Just days before the current phase of the United Nations humanitarian "oil-for-food" programme for Iraq is set to expire, speakers in the Security Council today continued to debate the issue in open session.
The discussion began on Tuesday at the request of the Russian Federation. In a letter to the Council President, Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov said the meeting should serve "to consider ways of improving the humanitarian situation in Iraq in the conditions of the negative effect of the sanctions on the population of that country, and also ways of implementing all the Security Council resolutions on Iraq and a post-conflict settlement in the Gulf region."
The two-day discussion involved representatives of close to 40 countries.
According to a UN spokesman, following today's formal meeting, the Security Council was scheduled to continue its consultations on the oil-for-food programme in a closed session.
On 1 June, the Council extended the current phase of the "oil-for-food" programme until 3 July, and expressed its intention to agree on changes to the current sanctions regime, which has been in place against Baghdad since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.