The United Nations Security Council is moving quickly to adopt a resolution encouraging the formation of a transitional government in Afghanistan.
On Wednesday morning, Britain and France proposed the resolution endorsing a plan for talks involving all major segments of Afghan society. The talks would be aimed at creating a broad-based, multi-ethnic transitional administration. The plan was formally presented to the Security Council on Tuesday by Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan.
Britain's ambassador, Jeremy Greenstock, told reporters that the rapid success of Northern Alliance forces on the military front in Afghanistan means the Security Council must move rapidly on the diplomatic front. He expressed hope that the Northern Alliance will participate in U.N.-sponsored talks on a coalition with other groups. Mr. Greenstock said the United Nations has several immediate goals for Afghanistan.
"First of all we want order, we want standards to be upheld, we want humanitarian aid to come in. We want people to feel comfortable with the evolution [of the change in government]," said Ambassador Greenstock. "At the moment that is happening, with some blips and if we can encourage that process with Lakhdar Brahimi having a meeting with representative groups who would then go back to Afghanistan and take forward a new administration, then we are getting somewhere."
Regarding the need for an international force to provide internal security in Afghanistan, Mr. Greenstock said the proposed resolution encourages but does not provide a precise mandate for such a force. He indicated an international force should be invited in by a new Afghan administration.