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This is a Critical Stage for the UN – Annan

This is a Critical Stage for the UN – Annan

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Secretary-General Kofi Annan says this is a critically important stage for the United Nations. The Secretary-General says if the Security Council comes together and resolve the Iraqi crisis effectively and successfully, its credibility and influence would be enhanced. At the same time Mr. Annan took issue with suggestions that the United Nations would become irrelevant and go the way of the League of Nations if the Security Council refuses to authorize the use of force against Iraq:

"I also believe that to state that if the council does not vote one way, it is going to go the way of the League of Nations is over stating a case. I think the council and the UN will not go the way of the League of Nations and think the historical comparisons are not as simple as it appears. The UN is much, much larger than the Iraqi crisis."

The Secretary-General says the Iraq crisis is one of the issues the UN is dealing with in addition to other economic, social and humanitarian issues.

US Working With Co-Sponsors to Mobilise Support for Second Resolution

The United States says it's working with the co-sponsors of a second resolution before the Security Council to mobilise the necessary support. US ambassador John Negroponte says the resolution is reasonable and to the point in that Iraq has not been fully and pro-actively complying with resolution 1441 that sent weapons inspectors back to Baghdad:

"We put down what we think to be a very reasonable resolution that concludes that Iraq is not complying with resolution 1441 and prior disarmament resolutions and we think that it's time for the council to face that decision - that is to say to decide that Iraq is not in compliance and has not taken advantage of this final opportunity offered to it under paragraph 2 of 1441."

Iraqi Missile Destruction is Positive – Annan

Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Tuesday that Iraq's destruction of missiles is a "positive development." Mr. Annan welcomed Iraq's acceptance of the UN chief weapons inspector's order to destroy its Al-Samoud II missiles. But asked whether the destruction of 19 missiles so far could avoid war, he said it's up to the Security Council to make a decision:

"I think the council's decision would be based on the totality of the presentation by the inspectors and the information they have in front of them. Let's not forget that in accordance with resolution 1441, the council has a right to declare a further material breach at any time based on the reports of the inspectors and then move on to serious consequences."

The Secretary-General urged that the process be given time and let the inspectors report on Friday.
UNHCR Says Funds Inadequate for Iraqi Refugees

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says its survival and endurance plan prepared for potential refugees from Iraq is lacking funds. UNHCR representative in Jordan Sten Bronee said the agency has collected only 14 per cent or about $22 million out of the $154 million needed for sheltering some 600,000 refugees who are expected to flee Iraq to neighbouring countries if war breaks out. The UN estimates that 2 million Iraqis would be displaced inside the country.

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