New York

02 October 2003

Press encounter upon arrival at Headquarters

Q: [inaudible] the newly revised draft resolution on Iraq. You have called for real clarity for the UN role. Does it give that kind of clarity, spelling out the kind of terms you hoped to see?

SG: Well, the resolution has just been released. We are studying it. We will have to determine whether it is a radical change from the past, or what it is. I will have the chance of discussing with the [Security] Council members the draft resolution sometime today. We are all having lunch and will be able to discuss it further. So at this stage, I would not mean to prejudge our own analysis of the resolution and the answers that I may get from the others.

Q: How concerned are you though, Sir, that this resolution as it stands right now might be a little bit out of step with the plan that you envision and that other major Council members have envisioned?

SG: Obviously it's not going in the direction I had recommended, but I will still have to study it further.

Q: You are down to, I believe, it's like 30 international staff in Iraq right now. What's your next step there, or is that where things are going to stay?

SG: Well, we have a limited capacity in Iraq and we are going to monitor the situation on a daily basis to see what happens next. But obviously, we need a secure environment in which to operate. Without that secure environment, it's going to be extremely difficult for us to take on major responsibilities.

Q: Sir, just one more query. How concerned are you with the bluster out of North Korea today talking about the fact that they have, really claiming that they've reprocessed this 8000 fuel rods into nuclear weapons-grade plutonium and perhaps raising the stakes now in the negotiations?

SG: I met the North Korean Minister here last week, Friday, and urged them to work with the six member nations to find a peaceful solution. Of course, when people are at the table, they sometimes tend to negotiate at the table and outside the table. We need to be cautious what interpretation we give to statements outside the negotiation process when efforts are being made to resolve it [diplomatically]. I'm still hopeful that this issue can be resolved [diplomatically] through the six nation talks.

Q: How will this play in your meeting with Mr.[Maurice] Strong?

SG: We will discuss it. I will brief him on my discussions with the Special Envoy and he will also give me some information. But he's doing a good job, Strong.