Press Release
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York

13 September 2003

Geneva, 13 September 2003 - Transcript of the press conference held by the UN Secretary-General and the Foreign Ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen.

I understood you had a power failure in the room where we had intended to meet. We couldn’t believe it because here also when we discussed Iraq we talked about the power shortages and the water and all that, only to see we have that in Geneva as well.

We’ve had a very good meeting this afternoon.

The meeting with the five Permanent Members of the Security Council today enabled us to conduct a thorough review of the main issues of Iraq and to do so in a constructive atmosphere with a view to identifying the points of convergence.

A unified approach by the Permanent Members would make it easier for the Security Council as a whole to devise an effective policy.

Consensus is essential and achievable. But consensus is not enough. The Council’s approach must be coherent and well defined.

We all share the aspiration to transfer power to the Iraqi people as soon as possible.

We discussed the security situation and I conveyed the concerns of the humanitarian community – as you know I met them here yesterday. I conveyed their concern that it requires both adequate military deployment and a clear political horizon for the transfer of authority to Iraqi institutions. Questions of a future multilateral force, authorized by the Security Council were also discussed.

Discussions today were not intended, I repeat not intended, to devise specific solutions. They will contribute to building a consensus towards the future of Iraq, including the definition of a UN role.

We also had a chance to discuss the situation in the Middle East. The [Permanent] Members reaffirmed their commitment to the Quartet’s Road Map.

The Permanent Members of the Security Council recognized that both sides have obligations under the Quartet’s Road Map and must fulfill them and that it is now essential to go ahead with its implementation.

The Quartet Principles will meet in New York. We’ve agreed to meet later this month to consider all relevant aspects of the issue and determine how best help the parties move forward with the process.

We will now take your questions.

(Questions to come)

For information media - not an official record