Security Council consults on Iraq, President voices optimism on adoption of resolution

Security Council consults on Iraq, President voices optimism on adoption of resolution

Amb. Belinga-Eboutou speaking to press
As the Security Council began a day of closed-door meetings on proposals for dealing with Iraq, the 15-member body’s President voiced confidence that a resolution would be passed without undue delay.

“We are in the process of conducting consultations,” said Ambassador Martin Belinga-Eboutou of Cameroon during the midday break. He added that he is “optimistic” because the members wanted to adopt a resolution in the coming week, but he also cautioned patience.

In formulating a new resolution, the Council aimed to both support and facilitate the work of United Nations weapons inspections mandated to operate in Iraq. As such, their input would be essential in helping the Council to define their mandate, he said.

Speaking to reporters after the afternoon session wrapped up, Ambassador James Cunningham of the United States agreed that the views of the heads of the UN Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would be vital.

“We’re looking forward to meeting with [UNMOVIC Executive Chairman Hans] Blix and [IAEA Director-General Mohammed] ElBaradei on Monday to get their views of the specifics of the inspection regime that we’ve set out, and then after that I think we’ll be in a good position to look at how we get forward to come to conclusion on the resolution next week,” he told reporters.

Ambassador Cunningham said the text of the draft resolution cosponsored by the United States and United Kingdom had been reviewed by all Council members. "We’ve heard their views and we’re going to take all that on board, and we will now take it in consideration," he said.

To a question on US motives, he said, “We didn’t bring this issue into the Security Council to look for authorization of the use of military force; we brought it in the Security Council to send a clear message to Iraq and to strengthen and reinforce the inspections regime so it can have a chance of success.”