Security Council set to vote on Iraqi draft resolution Thursday

The United Nations Security Council has scheduled a vote for Thursday on a new draft resolution on interim arrangements for Iraq, including the role of a UN Special Representative working with the United States and its coalition partners towards restoring full Iraqi national sovereignty. The resolution, co-sponsored by the US, United Kingdom and Spain, seeks to lift sanctions, restore economic activity by resuming oil sales, and set up a government infrastructure under an Authority run by the United States and its coalition partners. The draft, the fourth version of the resolution, seeks to meet calls from some of the Council’s 15 members to enhance the UN role by calling for Secretary-General Kofi Annan to appoint a “Special Representative,” a title of higher status than the “Special Co-ordinator” mentioned in earlier drafts. It includes among the Special Representative’s duties “working intensively with the Authority, the people of Iraq, and others concerned to advance efforts to restore and establish national and local institutions for representative governance, including by working together to facilitate a process leading to an internationally recognized, representative government of Iraq.” Mr. Annan said yesterday he would move “very quickly” to appoint the Special Representative as soon as the Council passes the resolution and that the envoy would take up the job as soon as was practicable. The latest draft also adds a whole new clause allowing for a review in 12 months time in answer to demands by some members that there should be a new vote after a year. The new clause states: “[the Council] decides to review the implementation of this resolution within twelve months of adoption and to consider further steps that might be necessary.” The British Ambassador, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, told reporters today: “Our European partners, France and Germany, were very keen to have a prospect of full review – they wanted more than that, a new decision. I hope that there will be unanimity, a fair compromise between all the positions on the Security Council.” US Ambassador John Negroponte said of the new clause: “It responds to a desire that was expressed by a number of delegations that there be this kind of a review mechanism.” read more