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UN Iraq resolution a positive step

UN Iraq resolution a positive step

United Nations Security Council approval of a new resolution on Iraq is an important step towards greater international involvement in reconstruction efforts there, Foreign Minister Phil Goff said today.

“The resolution welcomes the establishment of the broadly representative Governing Council of Iraq as an important step towards the formation of an internationally recognised and representative government in Iraq,” Mr Goff said.

“The resolution also establishes the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq to support the Secretary General’s mandate (under resolution 1483) that the UN should play a vital role in humanitarian relief, reconstruction, and the restoration of national and local representative government in Iraq.

“New Zealand supports the establishment of the Governing Council of Iraq and welcomes the passage of this new resolution. It provides a sound basis for the engagement of the international community in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq.

“The resolution reinforces the importance of the international community and the UN working alongside the coalition to ensure the success of reconstruction efforts in Iraq,” Mr Goff said.

“The government announced this week that an engineering detachment of 61 NZDF personnel would be deployed to Iraq in late September, to work alongside British forces engaged in humanitarian and reconstruction tasks in south-east Iraq.

“A further 15 NZDF personnel have been offered to assist with United Nations with de-mining operations.

“New Zealand has contributed $4.3 million to UN agencies and the Red Cross for humanitarian relief work, and $1 million has been committed to help rehabilitate the Iraqi Agriculture Ministry building in Baghdad. Short-term training programmes have also been offered to Iraqi agriculture officials.

“The government is also willing to consider contributing to other civilian tasks that might arise during the period of reconstruction and the subsequent establishment of the Iraqi interim government,” Mr Goff said.

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