A group of non-aligned nations has requested an emergency open debate on Iraq in the United Nations Security Council, saying that it was imperative the 15-member body hear the views of the wider UN membership before it adopted any proposed resolution.
In a letter on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement addressed to the President of the Council, Ambassador Dumisani S. Kumalo of South Africa says the group notes that consultations are currently under way, particularly among the Council's five permanent members, on a possible new resolution on Iraq.
"We believe that the proposed elements of such a resolution include issues that are of importance to the entire membership of the United Nations and the future role of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security," the letter states.
"All States Members and Permanent Observes of the United Nations should be afforded an opportunity to express their views on these important developments that directly affect the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations," it adds.
Meanwhile, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has asked to see the Council President for the month of October, Ambassador Martin Belinga-Eboutou of Cameroon, and a number of other representatives "to take the pulse" on where things stand with Security Council action on Iraq before he leaves tomorrow for China, a UN spokesman said.