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UNSC could adopt Iraq resolution shortly - Annan

Annan predicts Security Council could adopt Iraq resolution shortly

21 October – The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today said he expected the Security Council to adopt a new resolution insisting that Iraq comply with previous UN decisions, and voiced his hope that Baghdad would listen to the Council's demand.

"I expect that probably sometime this week or not long after there will be a resolution approved unanimously by the Council," the Secretary-General said upon his arrival in Tajikistan, where he is continuing his tour of Central Asia.

In the mid-afternoon, the Secretary-General met with President Emomali Rakhmonov and Foreign Minister Talbak Nazarov. Afterward, he told the press that he and the President had discussed the fight against terrorism, development, poverty alleviation, the need for strengthened institutions and good governance. Their talks also touched on Afghanistan, regional cooperation on water and energy management, and cross-border movements.

After travelling to the UN office in Tajikistan, where he told staff to "work as a team," the Secretary-General spoke to the Tajik Parliament, voicing his strong belief that the country could serve as an example to Afghanistan, and urging them to work to establish the rule of law. "Popular trust in the judiciary and the fairness of the authorities is the best safeguard against extremism and renewed violence," he said.

Before travelling to Tajikistan, the Secretary-General yesterday went to Bishkek to begin an official visit to Kyrgyzstan, where President Askar Akayev met him at the airport. Later, the Secretary-General met for more than an hour with the President, including one-on-one sessions before and after meeting with their delegations. Mr. Akayev also awarded the Secretary-General the Order of Manas, the highest honour the Government can give to exceptional individuals.

At a press encounter following the meeting, the Secretary-General said that their discussions centred on economic and social development, the fight against terrorism, drug-trafficking, good governance and the UN-Kyrgyz relationship, which he called "excellent."

The Secretary-General then met with leading members of Parliament, including the Speakers of the Upper and Lower Houses.

Before leaving Bishkek, the Secretary-General this morning inaugurated the new UN House that will provide a common workspace for all UN agencies working in the country.

ANNAN STATEMENT 1

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 21 October 2002 - Secretary-General's press encounter upon arrival at Dushanbe Airport

Q: Can you tell us about the situation in Iraq? What is the point of view of the United Nations?

SG: First of all, I want to say how happy I am to be here and I'm looking forward to my discussions with the Government and the UN agencies here. We have a lot to discuss and I am happy that I am finally here.

With regards to Iraq, the Security Council is discussing the issue and I expect that probably sometime this week or not long thereafter there will be a resolution approved unanimously by the Council. And of course the resolution will demand that Iraq complies with UN resolutions and I hope Iraq will listen to this demand from the Council. Thank you.

ANNAN STATEMENT 2

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 21 October 2002 - Secretary-General's press encounter following his meeting with President Rakhmonov (unofficial transcript)

Q (Tajik TV Company): Please tell us what the main questions discussed in your meeting with President Emomali Rakhmonov were.

SG: We did discuss issues of the fight against terrorism; the question of economic and social development, alleviation of poverty, the need to strengthen institutions and good governance; we reviewed developments in Afghanistan, and had the chance also to explore possibilities for regional cooperation in areas like water management and electricity and facilitation of cross-border movements. Aren't these enough topics for one afternoon? I will take your questions.

Q: Mr. Secretary General, President Rakhmonov is calling for a strengthening of the role of the UN in the international arena; at the same time, there are discussions about a reform of the UN. Could you please tell us how these reforms may affect Central Asia? Are there any plans for new programs, new structures within the UN?

SG: First of all, we do value our cooperation with your Government, and in fact the President and I with my representatives here, the Resident Coordinator of the UN and my political Representative, discussed this issue thoroughly. And I think the people of Tajikistan know the UN involvement here, which goes back over a decade. We are introducing reforms and changes at the UN, but the changes are intended to make our activities on the ground more effective and to focus on economic and social issues.

I don't know if you've seen the publication “We the Peoples”, which describes the problems facing the world and the Millennium Declaration, the Declaration which was made by 160 Heads of State and Government indicating what steps we need to do to improve the economic and social conditions of people around the world.

That action has to take place at the country level, in countries like yours, not in New York, and all our efforts are directed towards that.

So to answer your question, the UN is reorganizing itself to be able to work directly with the Governments. And in fact my representatives here have been very active with your Government in drawing up the necessary plans.

But if I may offer a word of advice here, the issue of economic and social development or nation building should not be an issue for a government alone. Everyone has a role – the private sector, NGOs, individuals, universities, we all have to work together in partnership and form an alliance to make it happen. The international community can help and must help, but the greater effort has to be done at the country level, by the Government and the people like you. Spasibo.

Q: Is your organization planning any moves regarding the crisis surrounding North Korea's nuclear programme and what do you think is the plan of action, what should be done?

SG: Well, I am following it very closely and I know there are discussions in many capitals also on this issue and of course the revelation came suddenly and we are all studying it and the Governments are in discussions to see what should be done next.

ENDS

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