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Objectives of U.S. Draft Resolution on Iraq Detail

Objectives of U.S. Draft Resolution on Iraq Detailed

New draft now circulating among U.N. Security Council members

By Wendy S. Ross and Judy Aita
Washington File Staff Correspondents

Washington -- The objectives of the new U.S.-sponsored draft resolution on Iraq circulating at the United Nations Security Council were spelled out in press briefings September 3 at the White House, the State Department and the United Nations.

Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Colin Powell, at a special briefing in Washington, announced that the United States had begun circulating a draft resolution on Iraq to Security Council members and expected that they would send the resolution back to their capitals for study.

Powell said he expects by the end of this week to have received indications from his Security Council colleagues on "their reaction to the resolution and what suggestions they might have or what they want to talk about.

"And then, next week, we will see where we are at the beginning of the week and push it as aggressively as we can. I don't know how long it will take, but I don't think this is an extended process."

Powell noted that prior to the U.S. decision to go to war with Iraq, "there were many of our friends in the Security Council who would have preferred that we not go in, preferred that inspectors continued their work for an indefinite period of time, and we don't need to re-fight that battle.

"But once we went in with the British and the Australians and the Spanish and others who contributed to this effort and did the job, we then made a conscious decision among the international community that now is the time to mend ranks and to join together in reconstructing Iraq, making it a better place, and not to fight the old battles.

"And it was from that point on that we have had success with Resolution 1483, with Resolution 1500, and I hope we will have success with this resolution as well."

The United States, Powell said, "will remain the commander of the unified command" in Iraq, "and there will be an element in the resolution that calls upon the United States as the leader of the military coalition to report on a regular basis to the United Nations, since it is a United Nations-authorized multinational force, if the resolution passes."

"[W]e believe that every peace-loving nation in the world, every nation that would like to see a more stable Middle East, that would like to see a democracy arise in that part of the world, would want to play a role," he said.

Of the U.S. proposal, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, "at this point it's not a draft that we would push to a vote. It's a draft that we will discuss with other governments."

Under the proposed resolution, he said, the United States would be the unified commander of the multinational force in Iraq "and, on behalf of that force, would report to the Security Council."

With this new authorization, he said, "we would expect other nations to be willing to provide more troops. We would expect the Security Council would be better informed because we'll be reporting to the Security Council."

"It's still each country's decision" whether to participate in the international efforts in Iraq, he said, and the desire of countries to participate could spring from a variety of reasons.

"One is they find they have their own security interest in making sure the situation in Iraq stabilizes and Iraq becomes a peaceful and helpful partner of the international community; that that part of the world is stable. So, that's why countries would want to participate, really, in the end, bottom line. But this [resolution] can help that. This can facilitate that. We know that from what the countries themselves have said in private and in public."

The proposed resolution, he said, "calls on countries to participate, calls on countries to contribute in various forms, financial, police, whatever."

Since the Iraq war, Boucher said, the Security Council has passed two resolutions regarding postwar Iraq, including resolution 1500 that welcomed the formation of the [Iraqi] Governing Council.

"And now we're talking about a third [resolution]. We've been talking about that for maybe a month or so. So the continuing role of the Security Council is something that you should note," he said.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan told reporters the United States wants "to encourage as broad participation as possible [in Iraq] from the international community. So that's what we're working to do, is to address some of the concerns that have been expressed through a new resolution that would expand upon existing resolutions, that would continue to work within the existing structures, but expand the participation.

"We've always felt like [resolution] 1483 provided the authority for nations to participate in helping Iraq. In fact, a number of countries are participating in Iraq under Security Council Resolution 1483. And there are others that we've been in discussions with that will probably provide more support soon, too.

"But there are some countries that felt like they needed some additional authority from the United Nations. So that's what this is about. This is about building upon Security Council Resolution 1483 and expanding upon Security Council Resolution 1483. So this effort complements the resolutions that have already passed the Security Council, and it works towards maximizing international participation."

U.S. Ambassador L. Paul Bremer will continue to lead the coalition provisional authority in Iraq, McClellan said. "And the coalition provisional authority is overseeing these efforts, in close coordination with the United Nations."

"We're going to consult closely with the Security Council members about how we move forward," McClellan said. "But our shared goal remains the same, to return to the Iraqi people their country as quickly as possible, so that they can have self-governance."

"A secure, free, and democratic Iraq will serve as an example for the rest of the Middle East," he said. "And when we have a safer Middle East, we will have a safer world. So the world has a stake in what is going on in Iraq, and we welcome the participation of those countries that are already participating. And we want to look at additional ways to maximize that participation so others can participate."

At the United Nations, British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said his aim in helping to shepherd the council discussion of the resolution is to "bring together the commitment of the international community to make a success of Iraq, to heal the remaining divisions within the council, and to carry us forward to a destination that would better assure a peaceful resolution to the situation in Iraq."

Jones Parry said that "we should demonstrate the will to succeed. ... The premise we must now operate under is, 'We are where we are and we are jointly determined to make a success of Iraq'" from this point.

The political, economic, and security goals of the resolution, said Jones Parry, who is president of the Security Council for the month of September, are to stimulate progress on the political, economic, and reconstruction efforts in the country; set the goal of transferring to the Iraqis as soon as possible their own sovereignty; and move forward on the vital role of the United Nations.

The military aspect of the text envisages a multinational force, authorized by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, and made up of the existing force deployment and others who wish to join under a unified command. The force would not be so-called "blue helmet" U.N. peacekeepers nor financed out of the U.N. peacekeeping budget, but similar to the international forces that operated in Bosnia and Kosovo, he said.

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