20 April 2007 The United Nations-sponsored International Compact for Iraq (ICI), which seeks to consolidate peace in the war-torn country and pursue political, economic and social development over the next five years, will be launched in Egypt early next month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last night.
Speaking to reporters in Bern, Switzerland, during a joint press conference with that country’s President Micheline Calmy-Rey, Mr. Ban said he and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki would attend the launch in Sharm el-Sheikh on 3 May.
The launch marks the culmination of a preparatory process that began last July and was initiated by the Iraqi Government to establish a new partnership with the international community.
The Compact is a five-year national plan that includes benchmarks and mutual commitments from both Iraq and the international community, all with the aim of helping Iraq on the path towards peace, sound governance and economic reconstruction.
The UN – through its Special Adviser on the ICI and Other Political Issues, Ibrahim Gambari – and Iraq have been co-chairs of the preparatory process, which has also had the support of the World Bank.
After his talks in Bern, Mr. Ban headed to Geneva today, where he attended his first meeting of the Chief Executives Board (CEB), which brings together top officials from across the UN system.
During the opening session of the two-day meeting, participants discussed system-wide coherence across the UN and how to better coordinate their efforts to achieve “aid for trade,” a strategy to enable developing countries to take a greater role in the international trade system.
Mr. Ban also spoke with UN staff at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, and attended a working breakfast with the State Council of Geneva, where he voiced appreciation for the city and region’s commitment to the UN by hosting so many international organizations and civil servants and their families.
On Sunday the Secretary-General is scheduled to wrap up the Swiss leg of his four-nation official trip, before heading to Doha, Qatar, for the Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade. His last stop will be the Syrian capital, Damascus, where meetings with senior Government officials, including President Bashar Assad, are expected.