U.S. Introduces Resolution on Iraq in U.N.
United Nations -- The United States and United Kingdom introduced a draft
resolution to the U.N. Security Council May 24 that would endorse the transfer
of sovereignty from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) to an Iraqi
interim government and provide for a multinational security force to remain in
the country after June 30.
The resolution, according to U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham, "represents a new
beginning for Iraq and marks a new phase in which Iraqis themselves will elect a
government and write a new constitution. This resolution looks forward to the
end of the Coalition Provisional Authority and the occupation and a leading role
for the United Nations in Iraq."
The resolution has several elements, Cunningham said after a private council
meeting. "It endorses the formation of a sovereign Iraqi government by June 30
and makes clear the Iraqis will be in charge of their own country, their own
resources including oil revenues."
"It provides for a leading role for the United Nations in the political process
and endorses the political transition timetable. It provides for security to
ensure the political process can go forward with the multinational force in
partnership with the new interim government and with the approval of the
sovereign government of Iraq, and calls on the international community to aid
Iraq, assisting in the country's transition," the ambassador said.
The resolution makes clear that the multinational force will be reviewed after
12 months or at the request of the transitional government. It also emphasizes
the importance of the consent of the sovereign government of Iraq to the
presence of the multinational force, he said. "The multination force will be
there with the agreement of the sovereign government of Iraq."
The resolution attempts to deal with "a new relationship -- which is a sovereign
government and the creation of their own decision-making process and how they
are going to solve some of these issues," the U.S. ambassador said.
"The important thing is that the political responsibility for taking decisions
for the presence of the multinational force, for the development of a
constitution, for the development of a political process is going into Iraqi
hands. It is not the Security Council telling them how to do it; it's for them.
It's their process," he said.
Cunningham and British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said that comments from other
council members showed there was a convergence of views on the substance of the
draft, but there was still much work to be done on the language. Cunningham and
Parry said the new resolution will take into consideration the report from U.N.
Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who is now in Iraq working to help the Iraqis
form an interim government, and the views of the interim government on the
The text was prepared after the two delegations talked informally with other
members of the council for several weeks.
"We're looking for ways, comments on how to improve the text," Cunningham said.
"This is the first time we have actually discussed the text. The role of the
police and the role of the (multinational force) and the mandate ... are issues
we'll work through" in the coming weeks.
Chilean Ambassador Heraldo Munoz said that by the time the resolution is ready
to be put to a vote, he expects all 15 council members will agree on the final
text, "but we are going to have to work hard to get the consensus because there
are a lot of differences."
"We have to be very clear about giving a political signal that a new phase is
beginning on the 30th of June with a truly sovereign government. That is the key
and the Iraqi people must believe that this is so," Munoz said. "Thus we have to
improve the language perhaps in regard to the multinational force, with regard
to the tasks of the United Nations ... and other aspects that we feel need to be
According to the agreed upon timetable, an interim government of Iraq will
assume authority from the CPA on June 30, convene a national conference, and
hold democratic elections no later than January 31, 2005 to select a
transitional national assembly.
The draft resolution "endorses the formation of a sovereign interim government
that will take office by June 30" and the proposed timetable for Iraq's
political transition to democratic government. It decides that the U.N.
Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) will help Iraq convene a national
conference; hold elections; draft a national constitution; "as circumstances
permit," advise on the development of civil and social services; help coordinate
reconstruction, development, and humanitarian assistance; and promote the
protection of human rights and judicial and legal reform.
According to the draft text, the multinational force "shall have authority to
take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and
stability in Iraq including by preventing and deterring terrorism" so that the
"Iraqi people can implement freely and without intimidation the timetable and
program for the political process and benefit from reconstruction and
rehabilitation activities." The force also will help build the Iraqi security
The force's mandate will be reviewed in 12 months "or at the request of the
transitional government of Iraq," the draft resolution says.
The resolution also provides that with the dissolution of the CPA, the
Development Fund for Iraq, including the proceeds from oil and gas sales, will
revert to the control of the interim government as will all the obligations of
the Oil-for-Food Program.