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Iraq: Annan, Straw Discuss Measures To Strengthen UN's Role

United Nations, 22 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says the Security Council may pass a new resolution giving a mandate to international forces in Iraq. Annan spoke alongside British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw at the United Nations after talks on the security situation in Iraq following the 19 August bombing attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad.

Annan said the UN does not have the capacity to supply its own peacekeeping forces to Iraq. But he said the role of the UN and of international security forces could be strengthened under a new resolution.

"I think most member states, as you have heard this morning, would want to see further internationalization through broadening of the UN role, to permit them to join the operations on the ground and those discussions cover both the political and economic reconstruction as well as the security aspects of the operation," Annan said.

Straw also said it is necessary to take measures to broaden the authority of the UN in Iraq, and to strengthen the work of the U.S.-appointed Governing Council.

After talks with Annan yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said a new UN resolution could encourage other countries to contribute to the U.S.-led coalition. But he ruled out the possibility of diminishing the United States' military control in Iraq.