Security Council passes Iraq resolution 15-0
Russia, France and Germany call Iraq resolution a good first step
(CNN) -- In a move the United States hailed as an important show of international unity, the U.N. Security Council on Thursday unanimously adopted the U.S.-backed resolution on Iraq.
The vote of the 15 member-nations approved Resolution 1511, which calls for an expanded role for the United Nations, encourages countries to offer more troops for Iraq and more money to rebuild the country and addresses the transfer of sovereignty from the U.S.-led coalition to Iraq. (Text of resolution)
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell called the vote "a great achievement for the entire Security Council to come together again in this manner."
"I'd like to thank those who co-sponsored along with us and all of those who over the last several days -- as we went through this, with misgivings and disagreements and debate -- realized at the end of the day ... we have come together to help the Iraqi people and put all of our disagreements of the past into the past," Powell told reporters.
President Bush, giving a speech in California, also thanked the council for its vote.
Russia, France and Germany, the main opponents to the war in Iraq, raised their hands for the resolution because, their representatives said, it is a good initial step.
But representatives of those countries said more could have been done, pointing to the stated role of the United Nations and the transfer of responsibilities from the coalition to the Iraqis.
Military and economic commitments from those countries are not expected. Before the vote, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder had said Thursday that Germany and France would not be sending troops to Iraq. (Full story)
Syria -- the lone Arab country on the Security Council -- voted for the initiative despite its bitter opposition to the war.
Pakistan also backed the resolution but said it would not supply troops for Iraq.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, "The process has been difficult, but the outcome is a clear demonstration of the will of all the members of the Security Council to place the interest of the Iraqi people above all other considerations."
The Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Sergei Lavrov, said that the resolution clearly provides for eventual Iraqi sovereignty and that Russia is pleased with the efforts of other countries to achieve a consensus.
"The result we achieved is a compromise that does not solve all the problems," but the pluses outweigh the minuses, Lavrov said.
Jean-Marc de la Sabliere, French ambassador to the United Nations, said the resolution could have gone further.
"It would have been desirable, in particular, for a clear-cut text to set timetables for transfer of responsibility and political transition," he said.
Gunter Pleuger, Germany's U.N. ambassador, said, "Although we consider the resolution to be an important step in the right direction," it could have been a better resolution if amendments proposed by France, Russia and Germany were "fully integrated."
"We missed a clear signal that transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis will be accelerated," Pleuger said. "The role of the United Nations, in particular of the secretary-general, could have been strengthened even more."
The Bush administration is hopeful that a new resolution expanding the U.N. role and addressing the transfer of power to Iraqis will encourage more countries to offer troops and money to rebuild the country. (Administration officials, lawmakers react)
The plan calls for the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council to set a timetable for drafting a constitution and holding elections by December 15.
Powell said the resolution does not open the door for more countries to offer troops but it could help those nations that already were considering sending forces.
Some countries had said they would not send troops unless a resolution was passed.
The United States also hoped to pass the resolution before next week's donors' conference in Spain to raise money for the Iraqi reconstruction effort.
On Wednesday, Japan said that it would provide $1.5 billion in immediate aid, and Bush administration officials said Tokyo was working on a larger package of about $5 billion over several years.