8 June 2004 A week after the formation of an interim government of Iraq, the United Nations Security Council today unanimously endorsed the new leadership and paved the way for Iraqis to assume “full responsibility and authority” for their country, including decisions on security matters, at the end of the month.
In a 15-0 vote, the Council adopted a resolution welcoming the end of the occupation of Iraq by 30 June and the dissolution of the United States-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) at that time, enabling Iraq to “reassert its full sovereignty.”
Speaking to reporters after the Council action, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he believed the resolution was a “genuine expression” of the international community’s will “to come together again after last year’s divisions and to help the Iraqi people take charge of their own political destiny, in peace and freedom, under a sovereign government of their choosing.”
The Council’s text spelled out a “leading role” for the United Nations to help Iraq convene a national conference in July to select a Consultative Council, advise and support the new authorities on the process for holding elections, scheduled for January 2005, and promote national dialogue and consensus on the drafting of a new constitution.
In addition, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s yet-to-be named Special Representative and the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) were tasked with helping the Government develop civil and social services, coordinating reconstruction, development and humanitarian assistance, promoting the protection of human rights, and helping the authorities plan for a census.
On security matters, the Council, noting that the US-led multinational force (MNF) is in Iraq at the request of the incoming interim Government, decided that the Force’s mandate could be reviewed or terminated should the Iraqis ask, but will nonetheless expire once a permanent Government is constitutionally elected by the end of 2005.
The text welcomed recent letters from Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and US Secretary of State Colin Powell stating that arrangements are being put in place to establish a “security partnership” between the Iraqi Government, which will have command over Iraqi security forces, and the MNF and to ensure coordination between the two.
The Council also noted the intention of creating a separate force under the command of the MNF dedicated to providing security for the UN presence in Iraq, and called on countries to provide the necessary resources, including contributions to that force.
The resolution gave Iraqis authority over oil and gas revenues collected for the Development Fund for Iraq, although the International Advisory and Monitoring Board, with an Iraqi representative, will continue to audit the account.
Video of Council meeting [1hr 25mins]