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NZ hopes resolution clears way for UN role in Iraq

NZ hopes resolution will clear way for UN role in Iraq

New Zealand is hoping a draft resolution due to go before the United Nations Security Council will create a vital role for the UN in post-war Iraq, Foreign Minister Phil Goff said today.

"A draft omnibus resolution is likely to go before the Security Council possibly as early as tomorrow, New Zealand time," Mr Goff said.

"Our hope and our expectation is that this resolution will establish a vital role for the United Nations in providing humanitarian relief; helping in the reconstruction of Iraq, and in the promotion of an Iraqi body which will exercise authority pending the election of a democratic government.

"The role of a UN Special Representative would be an integral part of this. We believe the early appointment of such a representative, as proven in Afghanistan and elsewhere, is an important and necessary move.

"Such a resolution, accompanied no doubt by a call for the international community as a whole to assist in the rebuilding process, would clear the way for New Zealand and a wide range of other countries to make further contributions across areas such as humanitarian assistance and reconstruction.

"Relief aid, reconstruction and the political process in Iraq represent an enormous challenge which will last well into the future.

"The United Nations needs to be involved in this process, a view held strongly not only by New Zealand, but also Australia and the United Kingdom. The UN has capabilities and experience to play a key role in meeting Iraq’s needs. It also has the ability to lend international legitimacy to developments in Iraq.

"New Zealand has clearly signalled its willingness to assist the rebuilding process. We have already provided the Red Cross and various UN aid agencies with $4.3 million in aid, as well as the commitment of up to 15 experts to assist the UN de-mining organisation UNMAS," Mr Goff said.

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