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UN Debates Iraq Oil-for-Food Program - 2003-04-23

Security Council Tuesday debated the status of the oil-for food program for Iraq following the ouster of Saddam Hussein's regime. At its meeting Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council met with the head of the oil-for-food program, Benon Sevan, who said he will try to continue badly needed food deliveries for some time despite technical challenges.

This month's president of the Security Council, Mexico's Ambassador Adolfo Aguilar Zinser says that the oil-for-food program, which provided the sole source of food for sixty percent of Iraqis, can not be abruptly stopped when the program expires on June 3. "We can not terminate the program simply on the expiration date of the third of June," he says. "This program is a vital program to the food and medicine supplies for a large portion of the Iraqi population."

Mr. Aguilar Zinser says Mexico has circulated a draft resolution aiming to continue the oil-for-food program past the current May 12 deadline. He says there is Security Council support for extending the program until June 3, when a previously agreed six-month mandate expires.