U.S. Tries Again On Iraq At U.N.

map and a flag of Iraq, with UN logo
A new U.S. draft resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, gives Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council until Dec. 15 to develop a timetable for elections and a new constitution.

The draft resolution, which AP obtained Monday, was given to other members of the U.N. Security Council over the weekend, and the United States will seek a vote on it this week, diplomats said.

The draft is the latest version of a resolution seeking international troops and money to help the U.S.-led effort to rebuild Iraq. Earlier drafts came under criticism from some European nations seeking a stronger role for the United Nations and a speedier timetable for handing over power to Iraqis.

According to the draft, the Governing Council must submit to the Security Council "a timetable and a program for the drafting of a new constitution for Iraq and for the holding of democratic elections under the constitution" by Dec. 15.

Earlier drafts of the resolution had not mentioned any timetable for elections or a new constitution, and the deadline was likely a key concession to other members of the 15-nation Security Council.

As before, the draft calls for the creation of a multinational force to help maintain security in Iraq. But unlike the previous draft, it says the Security Council will review the force's mission no later than a year after the resolution passes.

The latest draft also addresses concerns from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who had demanded a lead role for the organization.

It says the United Nations "should strengthen its vital role in Iraq," saying it can do so by providing humanitarian relief, promoting economic reconstruction and helping to restore "institutions for representative governments."

U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte, who holds the council's rotating presidency for October, said the United States would seek a vote on the resolution sometime this week.

A council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the latest draft had been given to other nations on the 15-member Security Council over the weekend.

Another council diplomat, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the draft would be formally submitted either late Monday or Tuesday. That diplomat said the new draft would "reflect discussions between the United States, the UK, Spain and others."

The Bush administration launched a review of the resolution following disagreements from council diplomats and Annan's statements.

The United States and Britain have said Iraq must first have a constitution and hold elections before they relinquish sovereignty. France, Germany and Russia are seeking a quick transfer of power to a provisional Iraqi government and want the United Nations to play a major role in overseeing the country's political transition to a democracy.