Looking back on his 10 years as head of the United Nations, Secretary-General, Kofi Annan today spoke of the continuing need for reforming the world body, efforts to build partnerships between the UN and other organizations, and the myriad challenges that lie ahead, particularly in bringing peace to strife-torn Darfur.“When I became Secretary-General [in December 1996]? I felt the Organization needed to be reformed and brought in line with today’s requirements, and so I embarked on a very early reform at the beginning, trying to improve the management, administrative and financial processes of the organization,” he told the International Women’s Forum.Describing this as a process and “not an event,” Mr. Annan also stressed his belief that if the UN was going to help people, it had to focus on inequality, and that was the reason for proposing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight targets that aim to reduce poverty, hunger and other social ills by 2015.“We needed to focus on inequality – inequality within States and between States, and that we had to really come together to fight abject poverty, and that’s what led to my report ‘We the Peoples’ and the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals by the? General Assembly in the year 2000.”As he prepares to step down at the end of this year, Mr. Annan voiced satisfaction that Member States accept that the UN’s work rests on three major pillars. peace and security; economic and social development; and human rights and the rule of law.He also pointed to such challenges as HIV/AIDS, bird flu and environmental degradation, saying that individual governments alone couldn’t deal with such problems and that was why he had sought to develop partnerships between the UN and other organizations to improve the world body’s efforts to counter these threats.“As an international community we needed to find ways of dealing with this, and the only way I could think of is that we needed to work in partnership with all the stakeholders – civil society, governments, international organizations, private sector and foundations, and so I can say that today the UN has become a partnership organization, reaching out and working with others.”However, while pointing to UN achievements, Mr. Annan also admitted that “many challenges remain,” particularly how best to stop the bloodshed in Sudan’s strife-torn Darfur region.“Darfur is still a challenge,” he said, acknowledging that despite the recent agreement in Ethiopia to put an eventual UN-African Union force into the troubled region, the “challenge will be in its implementation.”“The expectation is that the Sudanese will work with the international community to get it done, and so we will be pressing ahead on that,” he went on, noting that “everybody is looking at how we handle Darfur.”Mr. Annan also stressed that the UN is made up of Member States, a fact often forgotten particularly by those criticizing the world body.“When people talk of the UN, what is the UN? There are two UNs – the UN that is of Member States who sit in the Security Council and the General Assembly and give mandates to the Secretariat – the Secretary-General and the Secretariat. And there is a Secretariat which carries out these mandates,” he said.“But the way the media covers it if anything goes wrong, ‘It’s the UN.’ They talk and write about the UN as if it’s some satellite out there which their governments and others have nothing to do with. But the UN is their government and mine,” he said.