Kavan to preside over UN General Assembly

The Czech Republic's former foreign minister Jan Kavan, who is assuming his one-year presidency of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday in New York, has said the UN should play an active role in resolving the situation concerning Iraq which is facing a threat of a US attack. Mr Kavan told journalists on Monday that he preferred a political and diplomatic solution to war and bloodshed and as President of the General Assembly, he had to seek a broader consensus between states. The 57th session of the General Assembly takes place against the backdrop of the first anniversary of the September 11th attacks and US threats to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iraq. The heads of state and government who will address the assembly over the next two weeks are expected to devote considerable time to the war against terrorism, but any UN authorisation for action against Iraq would have to come from the UN Security Council, which is meeting on Wednesday, September 11th.