UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for an important role for the United Nations in a post-war Iraq.
Mr. Annan met with the Security Council today (Monday) to discuss the country's future. He says the United Nations can bring international legitimacy to the process of rebuilding Iraq once the fighting ends.
The secretary-general will launch a diplomatic tour Wednesday of Britain, France, Germany and Russia -- all countries that have pushed for a substantial UN role in the future of Iraq.
Asked why the United Nations is not taking over the administration of Iraq after the war as it did in East Timor and Kosovo, Mr. Annan said on Monday "Iraq is not East Timor and Iraq is not Kosovo." He said Iraq has trained personnel, a reasonably effective civil service and engineers and others who can play a role in their own political future and control their own natural resources.
The secretary-general also announced the appointment of Rafeeuddin Ahmed, a Pakistani diplomat, as his special adviser on post-war Iraq.