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NZ Welcomes Security Council Resolution on Iraq

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Date 9 June 2004
Media statement
New Zealand Welcomes Security Council Resolution on Iraq

New Zealand welcomes the move towards Iraq fully regaining its sovereignty following a United Nations Security Council resolution passed yesterday, says the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Phil Goff.

“The unanimous passage of UNSCR 1546 marks a positive step towards resolving the situation in Iraq, though it is far from clear that this will end violence which has become endemic there” he said.

The resolution signals the end, from 30 June, of the formal occupation of Iraq by Coalition Forces. It endorses a new Interim Iraqi Government from 1 July to guide the country through to elections by January next year. It mandates a Multinational Force to work with that government and promote security in Iraq during that transition period.

“We acknowledge and applaud the work done by the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and his special adviser, Lakhdar Brahimi. We have argued from the start that the involvement of the international community through the United Nations was necessary as a prerequisite to finding a sustainable solution.

“The new resolution reiterates the need for member states to provide humanitarian assistance and aid in reconstruction and development. But a stable and secure environment will be necessary for those efforts to be possible and to succeed.

“Together with the restoration of peace, security and essential services, a priority will be to assist with the holding of free and fair elections to a fully democratic government” said Mr Goff.

Under the resolution fully democratic elections will be held by 31 January 2005.

Mr Goff said that NZ will continue to work with Iraq on reconstruction and humanitarian needs.

“Through its official development assistance programme, NZ will contribute $3m to Iraq, to be allocated equally to UN efforts in electoral assistance, and to UNHCR for resettlement and improving the livelihoods of returning refugees.

“Iraq has a long way to go before the aspirations of its people towards peace, stability, full representative government, and a return to prosperity, can be achieved. The road ahead will not be easy and we can expect continued acts of violence. Iraq will need substantial assistance from the international community and the UN,“ Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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