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Annan welcomes Iraqis at Security Council session

Annan welcomes Iraqis at Security Council session

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  • Welcoming the first Iraqis to address the United Nations Security Council since the fall of Saddam Hussein, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called Baghdad’s new Governing Council “an important step towards the full restoration of Iraqi sovereignty” and laid out five guiding principles for international action.

    With three members of the Governing Council in the Security Council chamber, Mr. Annan told an open session of the 15-member body: “Our collective goal remains an early end to the military occupation through the formation of an internationally recognized, representative government.

    “Meanwhile, it is vital that the Iraqi people should be able to see a clear timetable with a specific sequence of events leading to the full restoration of sovereignty as soon as possible,” he added, reiterating the main points of his latest report on Iraq which was formally presented to the Security Council today by his Special Representative, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

    “In practical terms, this means that the establishment of the Governing Council must be followed by a constitutional process run by and for Iraqis,” he told the meeting chaired by Foreign Minister Ana Palacio of Spain, which currently holds the Presidency of the Security Council.

    Mr. Annan stressed five fundamental principles – “which we all share” – underlying UN activities in Iraq. These are the need to respect Iraq’s independence and territorial integrity, to restore the people’s sovereignty as soon as possible, to respect their right to determine their political future, to respect the country’s sovereignty over its territory and natural resources, and to restore Iraq as a full partner in the international community at ease with its neighbours.

    “The United Nations will continue to play an active role in facilitating and supporting the political process, working together with the Governing Council and the (United States-run) Coalition Provisional Authority,” Mr. Annan declared.

    The Secretary-General was asked on his arrival at UN Headquarters before the session began whether the meeting would give momentum for another UN resolution to allow other countries to take part in security in Iraq.

    “Initial discussions have begun,” he told reporters. “I don’t know how quickly that will move, but there is a request for a new resolution to be undertaken, but it is at an early stage yet and I think there will be further discussions.”

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