Annan announces Iraqi request for UN assistance on drafting constitution

31 May 2005 – Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced today that Iraqi authorities have officially requested assistance from the United Nations in drafting and building consensus around the country’s new constitution.

According to a statement by a UN spokesman, the request came in a letter from the President of the Transitional National Assembly, Mr. Hajim N. Al-Hasani, received yesterday. The letter invited the United Nations to help promote national dialogue between the Iraqi National Assembly’s Constitutional Drafting Committee and the Iraqi people, and to help build consensus nationwide for the draft constitution.

The Secretary-General had previously dispatched a constitutional support team from the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) to Baghdad. The team, led by Mr. Nicholas Fink Haysom of South Africa, has been engaged in preparatory activities since mid-April. Under the leadership of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, the statement said, Mr. Haysom and his team will work closely with the Iraqi Government, the Transitional National Assembly and other relevant bodies as well as with the international donor community.

“The Secretary-General hopes that the people of Iraq will seize this historic opportunity to pursue a constitutional process that is inclusive, participatory, transparent and responsive to the key demands of all Iraqi political constituencies,” the statement concluded. “He hopes that every effort will be made to complete the drafting of the constitution within the timetable for Iraq’s political transition.”

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