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Rowan Williams calls on UN to listen to faith leaders

 The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has called on the UN to listen to religious communities and non-governmental organisations in order to restore its moral authority. Speaking during a visit to the United States on Saturday, the head of the Anglican Communion described the work of the world body as "indispensable", but said that its credibility had nonetheless been damaged by arguments over the US-led war in Iraq, recent charges of widespread bureaucratic corruption over the oil-for-food programme there and its involvement in Rwanda and Bosnia. "There is an urgent need for structures and relationships that allow a global moral perspective to be voiced more clearly" he said. Archbishop Williams suggested the creation of a 'standing commission' to the UN Security Council comprising religious leaders and civil society representatives, who would be able to air their views. He did not suggest that the commission should have a seat on the UN's decision-making body or the right of veto. "Trends in UN reform are driving towards the 'moralising' or civilising of the global economy and the world of international negotiation" he is quoted as saying on BBC On-line. Never has there been a time when the presence of religious-based voluntary groups was more needed, he said. Source: MISNA