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I should be grateful if you would circulate the present letter and its annex as a document of the Security Council.
1. Under the Presidency of Ambassador John Negroponte, Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, the Security Council engaged in a full programme of work during the month of October 2003. During the month, the Council met in in-depth consultations leading to the unanimous adoption of Council resolution 1511 (2003) in which the Council, inter alia, resolved that the United Nations should strengthen its vital role in Iraq, authorized a multinational force and urged Member States to contribute assistance to it, and invited the Governing Council of Iraq to provide a timetable and plan for the political process by 15 December 2003. The Council also met in extensive consultations to discuss the situation in the Middle East.
10. On 5 October, the Syrian Arab Republic requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council to consider the 5 October Israeli air strike directed against the Syrian Arab Republic. The Council held an open debate on the Israeli air strike during which 35 delegations took the floor on the matter. The Syrian Arab Republic introduced a draft resolution (S/2003/945) for the consideration of Council members. Many delegations requested time to consult with their capitals for instructions on the draft resolution.
11. On 9 October, under “Other matters”, a draft resolution on the Israeli wall/fence was circulated on behalf of co-sponsors by the Syrian Arab Republic. Consultations to discuss the draft were held on 10 October. On 14 October, the Security Council held an open debate to consider the decision by the Israeli Government to start the second phase of building the Israeli wall/fence. Many delegations took the floor on the matter. After the public meeting, Council members held further informal consultations on the draft resolution. The resolution was put to a vote by its sponsors on 14 October, but was not adopted because of the negative vote of a permanent member.
12. On 21 October, the Security Council held its monthly open briefing on the Middle East. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Mr. Kieran Prendergast briefed the Council on the latest developments. Afterwards, the Council continued its discussion of the issue in informal consultations.
13. On 30 October, the Security Council held informal consultations on a draft resolution, introduced by the Russian Federation, endorsing the Quartet performance-based road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (S/2003/529, annex). Council members agreed to discuss the draft resolution in November.