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UN Radio: Special Report Bombing Of UN In Baghdad

UN Radio: Annan and Powell meet on the need to improve security in Iraq

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  • Special Audio Report: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan Vows UN Will Persevere in Iraq Undaunted by Recent Bomb Attack
  • Special Audio Report: UN Staff Mourn their Own During Candlelight Vigil - a Tribute to Those Who Fell in Baghdad
  • Annan and Powell meet on the need to improve security in Iraq

    United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today met with United States Secretary of State, Collin Powell. Mr. Powell conveyed to the Secretary-General condolences on the loss of UN staff in Tuesday's bombing of UN Headquarters in Baghdad. Mr. Annan and Mr. Powell discussed security in the aftermath of the attack. The Secretary-General said that despite the divisions that existed before the war, everyone now sees the need to help stabilize Iraq.

    "There were divisions before the war. But we all realize it is urgent to help bring peace to Iraq, bring peace to the region. An Iraq that is destabilized, an Iraq that is in chaos is not in the interest of the region or the world. And we do have a responsibility to ensure that."

    The Secretary-General said it was possible, given the amount of work and negotiations to achieve a consensus in the Security Council on Iraq.

    United States Wants More Member States to Send Troops to Iraq

    Secretary of State Collin Powell has said that the United States would like to see other member states do more in Iraq. Mr. Powell told reporters that some thirty nations are already participating in the country.

    "There are 22,000 troops there from these thirty nations. Five of the nations are in the process of sending troops and fourteen other nations are in conversation with the coalition on troop contributions. But, perhaps, additional language in a new resolution might encourage others."

    Mr. Powell said negotiations are continuing on the role the United Nations has to play in Iraq.

    No Blue Helmets for Iraq: Kofi Annan

    Secretary-General says the United Nations mandate in Iraq is clear and does not include sending peacekeepers to the country.

    "We have focused on the economic and political reconstruction. And on the question of security, we have no intention of recommending UN Blue Helmets. So really it's either a multinational force that oversees the security arrangements, with the UN focusing on the economic, political and social areas where we do our best."

    On Wednesday the Secretary-General told the Security Council that an intensive review to ensure the security of UN staff in Iraq has begun. He added that it is essential that a general environment of security be created in Iraq.

    UN Staff to Remain in Baghdad

    The United Nations has reiterated that it is not evacuating its staff from Baghdad following the bombing of its headquarters. The spokeswoman for the Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, Veronique Taveau says the UN is only evacuating people who have been injured and shocked by the bomb blast. Ms. Taveau says that there are even injured people who are determined to stay and continue their work in Baghdad.

    "We cannot operate at the moment in Canal Hotel because Canal Hotel is absolutely a mess, has been almost totally destroyed. So we are identifying at the moment some compound where we can move and work and establish our connections, telephone lines and Internet line so that we will be operational. Our activities will be resumed on either Monday or Tuesday the latest because we want to go on with that."

    The acting Head of the UN operation in Iraq, Ramiro Lopez da Silva, informed the press in Iraq that with some UN personnel traveling outside the country for medical treatment or stress counseling, the total staff members which were at about 300 at the time of the Tuesday bombing, will be at about 200 as of this weekend. Twenty-Two People are Believed to Have Died in Iraq

    The UN Security Coordinator's office said that as of mid-day today 22 people are believed dead from the attack. Eighteen bodies have been identified, including ten UN international staff and five national staff. Two other bodies have not been identified and another two people are missing and believed dead. Earlier reports mention the figure of 23 but it was learned that one staff member who was believed dead was in fact alive and has made contact with her family. UN Plans Review of Security in Afghanistan Following Bomb Blast in Iraq

    The United Nations mission in Afghanistan plans to review security following the deadly attack on the UN Headquarters in Baghdad.

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