Press Releases

    SG/SM/8715
    SC/7766
    IK/359
    23 May 2003

    SECRETARY-GENERAL PLEDGES UN SUPPORT TO IRAQ
    IN "COMPLEX AND DIFFICULT" TASKS AHEAD,
    IN MESSAGE TO SECURITY COUNCIL

    NEW YORK, 22 May (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of remarks, as delivered, by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to today’s Security Council meeting on "The Situation between Iraq and Kuwait" in New York:

    We should all be gratified that the Council has come together to chart the way forward in Iraq. As you know, I have always held that the unity of this Council is the indispensable foundation for effective action to maintain international peace and security and international law.

    The Council has adopted a resolution which spells out the assistance you expect the United Nations to give to the people of Iraq, in coordination with the occupying Powers, who have the responsibility for the effective administration of the territory. The mandate you have given us involves complex and difficult tasks. But we will carry it out to the best of our ability, just as we are already carrying out our vital task of humanitarian relief.

    Whatever differences there have been in the recent past, we now have a new basis on which to work. And we must all work very hard, keeping the interests of Iraqis at the forefront of all our efforts.

    Our most important task will be to ensure that the people of Iraq -- men and women alike -- are able, as soon as possible, through a transparent and impartially managed political process, to form a free and representative government of their own choice, so that they can regain their national sovereignty and build a stable and prosperous Iraq, at peace with its neighbours.

    The United Nations will play its full part in this international effort. You have asked me to name a special representative to lead on our side. I will do so without delay. The full support of all members of the Council will be essential, and I am confident that my representative will have that support.

    Thank you very much.

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