UN agrees resolution on Iraqi administration

After weeks of intensive negotiations, the UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a new resolution outlining the roles of the United Nations, the United States-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and the Iraqi Governing Council in international efforts to bring peace and stability to Iraq.

The resolution, sponsored by Cameroon, Spain, the UK and the US, recognizes the "temporary nature" of the power exercised by the CPA and says that the 25-member Iraqi Council and its ministers "are the principal bodies of the Iraqi interim administration, which…embodies the sovereignty of the State of Iraq during the transitional period until an internationally recognized, representative government is established and assumes the responsibilities of the Authority".

The text also says that the UN "should strengthen its vital role in Iraq" by providing humanitarian relief and "advancing efforts to restore and establish national and local institutions for representative government".

The resolution adopted today; "authorizes a multinational force under unified command to take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq".

Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed the unanimous vote as "a clear demonstration of the will of all the members of the Security Council to place the interests of the Iraqi people above all other considerations".

In a statement to the Council directly after the vote, Mr Annan said: "I shall do my utmost to implement the mandate established by the Council, bearing in mind the constraints on building up the required capacity and my obligation to care for the safety and security of United Nations staff. I am grateful to the Council for the flexibility that the new resolution gives me in this respect."

The Council also calls on the CPA "to return governing responsibilities and authorities to the people of Iraq as soon as practicable and requests the Authority, in cooperation as appropriate with the Governing Council and the Secretary-General, to report to the Council on the progress being made".


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