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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

U.N. Secretary General Speaks to Press

Aired November 8, 2002 - 11:42   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We want to go right now to the U.N., Secretary General Kofi Annan speaking.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL... the Arab states, Arab League states, who were very instrumental in helping Iraq to change its position. And I hope they will remain engaged to get the message across that it is not enough to let the inspectors come in. It is a good beginning, but what is important is performance. And I hope Iraq will perform and offer chief inspectors the full cooperation that they deserve.

I think the Security Council took its time, acted patiently, and in the end we have an optimal decision and result, and I am very, very pleased. I know I kept telling some of you that we will have unanimity, we will have 15 votes. You didn't believe me, but here we are.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary General, what can you do to preserve the integrity of UNMOVIC? The Chinese -- the president of the Security Council referred to lessons to be learned from UNSCOM. Now, a major problem with UNSCOM was that its integrity was in question. What are you going to do to ensure that the same thing doesn't happen?

ANNAN: I think the establishment of UNMOVIC is an attempt by the Security Council to correct some of the past weaknesses and errors. And here we have two strong leaders. We have a team of inspectors who have been very carefully picked from all over the world, who have been given training, including sensitivity training, and have strict instructions to stick to what they are in Iraq to do and nothing else. And I think under the leadership of Mr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei we can look forward to that kind of performance.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, the stick has been mentioned in this resolution in more than one place about consequences, yet there are no carrots for the Iraqis. Isn't there any reward for complying? And why wasn't it mentioned in this?

ANNAN: I think in the statements by the members this morning there was quite a lot of encouragement for Iraq to honor its obligations and commitments to the council so that we can see a situation where Iraq will join the international community, that the sanctions would be lifted and the people of Iraq, who have suffered for so long, will live normal lives again.

And I think almost -- most of the speakers referred to this need. QUESTION: How do you feel about the fact that the Security Council sort of put aside a memorandum of understanding that you had signed and it had already taken up in a resolution? Do you think it's possible that the Iraqis can cooperate by allowing the inspectors without your MOU into the palaces? And how does this fit in with sovereignty?

ANNAN: I think the Security Council resolution of today will be -- is the governing document, and Iraq has to comply. You're referring to events of a different era. We have a new ball game now, and Iraq has to comply.

QUESTION: The U.S. ambassador talked about the resolution not constraining any member state action against Iraq (UNINTELLIGIBLE) noncompliance. Does that concern you, that a member state may take it upon to itself to (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

ANNAN: Well, I think the ambassador also indicated that if there's no automatic trigger in the current resolution as it stands, and that if the inspectors were to report back that Iraq is not cooperating and is not complying, the council will meet again and take appropriate decision.

What the ambassador was referring to is when the council comes back the second time around and engages in discussion, they all hope that the council will face up to its decisions. But they in effect saying: We are not going to be tied down.

But I think the council will have the chance to look at this issue again based on the report of the inspectors. What is important is there are no triggers in this resolution and the council will be back to review what the inspectors bring back.

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