Nations.

    According to Mr. Kosachev, Russia should at least actively participate in these efforts within the UN. At best, it should be the initiator so that it could have a say in the current international processes.

    As for UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's visit to Moscow, Mr. Kosachev noted that it was taking place against the background of essential international events that directly involve the UN. "The difficulties facing allies on the anti-Iraq coalition and the recent tragic events in Kosovo have testified that disregarding the UN inevitably leads to very serious problems," stressed the parliamentarian.

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