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Security Council schedules four meetings on Iraq


Security Council schedules four meetings on Iraq for May

The United Nations Security Council has scheduled four meetings this month on Iraq to discuss humanitarian issues and the Oil-for-Food programme which provided the sole source of food for 60 per cent of the population of the sanctions-bound country, the Council's President for the month of May said today.

Pakistan's Ambassador, Munir Akram, taking over from April's President, Mexican Ambassador Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, told reporters that during his month in office he hoped to be able to heal the divisions that had split the Council over Iraq.

"The Security Council has passed through a difficult path during which there have been divergences of approach," he said, without referring to Iraq by name. "It will be Pakistan's hope and endeavour that during the current month we shall be able to serve in building back consensus, in building reconciliation among the membership of the Security Council and restoring order and peace in international discourse."

The meetings on Iraq comprise two briefings on humanitarian issues on 8 and 22 May and, on 12 and 29 May, two consultations on the Oil-for-Food programme under which Iraq was allowed to use oil revenues to buy food and which expires on 3 June. Action thus had to be taken, and if there was sufficient convergence of positions there was sufficient time to come to agreement, Mr. Akram added.

He said May's schedule also included a broad agenda, such as sanctions reviews for Liberia and peacekeeping mandate renewals for Timor-Leste and Western Sahara. Other issues on the Council's docket would be the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Burundi, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

A Council mission is scheduled to visit West Africa from 15 to 22 May and on 13 May there would be a public meeting on the Council's role in the pacific settlement of disputes.

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