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Sovereignty must be restored to Iraq ASAP

Sovereignty must be restored to Iraq as soon as possible - Council president

A new United Nations resolution on Iraq should emerge within days and its starting point would be the need to achieve the political, security and economic conditions necessary to transfer sovereignty to the Iraqi people as soon as possible, the Security Council president for September said today.

Outlining the Council's agenda for the month, United Kingdom Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry also said he hoped to hold a ministerial meeting to set guidelines in three main fields - political, security and economic - that "permit us if we have another crisis in a country facing that sort of situation, that we will all be the better placed to actually handle it."

He told a news briefing that he also hoped for an early vote on a resolution lifting sanctions against Libya, imposed in connection with the deadly bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, following an agreement reached between Libya, United Kingdom and United States. The vote has been delayed while France negotiates new compensation with Libya in connection with the downing of a French plane in 1989.

Time and again Mr. Jones Parry stressed the need to press forward from where Iraq is today, moving beyond the divisions that tore the Council in the run-up to hostilities, when many members opposed the United States-led war, and to transfer responsibility back to the Iraqis as soon as possible.

"My wish is very simple," he said in an opening statement. "It is to harness the view in the international community that we must come together on the basis of Iraq as she is today and as quickly as possible achieve the conditions which would permit us to transfer sovereignty to the Iraqis and to do that under conditions that the transfer would be successful."

The aim was "to heal the remaining divisions within the Council and to carry us forward to a destination which will better assure a peaceful resolution to the situation in Iraq, to get a sufficient progress on the political plan that can succeed and that the economic aspects are also covered so that we can take care of the reconstruction and economic development," he added.

In that way, "the transfer, when made - as I said, made as soon as possible - will be made where those three aspects are given the best possible start."

Referring to the proposed ministerial meeting, which he hoped to hold on 24 September, Mr. Jones Parry said its subject matter - justice and the rule of law in transition - might seem low-key "but in its impact and what it means for states emerging from conflict, it's quite crucial… what you need to do for a state coming out of conflict to achieve a democratic, law-abiding condition."

There were three objectives - politics, security and economics - and the meeting would discuss issues ranging from reconciliation to the development of a system of law, a functioning judiciary, policing, penal arrangements and commercial law that would encourage investment.

Other issues figuring on the month's agenda include the Middle East, Kosovo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Central African region, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

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