SECURITY COUNCIL, ACTING ON IRAQ’S REQUEST, EXTENDS ‘FOR LAST TIME’ MANDATE OF MULTINATIONAL FORCE

18 December 2007
SC/9207

SECURITY COUNCIL, ACTING ON IRAQ’S REQUEST, EXTENDS ‘FOR LAST TIME’ MANDATE OF MULTINATIONAL FORCE

18 December 2007
Security Council
SC/9207
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5808th Meeting (PM)

SECURITY COUNCIL, ACTING ON IRAQ’S REQUEST, EXTENDS ‘FOR LAST TIME’

MANDATE OF MULTINATIONAL FORCE

 

Recognizing the request from Iraq, the Security Council today decided to extend the mandate of the multinational force in that country -- “for the last time”, according to its Permanent Representative -- until 31 December 2008.

Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1790 (2007), deciding further that the mandate would be reviewed at the request of the Government of Iraq or no later than 15 June 2008.  The mandate would be terminated earlier if the Iraqi Government requested the Council to do so.

The Council also extended until 31 December 2008 the arrangements for the depositing into the Development Fund for Iraq of proceeds from export sales of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas, as well as the arrangements for the monitoring of the Fund by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB), deciding also that the arrangements would be reviewed at the request of the Iraqi Government or no later than 15 June 2008.  Those arrangements are described in paragraphs 12, 20, 22 and 23 of resolution 1483 of 22 May 2003 (see Press Release SC/7765), and paragraphs 24 and 27 of resolution 1546 of 8 June 2004 (see Press Release SC/8117).

Iraq’s request, referred to above, was contained in a letter dated 7 December from the Prime Minister of Iraq addressed to the President of the Security Council (document S/2007/738), which stated among other things that Iraq had now finished building its constitutional and legal institutions and had a Government of National Unity.  The Government continued to act expeditiously to guarantee the security of Iraqi citizens and the country’s stability.  Iraq would assume responsibility for command and control of all Iraqi forces and the multinational force would provide support to those forces.  The Government considered the current request to be the final one, and expected that the Council would be able to deal with the situation in Iraq without the need for action under Chapter VII.

Following the vote, Iraq’s representative said the last few months had been a decisive test for the commitment and courage of the Government and people of Iraq, who had completed the establishment of the country’s constitutional and legal institutions, having made great strides towards self-sufficiency in security.  While the Iraqis would remain grateful to all countries that had assisted in its liberation, no Iraqi wanted the presence of foreign troops on their soil one day longer than necessary.  However, the multinational force was essential for the coming year to complete Iraq’s liberation.

The representative of the United States said Iraqis should be proud of their efforts in the past year, which had resulted in decreased violence, improved essential services and greater engagement with the region and the world.  Together with the expansion of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the launching of the International Compact with Iraq, today’s extension signalled the international community’s recognition of the profound consequences of developments in Iraq and the progress the Iraqi people and Government had made towards self-reliance.  The United States was proud of its role in helping Iraq combat the challenges of terrorism and other violence.

Before the vote, Warren Sach, United Nations Controller and designated representative on IAMB, the audit oversight body for the Development Fund, said that from inception to 31 December 2006, the Board had been informed that about $70.4 billion had been deposited from the sale of oil and oil products, and $10.2 billion from the balance of “oil-for-food” funds.  A further $1.5 billion had been deposited as proceeds from frozen assets.  IAMB had early on identified major issues in contracting practices and pointed to the lack of oil metering as a key element in the establishment of controls over oil revenues.  Some of Iraq’s oil resources had not been accounted for in the Development Fund, and had been smuggled.

Also making statements were the representatives of the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation.

The meeting started at 4:25 and adjourned at 5:05 p.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 1790 (2007) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Welcoming the efforts of the democratically elected, constitutionally based, national unity Government of Iraq in fulfilling its detailed political, economic, and security programme and national reconciliation agenda, and looking forward to the day Iraqi forces assume full responsibility for the maintenance of security and stability in their country, thus allowing the completion of the multinational force mandate and the end of its presence in Iraq,

Welcoming continued progress in training, equipping and capacity-building of Iraqi security forces, including the Iraqi Army and the internal security forces, and the assumption of command and control by Iraqi Ground Forces Command over all Iraqi Army divisions, and the transfer of security responsibility in Najaf, Maysan, Muthanna, Dhi Qar, Dahuk, Irbil, Sulaymaniyah, Karbala and Basra provinces, and also welcoming efforts to complete that process during 2008,

Recalling all of its previous relevant resolutions on Iraq,

Reaffirming the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Iraq, and reaffirming further the importance of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of Iraq,

Reaffirming also the right of the Iraqi people freely to determine their own political future and control their own national resources,

Welcoming the continuing work of the Government of Iraq towards a federal, democratic, pluralistic, and unified Iraq, in which there is full respect for human rights,

Noting the strong commitment of the Government of Iraq in pursuing an atmosphere in which sectarianism is totally rejected, including through the agreed communiqué announced on 26 August 2007, 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, and reaffirming the willingness of the international community to work closely with the Government of Iraq to assist these reconciliation efforts,

Recognizing continuing progress under the International Compact with Iraq, an initiative of the Government of Iraq that has created a new partnership with the international community and is building a strong framework for Iraq’s continued political, security and economic transformation and integration into the regional and global economy, and welcoming the important role that the United Nations is playing by jointly chairing the Compact with the Government of Iraq,

Calling upon the international community, particularly countries in the region and Iraq’s neighbours, to support the Iraqi people in their pursuit of peace, stability, security, democracy, and prosperity, welcoming the Expanded Neighbours Conferences on 4 May 2007 and 2-3 November 2007, resultant working groups, and the agreement to establish an Expanded Neighbours “support mechanism” with support from the United Nations, and noting that the successful implementation of this resolution will contribute to regional stability,

Demanding those who use violence in an attempt to subvert the political process should lay down their arms and participate in the political process, and encouraging the Government of Iraq to continue to engage with all those who renounce violence,

Reaffirming that acts of terrorism must not be allowed to disrupt Iraq’s political and economic transition, and further reaffirming the obligations of Member States under resolution 1618 (2005) of 4 August 2005 and other relevant resolutions and international conventions with respect, inter alia, to terrorist activities in and from Iraq or against its citizens,

Recalling the termination under resolution 1762 (2007) of the mandates of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Iraq under the relevant resolutions, welcoming Iraq’s commitments in its letter to the Security Council dated 8 April 2007 annexed to that resolution, and reaffirming Iraq’s disarmament obligations under relevant resolutions,

Recognizing the request conveyed in the letter of 7 December 2007 from the Prime Minister of Iraq to the President of the Council, which is annexed to this resolution, to retain the presence of the multinational force in Iraq, recognizing also the Government of Iraq’s intention to assume full responsibility for providing security to the country and people of Iraq, and taking note of all of the objectives set forth in that letter, including the statement that the Government of Iraq considers this to be its final request to the Security Council for the extension of the mandate of the multinational force,

Recognizing the importance of consent of the sovereign Government of Iraq for the presence of the multinational force and of maximum coordination and close partnership between the multinational force and that Government,

Taking into consideration the progress of Iraq’s security forces in improving the capability to provide security to the country and people of Iraq, as well as the continuing progress of the Government of Iraq in achieving its political, economic, and security programme,

Welcoming the willingness of the multinational force to continue efforts to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq, including participating in the provision of humanitarian and reconstruction assistance, as described in the letter of 10 December 2007 from the United States Secretary of State to the President of the Council, which is annexed to this resolution,

Recognizing the tasks and arrangements set out in letters annexed to resolution 1546 (2004) of 8 June 2004, including the provision of security and logistical support for the United Nations presence in Iraq, and the cooperative implementation by the Government of Iraq and the multinational force of those arrangements, and having regard for resolution 1770 (2007) of 10 August 2007,

Affirming the importance for all parties, including foreign forces, promoting the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq to act in accordance with international law, including relevant obligations under international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law, and to cooperate with the relevant international organizations, welcoming their commitments in this regard, and underscoring that all parties, including foreign forces, should take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of affected civilians,

Recalling the establishment of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on 14 August 2003, and affirming that the United Nations should continue to play a leading role 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 in accordance with resolution 1770 (2007),

Recognizing that international support for security and stability is essential to the well-being of the people of Iraq as well as the ability of all concerned, including the United Nations, to carry out their work on behalf of the people of Iraq, and expressing appreciation for Member State contributions in this regard under resolution 1483 (2003), resolution 1511 (2003), resolution 1546 (2004), resolution 1637 (2005) and resolution 1723 (2006),

Recognizing that the Government of Iraq will continue to have the leading role in coordinating international assistance to Iraq and reaffirming the importance of international assistance and development of the Iraqi economy and the importance of coordinated donor assistance,

Recognizing the significant role of the Development Fund for Iraq and the International Advisory and Monitoring Board and the provisions of paragraph 22 of resolution 1483 (2003) in helping the Government of Iraq to ensure that Iraq’s resources are being used transparently and equitably for the benefit of the people of Iraq,

Stressing the responsibility of the Iraqi authorities to undertake all appropriate steps to prevent attacks on the diplomatic personnel accredited in Iraq in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961,

Determining that the situation in Iraq continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1.   Notes that the presence of the multinational force in Iraq is at the request of the Government of Iraq and reaffirms the authorization for the multinational force as set forth in resolution 1546 (2004) and decides to extend the mandate as set forth in that resolution until 31 December 2008, taking into consideration the Iraqi Prime Minister’s letter dated 7 December 2007, including all of the objectives highlighted therein, and the United States Secretary of State’s letter dated 10 December 2007;

“2.   Decides further that the mandate for the multinational force shall be reviewed at the request of the Government of Iraq or no later than 15 June 2008, and declares that it will terminate this mandate earlier if requested by the Government of Iraq;

“3.   Decides to extend until 31 December 2008 the arrangements established in paragraph 20 of resolution 1483 (2003) for the depositing into the Development Fund for Iraq of proceeds from export sales of petroleum, petroleum products, and natural gas and the arrangements referred to in paragraph 12 of resolution 1483 (2003) and paragraph 24 of resolution 1546 (2004) for the monitoring of the Development Fund for Iraq by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board and further decides that, subject to the exception provided for in paragraph 27 of resolution 1546 (2004), the provisions of paragraph 22 of resolution 1483 (2003) shall continue to apply until that date, including with respect to funds and financial assets and economic resources described in paragraph 23 of that resolution;

“4.   Decides further that the provisions in the above paragraph for the deposit of proceeds into the Development Fund for Iraq and for the role of the International Advisory and Monitoring Board and the provisions of paragraph 22 of resolution 1483 (2003) shall be reviewed at the request of the Government of Iraq or no later than 15 June 2008;

“5.   Requests that the United States, on behalf of the multinational force, continue to report to the Council on the efforts and progress of this force on a quarterly basis;

“6.   Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

Resolution Annex I

Letter dated 7 December 2007 from the Prime Minister of Iraq addressed to the President of the Security Council

[Original: Arabic and English]

Iraq has now finished building its constitutional and legal institutions. It now has a permanent constitution, which was voted on by the Iraqi people, and a parliament, which represents the various components of Iraqi society. Iraq also has a Government of national unity that includes all political factions.  Today, despite the efforts of terrorists and hostile forces to prevent us from developing our young and vital democracy, we are determined to build a democratic, federal and unified Iraq.

The Government of Iraq continues to act expeditiously to guarantee the security of Iraqi citizens and the stability of the country.  It is continuing to act expeditiously to promote national reconciliation in order to ensure broad political participation by all national forces, to protect human rights and strengthen the rule of law, to achieve economic growth and to provide its citizens with basic services.

Achieving security and stability in the country is a matter of the utmost priority for the Iraqi Government.  That is why it has devoted special attention to the task of building and strengthening the capacities of the Iraqi Army and the internal security forces, given that those are the two institutions that can guarantee security, maintain order and confront terrorist and other outlaw groups. Our national forces have successfully taken over the security functions of the multinational force in Iraq (MNF-I) in eight governorates.  It is our intention that our national forces will continue to take over those security functions until all 18 governorates are under the full security control of our troops in 2008.  Our ground force command has assumed control of all the divisions of the Iraqi Army.  The effective coordination between the command and MNF-I has had a positive effect on the security situation.

The Government of Iraq stresses that MNF-I, working alongside our national forces, has made an important and significant contribution to efforts to establish security and the rule of law. The Government of Iraq requests that the Security Council should consider extending the mandate of MNF-I in light of Iraq’s achievements over the past few years, namely, the strengthened capacity of its Army and security forces and its significant successes in the security, political and economic spheres. A review of the role and authority of MNF-I will thus be required in order to strike a balance between, on the one hand, the need to extend, one last time, the mandate of the force and, on the other hand, progress made by Iraq in the area of security. In this regard, it is important for Iraq to be treated as an independent and fully sovereign State and, in seeking the aforementioned balance, the following objectives should be highlighted:

1.    The Government of Iraq requests the extension of the mandate of MNF-I in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1546 (2004), 1637 (2005) and 1723 (2006) and the letters annexed thereto for a period of 12 months beginning on 31 December 2007, provided that the extension is subject to a commitment by the Security Council to end the mandate at an earlier date if the Government of Iraq so requests and that the mandate is subject to periodic review before June 2008;

2.    The functions of recruiting, training, arming and equipping the Iraqi Army and Iraq’s security forces are the responsibility of the Government of Iraq;

3.    The Government of Iraq will assume responsibility for command and control of all Iraqi forces, and MNF-I, in coordination with the Government of Iraq, will provide support and backing to those forces;

4.    The Government of Iraq will be responsible for arrest, detention and imprisonment tasks. When those tasks are carried out by MNF-I, there will be maximum levels of coordination, cooperation and understanding with the Government of Iraq;

5.    The Government of Iraq considers this to be its final request to the Security Council for the extension of the mandate of MNF-I and expects, in future, that the Security Council will be able to deal with the situation in Iraq without the need for action under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations;

6.    The Government of Iraq requests that the resolution to be adopted by the Security Council should reaffirm respect for the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Iraq and also reaffirm the commitment of Member States to the principle of non-intervention in its internal affairs.

The Government of Iraq wishes to inform the Security Council that it has signed a declaration of principles with the United States of America with a view to establishing a long-term cooperative and friendly relationship.

The Government of Iraq reaffirms the importance of the work of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003) in order to restore the Iraqi funds and assets deposited outside Iraq by the previous regime. The Government of Iraq urges the members of the Security Council to support the Committee’s ongoing work in accordance with paragraph 19 of resolution 1483 (2003) concerning the identification of individuals and entities referred to in paragraph 23 of that resolution, including the updating of the list of individuals and entities identified by the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 661 (1990). The Government of Iraq looks forward to the Committee’s report to the Security Council on its activities.

The Government of Iraq recognizes the importance of the provisions of paragraph 22 of resolution 1483 (2003) in ensuring that Iraq’s natural resources, the proceeds from sales thereof and other funds deposited in the Development Fund for Iraq are used for reconstruction activities and other efforts to benefit the people of Iraq. Iraq therefore requests that, taking account of the exception provided for in paragraph 27 of resolution 1546 (2004), the Security Council should continue to apply the provisions of paragraph 22 of resolution 1483 (2003) until 31 December 2008, including in respect of the funds, financial assets and economic resources described in paragraph 23 of resolution 1483 (2003).

The Government of Iraq is of the opinion that the provisions of Security Council resolution 1546 (2004) on the deposit of proceeds into the Development Fund for Iraq will help to ensure that proceeds from Iraq’s natural resources are used to serve the interests of the Iraqi people. The role played by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board serves the same purpose. The Government of Iraq understands that the Development Fund for Iraq plays an important role in helping Iraq to convince donors and creditors that it is managing its resources and debts in a responsible way in the interests of the Iraqi people. It should be pointed out that Iraq is striving to form a new partnership with the international community in order to build a dynamic network designed to transform its economy and integrate it with other world economies through the International Compact with Iraq. We are therefore requesting that the mandate of the Development Fund for Iraq and the International Advisory and Monitoring Board be extended for a further 12 months. We are also requesting that the mandate should be reviewed, based on the request of the Iraqi Government, before 15 June 2008.

The Government of Iraq is asking the Security Council to review its resolutions relating to the deposit of 5 per cent of Iraq’s proceeds from oil into the Compensation Fund established in accordance with Security Council resolution 687 (1991) and subsequent relevant resolutions, with a view to reducing that percentage as much as possible, since the deposit of such a high percentage creates a financial burden for Iraq at a time when it is in dire need of those funds to rebuild its infrastructure, which was destroyed during the wars waged by the previous regime. Furthermore, the increase in the price of oil means that the real amount represented by that 5 per cent is at least five times greater than it was.

The people of Iraq are determined to establish a stable and peaceful democracy. They are determined to develop a dynamic economy built on solid foundations and a creative vision. The people of Iraq need the support of the international community to make that vision a reality.

It is our understanding that the Security Council intends to include this letter as an annex to the resolution concerning Iraq that is currently being drafted. In the meantime, I should be grateful if you would have this letter circulated to the members of the esteemed Security Council as soon as possible.

(Signed) Nuri Kamel al-Maliki

Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq

Resolution Annex II

Letter dated 10 December 2007 from the Secretary of State of the United States of America to the President of the Security Council

Having reviewed the request of the Government of Iraq to extend the mandate of the Multinational Force (MNF) in Iraq and following consultations with the Government of Iraq, I am writing to confirm, consistent with this request, that the MNF under unified command stands ready to continue to fulfil its mandate as set out in Security Council resolution 1546 (2004) and extended by Security Council resolutions 1637 (2005) and 1723 (2006).

Together, the Government of Iraq and MNF in Iraq combat the challenges that threaten Iraq’s security and stability through a security partnership that has continued to improve and that has resulted in progress in the past year.  This effective, cooperative partnership continues to evolve, as Iraqi security forces take leadership in fighting and deterring terrorism and other violent acts throughout Iraq.  In the context of this partnership, MNF is prepared to continue to undertake a broad range of tasks to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability and to ensure force protection, acting under the authorities set forth in resolution 1546 (2004), including the tasks and arrangements set out in the letters annexed thereto, and in close cooperation with the Government of Iraq.  The forces that make up MNF will remain committed to acting consistently with their obligations and rights under international law, including the law of armed conflict.

Iraqi security forces continue to make progress in developing their capabilities as they move into the lead in taking responsibility for Iraq’s security.  This year, the Iraqi Ground Forces Command has assumed control of all Iraqi Army divisions.  Iraqi authorities and local security forces have assumed primary security responsibility in eight of Iraq’s provinces, and we are working together for continued progress in transition of security responsibility in all of Iraq’s eighteen provinces.  Together we will build towards the day when the Iraqi forces assume full responsibility for the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq.

In the coming year, the MNF is ready to continue to participate in the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq, within the context of the growth in the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces and Iraq’s successes in security, politics, and the economy.  The MNF is prepared to work with the Government of Iraq to help it achieve the objectives it has set for itself as an independent and sovereign State.

The co-sponsors intend to annex this letter to the resolution on Iraq that is under consideration.  In the meantime, I request that you provide copies of this letter to members of the Council as quickly as possible.

(Signed) Condoleezza Rice

Background

The Security Council met this afternoon to consider the situation in Iraq, in particular mandate extension for the multinational force in Iraq.

Briefing by the Controller

WARREN SACH, Assistant Secretary-General, Controller and the Secretary-General’s designated representative on the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB), the audit oversight body for the Development Fund for Iraq, said the Fund held the proceeds of petroleum export sales from Iraq, as well as the transferred balances from the United Nations “oil-for-food” programme and other frozen Iraqi funds.

He said that from inception to 31 December 2006, the Board had been informed that about $70.4 billion had been deposited from the sale of oil and oil products and $10.2 billion from the balance of the oil-for-food funds.  A further $1.5 billion had been deposited as proceeds from frozen assets.  IAMB helped to ensure that the Development Fund for Iraq was used in a transparent manner for the benefit of the people of Iraq and that export sales of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas from Iraq were made consistent with prevailing international market best practices.

IAMB had early on identified major issues in contracting practices and had pointed towards the lack of oil metering as a key element in the establishment of controls over oil revenues.  The Board had promoted the strengthening of controls in Iraq over oil export revenues and their use.  It had identified significant control weaknesses related to oil revenues, including the absence of oil metering; the use of barter transactions; and inadequate controls over expenditures.

He said some of Iraq’s oil resources had not been accounted for in the Development Fund for Iraq and had been smuggled.  The Board had objected to certain contractual practices using funds held by the Development Fund, and a number of exceptions from normal procurement procedures had been revealed.  Other audit reports had also pointed to similar weaknesses and had confirmed the concerns expressed by IAMB.

The Iraqi Council of Ministers had established a Committee of Financial Experts to prepare for the time when IAMB functions would need to be undertaken solely by the Government of Iraq.  The Committee had participated in IAMB activities and in its two most recent meetings.  It was anticipated that the Board would receive the results of the 2007 audit by the external auditor during the first half of 2008, and at that time would review the reports accordingly.

VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said he supported the recommendations presented by Mr. Sach, but noted that relevant reports on the matters at hand had not been received for many months.  The United Nations was entitled to receive such reports.  Other briefings on today’s issues could be organized for the many interested parties in Washington, D.C., for example at the beginning of 2008.

ZALMAY KHALILZAD ( United States), welcoming the adoption of the resolution, said Iraqis should be proud of their efforts in the past year, which had resulted in decreased violence, improved essential services and greater engagement with the region and the world.  Together with the expansion of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the launching of the International Compact with Iraq, today’s extension signalled that the international community recognized the profound consequences of developments in Iraq and the progress the Iraqi people and Government had made towards self-reliance.

The United States, he said, was proud of its role in helping Iraq combat the challenges of terrorism and other violence.  The extension of the Council mandates provided a framework for the international community to sustain its support for the people and Government of the country as they worked to consolidate and extend their gains.  As a result, the multinational force would continue its security work, the Development Fund for Iraq would continue to ensure that Government revenues were used for the people and IAMB would continue to provide critical advisory and monitoring oversight.  The United States reiterated its commitment to help Iraq achieve the objectives it had set as a sovereign State.

JOHN SAWERS ( United Kingdom) said the resolution was a response to the request of Iraq’s Government and came with the assurance that it might seek changes in or termination of the mandate whenever it desired.  The United Kingdom would continue to work bilaterally with the Government of Iraq and to participate in the multinational force.  The United Kingdom had handed over responsibilities for security of the Basra Province to Iraqi forces.  However, that was not the end of the United Kingdom’s involvement in Iraq.  British forces would continue to provide training, mentoring and advice in the future, and would support the Iraqi forces if required.  As security was improving, the United Kingdom promoted effective economic governance in the south of Iraq. 

HAMID AL BAYATI (Iraq) spoke of the honour he felt in addressing the Council “on this historic day, as it adopts, upon the request of my Government, the resolution for the extension of the mandate of the multinational force in Iraq for the last time”.  The last few months had been a decisive test for the commitment and courage of the Government and people of Iraq, who had completed the establishment of constitutional and legal institutions and made great strides towards self-sufficiency in security.  While Iraqis would remain grateful to all countries that had assisted in their country’s liberation, no Iraqi wanted the presence of foreign troops on their soil one day longer than necessary.  However, the multinational force was essential for the coming year to complete the Iraqi liberation.

Progress had been made against terrorism, as the remnants of Al-Qaida and their allies suffered continued defeats and were isolated in pockets.  There had also been a reduction of the threat of civil war, he said.  Iraq looked forward to playing an active role in achieving stability and security in the Middle East and, towards that end, it had initiated a meeting of the neighbouring countries, hosted the American-Iranian dialogue and signed a document on a long-term relationship with the United States.

He said the Government continued its efforts to achieve national reconciliation to ensure expanded political participation by all political forces to guarantee respect for human rights and law, achieve economic growth and to provide basic services and establish democracy.  Towards reconciliation, it had supervised a number of conferences with the participation of diverse tribes, political forces, civil society organizations, intellectuals and army officers.  The provincial support councils, which had emerged from the reconciliation process, were a pioneering exercise in combating terrorism, going beyond the military option.

In the area of security, he said the Government had made great progress in building and training its forces and recruiting 27,500 tribal members to combat Al-Qaida.  Many officers and soldiers from the previous dismantled ministries had also been integrated into various Iraqi ministries.  Due to progress in security, 6,000 displaced families had returned to their homes and great inroads had been made against terrorism and violence.  But, despite that progress, Iraq still needed more time and intensive efforts to enable its armed forces to take over security in all its provinces.

He said the Government welcomed the resolution on the understanding that the functions of recruiting, training and equipping the Iraqi army and security forces were the responsibility of the Iraqi Government.  The multinational force would provide support and backing.  The Iraqi Government would also be responsible for arrest, detention and imprisonment tasks.

Drawing attention to the fact that Iraq was still suffering under the heavy burden of compensating for the Kuwaiti invasion by the Saddam Hussein regime, he said it had paid more than $22 billion and continued to pay.  Iraq, therefore, requested that the Council review its resolutions relating to the deposit of 5 per cent of its oil proceeds into the Compensation Fund.  Such a high percentage created a financial burden for the Iraqi people at a time when they were in dire need of funds to rebuild their country’s infrastructure.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.