SECURITY COUNCIL EXPANDS UNITED NATIONS ROLE IN IRAQ AS PART OF EFFORTS TO END STRIFE, WIN REGIONAL SUPPORT, TACKLE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS
SECURITY COUNCIL EXPANDS UNITED NATIONS ROLE IN IRAQ AS PART OF EFFORTS TO END STRIFE, WIN REGIONAL SUPPORT, TACKLE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5729th Meeting (AM)
Security Council expands United Nations role in Iraq as part of efforts
to end strife, win regional support, tackle humanitarian crisis
Members Adopt Resolution 1770 (2007), Extending Mission’s Mandate by 12 Months
Approving a 12-month mandate extension for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the Security Council today expanded the world body’s political role in Iraq, aimed at bringing together the strife-torn country’s rival factions, gaining broader support from neighbouring countries, and tackling the deepening humanitarian crisis.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1770 (2004), the Council broadened the responsibilities of the four-year-old Mission, whose existing mandate expires today. Among other things, the measure authorized the head of UNAMI to “advise, support and assist” the Iraqi Government in advancing an “inclusive, national dialogue and political reconciliation”, reviewing the Constitution, setting internal boundaries, and dealing with the millions of Iraqis who have fled their homes.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon immediately hailed the resolution’s adoption, telling the 15-nation Council that a peaceful and prosperous future was for Iraqis themselves to create, with the international community lending support to their efforts. The United Nations would be increasing its role and looked forward to working in “close partnership” with the Iraqi Government and people to encourage national political dialogue, help with humanitarian assistance and promote human rights.
Recalling colleagues killed in the bombing of the world body’s Baghdad headquarters four years ago -- including then-Mission chief Sergio Vieira de Mello and 22 others -- he paid tribute to all the brave men and women who continued to serve the Organization in Iraq, saying, “As we move forward, their safety and security will remain a paramount concern.”
The resolution -- co-sponsored by the United Kingdom, United States, Italy and Slovakia -- underscored the need for all communities in Iraq to reject sectarianism and to participate in political processes “for the sake of Iraq’s political stability and unity”. It authorized the Special Representative of the Secretary-General -- the head of UNAMI and the top United Nations official in Iraq -- to help the Government and relevant institutions develop processes for holding elections and referendums. It further expanded the Special Representative’s role to bolster regional dialogue, including on issues of border security, energy and refugees.
According to the text, the Council expressed its concern for the humanitarian situation in Iraq and stressed the need for a coordinated response. Under its new mandate, UNAMI could now “promote, support and facilitate”, in coordination with the Government, the management and implementation of programmes to improve Iraq’s ability to provide essential services for its people, as well as on economic reform and capacity-building. The Mission would also help with the safe, orderly and voluntary return of refugees and displaced persons, and the coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance.
Speaking after the Council’s action, the representative of the United States said the resolution marked an important new phase in the role of the United Nations in Iraq, and expressed the hope that it would be “a springboard to greater international support for Iraq’s Government and people. The forward-looking resolution, which was an important signal that “the page has turned”, also underscored the widespread belief that what happened in Iraq had strategic implications not only for the region but for the entire world.
He said the resolution expanded United Nations involvement in Iraq by providing assistance and expertise to the Iraqi people and Government on domestic reconciliation leading to a national compact, by promoting regional understanding in support of reconciliation, and by marshalling resources to help Iraqis affected by the humanitarian crisis. While grateful for expanding the world body’s role to help the Iraqi people shape their future, he said: “Let me be clear, the United States will continue to shoulder all of its responsibility to assist Iraq’s Government and people […] We are fully dedicated to success in Iraq.”
The representative of the United Kingdom said a democratic and stable Iraq, at peace with itself and with its neighbours, could only be delivered through a collective effort by all, and the burden of delivering that must be a shared one. It was to be hoped that the resolution would bolster United Nations efforts to enhance its role. Among the new tasks were the Organization’s supporting role in promoting dialogue and, in due course, reintegration programmes. It also took into account the humanitarian challenges with which the United Nations could help, both inside and outside the country, human rights and advancing judicial and legal reform.
In perhaps his last official address to the Council, he said that, while the 15-nation body would not and did not shirk its responsibility, adopting resolutions and statements was not enough. The Council must always work to ensure and reinforce positive change on the ground that benefited the people. It must also make sure that its decisions delivered security and peace while remembering to seek parallel success on the relevant political tracks.
Also welcoming the Council’s action, Iraq’s representative said his country faced well-known internal, regional and humanitarian challenges. Of prime importance were dialogue and national reconciliation, winning broader regional support for reconstruction, humanitarian assistance and combating terrorism. Consistent attempts by terrorists to provoke sectarian strife were negatively impacting the humanitarian situation, sparking an increase in internal displacement and the flow of refugees to other countries in the region. It was incumbent upon national, regional and international actors to coordinate and deliver assistance to all those in need.
He stressed that the Iraqi Government was aware that it carried the largest share of the burden of effectively addressing those challenges, and it was working very hard to do so, in spite of myriad difficulties. At the same time, the Government’s objectives could not be achieved without the assistance of the international community, represented by the United Nations and especially by UNAMI. For three years, the Mission had stood by the people of Iraq and successive Iraqi Governments, through to the most recent democratic elections. “We now look forward to a greater role for UNAMI, consistent with the expanded mandate set out in the resolution adopted by the distinguished Council today.”
Also speaking today were the representatives of the Russian Federation, China, France, Qatar, Italy and Indonesia.
The meeting began at 10:40 a.m. and ended at 11:25 a.m.
“The Security Council,
“Recalling all its previous relevant resolutions on Iraq, in particular 1500 (2003) of 14 August 2003, 1546 (2004) of 8 June 2004, 1557 (2004) of 12 August 2004, 1619 (2005) of 11 August 2005 and 1700 (2006) of 10 August 2006,
“Reaffirming the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Iraq,
“Emphasizing the importance of the stability and security of Iraq for the people of Iraq, the region, and the international community,
“Acknowledging that a democratically elected and constitutionally based Government of Iraq is now in place,
“Underscoring the need for all communities in Iraq to reject sectarianism, participate in the political process, and engage in an inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation for the sake of Iraq’s political stability and unity,
“Reaffirming the importance of the United Nations, in particular the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), in supporting the efforts of the Iraqi people and Government to strengthen institutions for representative government, promote political dialogue and national reconciliation, engage neighbouring countries, assist vulnerable groups, including refugees and internally displaced persons, and promote the protection of human rights and judicial and legal reform,
“Expressing concern for the humanitarian issues confronting the Iraqi people and stressing the need for a coordinated response and adequate resources to address these issues,
“Underscoring the sovereignty of the Government of Iraq and reaffirming that all parties should take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of affected civilians, and should create conditions conducive to the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of refugees and internally displaced persons,
“Urging all those concerned as set forth in international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Regulations, to allow full unimpeded access by humanitarian personnel to all people in need of assistance, and to make available, as far as possible, all necessary facilities for their operations, and to promote the safety, security and freedom of movement of humanitarian personnel and United Nations and its associated personnel and their assets,
“Welcoming the formal launch of the International Compact with Iraq on 3 May 2007 as well as the expanded Neighbours Conference on 4 May 2007 and resultant working groups, and underscoring the importance of continued regional and international support for Iraq’s development,
“Acknowledging with appreciation past contributions by Member States to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and recalling the need for UNAMI to have the necessary resources to fulfil its mission,
“Welcoming the letter of 6 August 2007 from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq to the Secretary-General (S/2007/481, annex), expressing the view of the Government of Iraq requesting the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) to assist Iraqi efforts to build a productive and prosperous nation at peace with itself and its neighbours,
“1. Decides to extend the mandate of UNAMI for another period of twelve months from the date of this resolution;
“2. Decides further that, as circumstances permit, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and UNAMI, at the request of the Government of Iraq, shall
(a) advise, support, and assist:
(i) the Government and people of Iraq on advancing their inclusive, political dialogue and national reconciliation;
(ii) the Government of Iraq and the Independent High Electoral Commission on the development of processes for holding elections and referenda;
(iii)the Government of Iraq and the Council of Representatives on Constitutional review and the implementation of constitutional provisions, as well as on the development of processes acceptable to the Government of Iraq to resolve disputed internal boundaries;
(iv) the Government of Iraq on facilitating regional dialogue, including on issues of border security, energy, and refugees;
(v) the Government of Iraq at an appropriate time and in connection with progress on reconciliation efforts, on planning, funding and implementing reintegration programmes for former members of illegal armed groups;
(vi) the Government of Iraq on initial planning for the conduct of a comprehensive census;
(b) promote, support, and facilitate, in coordination with the Government of Iraq:
(i) the coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance and the safe, orderly, and voluntary return, as appropriate, of refugees and displaced persons;
(ii) the implementation of the International Compact with Iraq, including coordination with donors and international financial institutions;
(iii)the coordination and implementation of programmes to improve Iraq’s capacity to provide essential services for its people and continue active donor coordination of critical reconstruction and assistance programmes through the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI);
(iv) economic reform, capacity-building and the conditions for sustainable development, including through coordination with national and regional organizations and, as appropriate, civil society, donors, and international financial institutions;
(v) the development of effective civil, social and essential services, including through training and conferences in Iraq when possible;
(vi) the contributions of UN agencies, funds, and programmes to the objectives outlined in this resolution under a unified leadership of the Secretary-General through his Special Representative for Iraq;
(c) and also promote the protection of human rights and judicial and legal reform in order to strengthen the rule of law in Iraq;
“3. Recognizes the important role of the Multi-National Force Iraq (MNF-I) in supporting UNAMI, including security and logistical support, and further recognizes that security is essential for UNAMI to carry out its work on behalf of the people of Iraq;
“4. Calls on Member States to continue providing UNAMI with the necessary financial, logistical and security resources and support to fulfil its mission;
“5. Expresses its intention to review the mandate of UNAMI in twelve months or sooner, if requested by the Government of Iraq;
“6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council within three months from the date of this resolution on UNAMI operations in Iraq, and on a quarterly basis thereafter on the progress made towards the fulfilment of all UNAMI’s responsibilities; and
“7. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”
The Security Council met today to consider the situation in Iraq.
United Nations Secretary-General BAN KI-MOON said the Organization was deeply committed to helping the Iraqi people and he was pleased to have the opportunity to enhance, where possible, its contributions in such crucial areas as national reconciliation, regional dialogue, humanitarian assistance and human rights.
“A peaceful and prosperous future is for Iraqis themselves to create, with the international community lending support to their efforts,” he said, adding that the United Nations looked forward to working in close partnership with Iraq’s leaders and people to explore how the Organization could further its assistance under the terms of the resolution.
Recalling colleagues killed in the bombing of the United Nations Baghdad headquarters four years ago, including mission chief Sergio Vieira de Mello, he paid tribute to all the brave men and women who continued to serve the Organization in Iraq. “As we move forward, their safety and security will remain a paramount concern.”
ZALMAY KHALILZAD ( United States) said the resolution’s adoption marked an important new phase in the Organization’s role in Iraq, expanding its involvement by providing increased assistance to the Iraqi people and their Government on domestic reconciliation that would lead to a national compact. While domestic reconciliation was the responsibility of the Iraqi people and Government, the United Nations could lend specific expertise to the process and help promote regional understanding in support of reconciliation, a process already under way with meetings in Baghdad, Sharm el-Sheikh and elsewhere. The updated mandate marked another important step along the road to increased regional and international support for Iraq.
The United Nations would also help marshal resources to assist those Iraqis affected by the humanitarian crisis, he continued. In fulfilling the tasks set out in the resolution, United Nations staff in Iraq had made, and would make, a vital contribution to the country’s future stability. The United States, as part of the Multinational Force, would do its part to ensure that the security and resources needs of the United Nations were met, so that the Organization’s expertise could be fully deployed to help address the challenges in Iraq. While grateful to the United Nations for expanding its role to help the Iraqi people shape their future, the United States would continue to shoulder all its own responsibilities to assist the Government and people.
“We are fully dedicated to success in Iraq, and our commitment to Iraq, to the region, to the United Nations and to the rest of the international community remains,” he said. The United States looked forward to standing side by side with the Iraqi people for a stable, secure Iraq, at peace with itself and its neighbours. Despite the international community’s differences over Iraq, it shared the same vision for the country’s future, as was clearly the case today. “This forward-looking resolution, adopted unanimously by the Security Council, is an important signal that the page has turned.” The resolution underscored the widespread belief that what happened in Iraq had strategic implications not only for the region, but for the entire world. Hopefully the resolution would be a springboard to greater international support for Iraq’s Government and people.
EMYR JONES PARRY ( United Kingdom) also welcomed the Council’s decision, saying success in Iraq would depend on the collective efforts of the entire international community with Iraq in the lead, particularly towards ensuring implementation of the Iraq Compact. The United Kingdom would continue to stand by Iraq as a friend, and continue as well to discharge its duties fully. The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and its dedicated staff had been steadfastly carrying out their duties for some four years, often during dark and dangerous times.
He expressed the hope that the resolution, which entrusted the Mission with new responsibilities, would bolster United Nations efforts to play an enhanced role. Among the new tasks were the Organization’s supporting role in promoting dialogue and, in due course, reintegration programmes, in its constitutional review and in facilitating dialogue between Iraq, its neighbours and the wider region. The resolution also took into account the humanitarian challenges with which the United Nations could help, both inside and outside the country, human rights and advancing judicial and legal reform.
Highlighting elements of the text concerning the security of UNAMI personnel, he said the United Kingdom supported the Secretary-General’s plans to build an integrated and secure base in Iraq from which the United Nations could undertake it’s expanded and continuing duties in safety. In all its tasks, the Mission must be coherent and its efforts coordinated with those of other United Nations and international agencies inside and outside Iraq. The burden of delivering a stable and secure Iraq must be a shared one.
Noting that he was addressing the Council officially for the final time, he said it had been an honour and privilege to represent the United Kingdom for four years defending the positions of its Government and putting forward its thinking. The Council was charged with the maintenance of international peace and security, which encompassed myriad difficult and challenges tasks. The Council could not and did not shirk its responsibility in handling those tasks. Indeed, the United Kingdom had worked with other members for the best solutions and outcomes. Consensus could only strengthen the outcome of the Council’s decisions.
At the same time, adopting resolutions and statements was not enough, he said. The Council must always work to ensure and reinforce positive change on the ground that benefited the people. It must also make sure that its decisions delivered security and peace while remembering to seek parallel success on the relevant political tracks. Good relations between the Council and other organs of the United Nations were also essential. Finally, he thanked the other Council members, Secretariat personnel and the staff at the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom for their dedication during his tenure.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said that, over the last few years, his country had favoured the maximum possible involvement of the United Nations in the process of seeking a settlement in Iraq and expected UNAMI to deal with the country’s political problems, in addition to helping the different political factions achieve national reconciliation, unity and territorial integrity. Hopefully, the Mission would become a tangible element in regional diplomacy to create an atmosphere conducive to the normalization of the Iraq situation.
However, appropriate security measures were required to ensure that the potential of the United Nations was fulfilled, he said. The tasks before UNAMI would only be possible if the Iraqi Government worked on ensuring peace and development and through greater participation by the international community. In that regard, Russia’s proposal on the holding of a meeting on Iraqi issues fully met the requirements of an accelerated settlement of the Iraq question.
WANG GUANGYA ( China) said the resolution was important both for Iraq and the United Nations. Over the past four years, the Council had been holding regular reviews of the Iraq situation in the hope of playing its due role in finding a solution. While significant progress had been achieved, grave challenges remained. Achieving peace was an essential premise for a settlement of the Iraq question, but the ultimate solution would be the country’s ability to govern itself. That would not be achieved without the earnest assistance of regional countries.
He said the resolution entrusted UNAMI with new responsibilities, including the provision of assistance to Iraq and the promotion of regional dialogue, areas in which the United Nations had a comparative advantage. China hoped the Iraqi Government and the Multinational Force would provide the necessary security guarantee so as to enable UNAMI to accomplish its mission. It was also to be hoped that the parties concerned would create the necessary conditions for the United Nations to play a role, while preserving Iraq’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. China would continue to support Iraq’s reconstruction efforts and hoped that the war-affected country would embark on the road of peace and development as soon as possible.
JEAN-MAURICE RIPERT ( France), who was welcomed by Council President Pascal Gayama ( Congo) on behalf of the other members, in turn commended the courage and remarkable work carried out by all UNAMI staff. The situation in Iraq continued to be of great concern, with numerous security problems and a worsening humanitarian situation. The Council and the wider international community must also pay close attention to the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons, which was becoming a serious challenge for Iraq and its neighbours.
The Council and the international community must also work with the Government of Iraq to isolate the forces that sought to ensure the country’s failure, he said. States in the region must work harder to ensure Iraq’s stability and security, and the wider international community, through the United Nations, should strengthen its support for national political dialogue and reconciliation. France welcomed the Council’s adoption of the text and the strengthening of UNAMI.
NASSIR ABDULAZIZ AL-NASSER ( Qatar) said he had voted in favour of the resolution, convinced of the need for international efforts to achieve stability in Iraq and to assist the Iraqi people, who continued to suffer daily from actions that affected the entire region. Given its geographic situation and historical and social links to the country, Qatar desired peace in Iraq.
He stressed the need to implement the resolution in close cooperation with Iraq and without undermining the responsibilities of coalition forces in the country, whose responsibility it was to guarantee peace and stability. It was particularly important not to endanger civilians during military and other operations so that the people did not find themselves caught between terrorist and military activities. Iraq’s reconstruction efforts and institutions must be promoted and its national sovereignty preserved.
ALDO MANTOVANI ( Italy) said his delegation had co-sponsored the resolution, which provided UNAMI with a stronger mandate to carry out its important tasks. Several elements were especially important, including the text’s acknowledgment of Iraq’s sovereignty, as the solution to its problems lay in the hands of the Iraqi people and Government. The resolution also set out a broader mandate for UNAMI. Italy commended the Mission staff for their important work, carried out with high professionalism and at great personal risk.
HASAN KLEIB ( Indonesia) said that, after years of hardship and harsh sanctions, the people of Iraq deserved to live in peace, stability and security. The international community must work to help the Iraqi Government deliver that stability. The problem of Iraq’s refugees and internally displaced persons was of increasing concern and it was also necessary to reduce religious and factional tensions. Indonesia called on all sides to set aside their differences in the interest of the country. At the same time, Iraq needed the support of the international community and, to that end, Indonesia welcomed the Council’s adoption of the resolution, which extended UNAMI’s mandate and expanded its duties.
HAMID AL BAYATI ( Iraq) said it was well known that his country was facing several challenges, especially on the national, regional and humanitarian fronts. Of prime importance at the national level was dialogue and national reconciliation, which required a review of controversial laws and the Constitution, as well as the adoption of a hydrocarbon law and consideration of myriad other issues. On the regional level, the expanded meetings with neighbouring countries held in Baghdad and Sharm el-Sheikh, and the subsequent establishment of committees on energy, security and refugees, had placed a number of obligations on those countries, most notably helping the Iraqi people in such areas as reconstruction, humanitarian assistance and combating terrorism.
Turning specifically to humanitarian concerns, he said consistent attempts by terrorists to provoke sectarian strife were negatively impacting the humanitarian situation, sparking an increase in internal displacement, as well as the flow of refugees to other countries in the region. It was incumbent upon national, regional and international actors to coordinate and deliver assistance to all those in need. The Iraqi Government was aware that it carried the largest share of the burden of effectively addressing those challenges, and it was working very hard to do so, in spite of myriad difficulties.
At the same time, the Government’s objectives could not be achieved without the assistance of the international community, represented by the United Nations and especially by UNAMI, he stressed. For three years the Mission had stood by the people of Iraq and successive Iraqi Governments, through to the most recent democratic elections. It had answered Iraq’s calls for assistance and accomplished immense achievements in cooperation with the Government. “We now look forward to a greater role for UNAMI consistent with the expanded mandate set out in the resolution adopted by the distinguished Council today.”
Reaffirming that the Iraqi Government and people needed enhanced support and assistance, he recalled that a letter sent to the Council by the Iraqi Foreign Minister earlier this week noted that events in Iraq “required the role of UNAMI to be expanded and activated on the humanitarian and political dimensions, and on the internal and regional levels”, among other things. The Mission, therefore, had a very active role to play in helping the Government build a productive and prosperous Iraq living in peace with itself, its neighbours and the world.
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