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UN Security Council Head Expects Concensus on New Iraq Resolution - 2003-09-03

The head of the Security Council, British ambassador Emyr Jones Parry, says he expects a consensus to emerge within a matter of days on a resolution giving the United Nations a larger role in Iraq.

Mr. Parry said the Security Council is fine-tuning the resolution to gather as much support as possible. The draft resolution, being pushed by Britain and the United States, authorizes a multinational force in Iraq unified under the command of the United States. It also encourages the international community to contribute to Iraq's economic recovery.

Ambassador Parry said there is widespread agreement on the conditions that will enable a transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi people as quickly as possible. But he says the resolution must address elements essential to a successful transition.

"What are we going to do on the political [side]? How do we move forward on the vital role for the United Nations? What should we do on the security side to improve the situation there and tackle the problems? And there I would think that the resolution ought to address both the military and the policing requirements of Iraq. And thirdly, we ought to say something about the economic," he said. "We should do something on the economic [side] which takes us forward to address the problems as they exist, I hope it will facilitate the work of the international financial institutions, and crucially prepare us for the donor conference to be held in October in Madrid."

Mr. Parry said one of the aims of discussions is to heal lingering wounds over deep Security Council divisions over the British-U.S.-led coalition's war in Iraq. "I think the main incentive is the heartfelt view by many countries and the international community in general that we should demonstrate our determination to succeed, that we have a common interest in making a success of Iraq and that the time has come to accept that we are where we are and we need to move forward as quickly as possible to transfer sovereignty back to the Iraqis," he said.

The draft, which gives the United Nations a larger role in Iraqi reconstruction, also encourages input from the coalition-sanctioned Iraqi Governing Council. Although the Security Council welcomed the formation of the 25-member Governing Council, the United Nations has never formally recognized it. Ambassador Parry says the Security Council should ask Iraqis, including members of the Governing Council, for a timetable concerning recovery plans and future elections.