UN Staff Council wants all of UN staff out of Iraq

The United Nations said Tuesday it expects to raise the ceiling for international staff in Iraq from 65 to 95 by October, but the UN Staff Council called on the secretary-general to pull all UN personnel out of the country until security improves. The flap over UN staffing emerged as Britain and the United States circulated a revised Security Council resolution that would expand the UN mandate in Iraq to help promote political reconciliation, settle disputed internal boundaries and plan for a national census. Calling the revised draft "balanced," US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said, "I believe that we are well on our way to the adoption of the resolution this Thursday." UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been under pressure from the United States to expand the UN's role in Iraq and said in June he would consider it. But he cited deteriorating security in Iraq as an obstacle.