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U.S. Presents Draft Resolution on Iraq

U.S. Presents Draft Resolution on Iraq to Security Council

U.S. wants a vote "within days"

By Judy Aita
Washington File United Nations Correspondent

United Nations -- The United States October 14 formally placed its draft resolution on Iraq before the Security Council and said that it wants a vote before the end of the week.

The four-page draft resolution is co-sponsored by Cameroon, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Secretary of State Colin Powell and U.S. Representative to the U.N. Ambassador John Negroponte continue to discuss the new text with their colleagues, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in Washington. "We think we're making good progress towards adoption of this resolution,"

"The draft outlines the process of returning as soon as possible full authority and responsibility to the people of Iraq. The process is ongoing with daily signs of progress by Iraqis establishing ministries of government and taking control of their own affairs," Boucher said at his daily press briefing.

"The initial reaction has been interested and generally positive, and we'll be working hard in the next day or so to ensure the broadest possible support," Boucher said.

The United States is looking to have a vote "within days," he said.

At the United Nations, Richard Grenell, spokesman for Ambassador Negroponte told the Associated Press that the United States has asked Security Council members to be ready to vote on the draft resolution any time after 3 p.m. New York time October 15.

The draft invites the Iraqi Governing Council to provide to the Security Council by December 15 a timetable and program for the drafting of a new constitution and holding elections. It asks Secretary General Kofi Annan to ensure that the resources of the U.N. and associated organizations are available if requested by the Iraqi Governing Council to help with the constitutional process and elections.

The draft resolution authorizes a multinational force under unified command to take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq and security for the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq.

It also asks that the secretary general pursue the course of action for the United Nations that he outlined in his July 2003 report to the council "as circumstances permit."

Boucher said, "we believe the text is a good one. It incorporates many of the suggestions from others about the process for transfer of authority and the need for an expanded U.N. role. It gives the Iraqi Governing Council a central role in the transition plans, it calls on them to put together a program and a timetable and goes a step further, requesting a timeline ...."

The draft resolution "further defines the unique role the United Nations can play as circumstances permit, especially in the political transition. It gives the United Nations some flexibility in carrying out its mandate, strengthened further under this resolution, as the security environment improves," Boucher said.

"Finally it addresses some of the concerns that council members had about the issue of sovereignty. It makes clear that the sovereignty of Iraq lies in the state of Iraq, and that the coalition authority, in exercising certain authorities and obligations of government, is temporary," the State Department spokesman said.

"It is in the interest of all council members to encourage the international community to step up support for Iraq's stabilization and reconstructions. This resolution is an important way to do that and, in or view, deserves support," Boucher added.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said that the United States has made some "important improvements" to the draft resolution in the past several weeks, taking into account suggestions from other Security Council members.

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