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Kofi Annan Speaks at United Nations

Aired October 14, 2003 - 10:07   ET


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Now we're getting word from Kofi Annan at the United Nations. Here's the secretary-general.

KOFFI ANNAN, U.N. SECY.-GEN.: ... some of my preoccupations. And of course, I will implement a new resolution that the council might adopt, bearing in mind the constraints that we're all are aware of.

QUESTION: Are you more comfortable, Mr. Secretary General, with the role given to the U.N. in this resolution?

ANNAN: I think the U.N. role, as I've indicated I will implement it, but of course, I have constraints which they have recognized in the resolution. And as we move forward we'll see how the situation develops and how I can introduce a greater number of staff to be able to carry on the mandate that is implied in the resolution. And, of course, I'm going to do a report to the council as required by the resolution indicating how we intend to proceed, if the resolution were to be adopted.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, the Security Council is later going to be talking about Israel's barrier and the Americans have indicated they will oppose the resolution that's on the table. This is a recurring them here, that the Americans keep opposing, vetoing resolutions, what's your view on how this is going? Every time the Security Council, and then, there's a veto, and then...

ANNAN: I think it's important that the council discusses the crucial and critical situation in the Middle East. And I would also hope that as the council organizes itself to discuss this issue, they will also try to be even handed. We have two parties involved and if we're going to play a role and have an impact, we should be seen as being even handed and really urging the parties forward to settle their differences and get back to the negotiating table. And we should be able to call it as we see it regardless of which side is at fault.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary General, do you think that the United Nations can fulfill the obligations listed in this resolution and have the necessary security as long as the U.S. is the occupying power?

ANNAN: Sir, if we can implement...

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) the U.S. continues to be the occupying power, can the U.N. go there and have security necessary to implement it?

ANNAN: I think your question is a bit more complicated in the sense that, yes, the U.S. is there as an occupying power. We also have a very difficult security situation which has compelled us to reduce our presence drastically. We are obviously monitoring it on a daily basis to see if there will be improvements that will allow us to gear up and carry on our mandate. I have indicated that given certain circumstances, our role would be easier and we would be able to more. But I think I'm grateful, as I said, to the drafters who have indicated that my role will kick in when the circumstances permit.

QUESTION: Can security improve as long as the U.S. is the occupying power?

ANNAN: Well, I'm on record of stating that as long as there's this occupation, the resistance will grow.

QUESTION: Anything on the Turkish embassy bombing today?

ANNAN: The Turkish...

QUESTION: The Turkish embassy bombing in Baghdad today?

QUESTION: I'm sorry, I don't have all the details on that. I prefer not to get into it. But obviously, I condemn these types of bombings which often entail loss of life of innocent civilians.

ANNAN: Mr. Secretary General, the new resolution includes that phrase that "The Governing Council will embody the sovereignty of Iraq". What does this mean to you?

QUESTION: Well, I don't think it is a nice phrase. But the resolution also says that, "The occupying power is the authority and is the government." So in my judgment, the occupying power is the government, will remain the government, whether this resolution is passed or not until such time that power is fully handed over to the Iraqis, and I think the resolution recognizes that.

QUESTION: What if the council does not give a resounding, unanimous vote to this resolution? What message does that send?

ANNAN: I would hope that the drafters of the resolution will work us out with the other members of the council to get as broad a support as possible because I have always maintained that the council is at its best and has the greatest impact when it is united and comes up with the resolution that commands a strong support. So I would hope that the work will continue and that one would get broad support.

Thank you very much.

ANCHOR: We've been listening to, well, hold on...

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) the Security Council is adopting a resolution that might turn out to be useless?

QUESTION: That's a rather tough question. I think when the council passes resolutions, it always hopes that the resolution will have an impact and I don't think they will make the effort to pass a resolution which will have a useless impact. And so, I would hope that as they discuss the issue, and I'm confident they're also bearing in mind the impact the resolution will have on the ground. Because that is the real test. It is not a question of finding words, to stitch words together to bring delegations together, we need to think of the impact the resolution and our action will have on the ground because that is the test of the effectiveness of an (INAUDIBLE) resolution.

Thank you very much and have a good day.

KAGAN: All right. Now it looks like the U.N. secretary-general has wrapped up his question-and-answer session at the U.N., answering a lot of questions about the new, somewhat modified resolution that would speed up the timetable for a new constitution and elections in Iraq. Also talking about the breaking news out of Baghdad, and that is the bombing out of the Turkish embassy that took place a couple hours ago. Another car bomb going off, this one near the Turkish embassy. We're hearing about two people dead. The U.N. secretary- general not having a lot of information about that at this time.


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