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UN Radio: UN Calls End Military Occupation Of Iraq

UN Radio: Collective Goal Remains an Early End to Military Occupation of Iraq: Annan

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  • Special Report: UN Ready to Support Iraq's Governing Council
  • Collective Goal Remains an Early End to Military Occupation of Iraq: Annan

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan says the collective goal remains an early end to the military occupation of Iraq, through the formation of an internationally recognized, representative government. The Secretary-General told the UN Security Council that "we need to keep the interests of the Iraqi people at the forefront" and listen to their needs:

    "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."

    Secretary-General Annan said that means that the establishment of the Governing Council must be followed by a constitutional process run by Iraqis, for Iraqis.

    Iraqi Governing Council Needs Support of International Community: De Mello

    Special Representative for Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello says that the Governing Council while not democratically elected, can be viewed as broadly representative of the various constituencies in Iraq. He said it would need the support of the international community and the faith of the Iraqi people to succeed:

    "It must be empowered to deliver tangible improvements to the welfare of the population while not being the subject of criticism for what remains the legal obligation of the CPA under the current situation."

    Mr. De Mello says that for the future, the UN would need to be flexible and be in a position to respond quickly to calls for assistance as they arise.

    Protestors Attempt to Disrupt UN Meeting

    During Tuesday's Security Council meeting two protestors in the public gallery attempted to disrupt the meeting, protesting against the US occupation of Iraq and the governing council.
    The protestors action came as the representative of the Iraqi Governing Council Adnan Pachachi was about to speak:

    TAPE: SFX (shouting)

    A UN spokesman said the protesters were immediately escorted out of the chamber by UN Security. The spokesman said they were later identified as members of the San Francisco-based NGO Occupation Watch, which is not accredited to the UN. The two people were in the building on a one-day pass and were subsequently escorted off the premises.

    Situation in Liberia "horrific" –UNHCR

    International aid agencies have voiced growing concern about the upsurge in fighting in Liberia. And they've warned that the humanitarian situation in the capital Monrovia is desperate. On the ground in Monrovia, Mohammed Siryon of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, (OCHA), says while the shelling has stopped in the vicinity of the US embassy compound, the town is a complete disaster:

    "But the people are out trying to fetch water, to find food but that is very difficult because food is in very short supply, water is running dry. So the situation is desperate really."

    The UN refugee agency (UNHCR), has described the situation as "horrific" and expressed concern for the fate of tens of thousands of displaced people and refugees now seeking shelter in Monrovia.

    UNICEF Programme for Sierra Leone Child Soldiers Faces Funding Shortage

    The UN children's agency (UNICEF), says its programme to re-integrate former child soldiers in Sierra Leone is under threat. The agency says the future of more than 7-thousand children who fought in the civil wars, has been thrown into doubt. UNICEF's Emergencies Press Officer Gordon Weiss says the problem is caused by a lack of funding as world attention has shifted from Sierra Leone:

    "… a reasonable successful peace process has been in place for the last couple of years but unfortunately, the re-integration process for child soldiers which was a part of that this has not been completed."

    Mr. Weiss says ending the programme means UNICEF would not be fulfilling the promise it made to the former child soldiers of giving them a primary education and additional training so that they could gain skills and jobs.

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