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NZ welcomes new Security Cl resolution on Iraq

NZ welcomes new Security Cl resolution on Iraq

New Zealand welcomes the UN Security Council's new resolution – Resolution 1511 - on Iraq, Acting Foreign Minister Marian Hobbs said today. The resolution makes it clear that the needs of the Iraqi people are to come first. The importance of United Nations involvement in Iraq is clearly flagged.

"It is excellent news that the Security Council has come together and sent a unified message," Marian Hobbs said. "The Council has stressed that for now the sovereignty of Iraq resides temporarily with the Iraqi Governing Council. This is to be the case until a government is put in place after elections. The Governing Council is to set a timetable by mid-December for the drafting of a constitution and the holding of elections.

"Resolution 1511 usefully builds on the UN mandate adopted in May by the Security Council. It authorises a multinational force to take all necessary measures to achieve security and stability in Iraq."

Marian Hobbs said the NZ Defence Force engineering detachment, sent to Iraq to assist with reconstruction, had arrived in Iraq at the end of September and established its base of operations. It was already hard at work.

"They have a long list of priority projects to work on. We're confident that New Zealanders will be proud of what the NZDF engineers can achieve," Marian Hobbs said.

It is expected that passage of the new resolution will unlock much needed funding for Iraq from the IMF and World Bank. The resolution also calls on UN member states to make substantial pledges of assistance at next week's International Donors Conference in Madrid.

"New Zealand will be represented at the Madrid Conference," Marian Hobbs said. "We have already provided $4.3 million for emergency humanitarian relief efforts in Iraq, committed a further $1 million for rehabilitation of the Agriculture Ministry in Baghdad, and offered further capacity building assistance in the agriculture sector. In Madrid we will be announcing $5 million to support the reconstruction and humanitarian activities of the NZDF engineers, and a further $500,000 to support New Zealand NGOs working with partners on the ground in Iraq."

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