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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Kofi Annan Speaks to Reporters

Aired April 7, 2003 - 09:58   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: To the U.N. and Secretary-General Koffi Annan in New York.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECY.-GENERAL: ... issue of (INAUDIBLE) doing some thinking about it. And he will be available to talk to the council members, as well, and he will also be at the meeting.

QUESTION: Are you going to be announcing a coordinator, though, or discussing the idea of this gentleman as a coordinator for Iraq...

ANNAN: Well, he's been a special adviser. He's been working for me on this issue since February. I will be announcing him as my special adviser. And the council knows about it, we've discussed it before.

QUESTION: Will you explain what his role will be?

ANNAN: Actually, he's been doing it already, thinking about the future, thinking about what is likely to happen and what likely U.N. role would be. And also, to be available to the council members and all the members involved to exchange ideas, and then give me some advice.

QUESTION: Sir, you had spent the greater part of last week meeting with all the regional groups, you have a good idea of what the members of this organization want and also what the U.S. wants. How would you say that your idea for post-conflict Iraq differs or contrasts or is similar to what the U.S. administration's plan is?

ANNAN: Let me say that, obviously, there are discussions going on both in Washington and amongst member-states. And as you can see, the president and Prime Minister Blair will be talking again this week. And there have been a series of discussions in Europe, where the European Union has come up firmly on the side of greater U.N. involvement. I do expect the U.N. to play an important role. And the U.N. has had good experience in this area, whether it's the issue political facilitation leading to the emergence of a new or interim administration. We've done quite a bit of work on the reconstruction, working with donor countries and with other U.N. agencies.

You've seen the work U.N. has done in human rights in the area of rule of law. So there are lots of areas U.N. can play a role, but above all the U.N. involvement does bring legitimacy which is necessary, necessary for the country, for the region and for the peoples around the world. QUESTION: If I can just follow-up? You said political facilitation, which is different than heading a civil administration. Are you resigned to the fact that the U.N. will not play role like it did in East Timor or Kosovo where it is the administrator?

ANNAN: I think you have to be very careful here. Each crisis has its own peculiarities; Iraq is not East Timor and Iraq is not Kosovo. There are trained personnel, there is a reasonably effective civil service (INAUDIBLE) and others who can play a role in their own country. And as we've said before, Iraqis have to be responsible for their political future and to control their own natural resources. And whatever one can do to help the emergence of a new leadership or a new situation is what one should focus on.

QUESTION: How does the U.S. efforts with Jay Garner (ph) and the meetings that they're having in Kuwait and reportedly in this work at setting up an interim government, how does that effect any potential U.N. work, or what are your thoughts on what they're doing?

ANNAN: From what I gather, they see it as part of the war effort and eventually to try to pacify the situation and secure the environment before one moves on to the next stage.

Thank you.

HEMMER: All right, Kofi Annan, secretary-general at the United Nations there in New York, obviously talking about what happens to Iraq after the war, and what happens with the U.N. and its role in the future in that country. We're going to get a meeting with Kofi Annan. He called for all of the members of the U.N. Security council to meet in his office at about 11 a.m. Eastern Time, a bit less than an hour from now. So much more on this throughout the day.

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