Prague, 20 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The United States has introduced a new draft resolution in the UN Security Council on lifting Iraqi sanctions, giving the proposed UN representative "independent responsibilities" in efforts to reconstruct Iraq. The new draft seeks to strengthen the role of the UN to answer the concerns of other council members. It now says the representative's functions will include "collaborating" in the formation of an interim Iraqi government, instead of "helping" to set one up.
The draft also calls for phasing out the UN oil-for-food program over six months, instead of the originally proposed four months.
John Negroponte, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, said Washington now considers the resolution ready for a vote.
"What we are signaling is that we have gone just about as far as we can in meeting the concerns that have been expressed by other delegations. We think it's a fair, complete, and eminently workable resolution," Negroponte said.
Under the draft, the coalition would control Iraqi oil revenues for use in reconstruction efforts. It also says the mandates of UN weapons inspectors will be addressed at a future date.
Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, yesterday called for the return of nuclear arms inspectors.
But U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said it will be inappropriate for nuclear, chemical, or biological arms inspectors to return to Iraq anytime in the near future because of continuing military actions. Boucher said coalition forces are in a position to conduct the searches themselves.