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Cablegate: New United Nations Coordination Structure for Iraq

VZCZCXRO3385
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHAM #4953/01 3511129
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171129Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY AMMAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1233
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0632
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0009

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 004953

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA, IO, AND PRM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KUNR JO IZ
SUBJECT: NEW UNITED NATIONS COORDINATION STRUCTURE FOR IRAQ

Sensitive but unclassified. Not for internet distribution.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: During meetings in early December with the
UNHCR Donor Mission, a Baghdad-Amman VTC with donors, and the
recent USAID/OFDA conference in Amman on IDPs, Deputy Special
Representative for the Secretary General (DSRSG) in Iraq
David Shearer presented his main priorities for the United
Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), including the
implementation of a new UN Country Team (UNCT) Iraq
Coordination Structure for humanitarian, reconstruction, and
development sectors. He sees an opportunity to significantly
change programming in Iraq due to Security Council Resolution
1770, significant support from the Secretary General Ban
Ki-Moon, and an overall recognition that humanitarian
programming and coordination currently taking place in Iraq
is dismal. Shearer has six priorities for UNAMI and the UN
Country Team in the coming months, including implementation
of the new UNCT Coordination Structure, increasing the number
of UN senior staff in Baghdad, and bolstering humanitarian
financing for Iraq. END SUMMARY

TRANSFORMATION OF UNCT COORDINATION STRUCTURE IN IRAQ
--------------------------------------------- --------

2. (SBU) David Shearer was appointed DSRSG on August 22 and
also serves as the UN Resident Coordinator and the
Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq. Shearer implemented a new
UNCT coordination structure on December 1, thereby abolishing
the former cluster approach. Shearer stated that he was
appalled at the lack of coordination among actors in Iraq.
Coordination was previously centered around funding, as
opposed to strategic coordination centered on sectoral
responses. The new structure realigns UN goals with the
International Compact for Iraq (ICI), increases coordination
and capacity building with the GOI, and emphasizes increased
senior international UN posts and decision making in Baghdad.

3. (SBU) The new structure is comprised of four policy groups
- essential social services, protection, governance, and
economic development - led by senior UN representatives in
Baghdad. These representatives will be the primary UN
interlocutors on humanitarian, development and reconstruction
issues with the GOI, MNF-I, donors, and other actors based in
Baghdad. The four policy groups will coordinate with the ICI
thematic working groups and work closely with eight sector
outcome teams, including education, water/sanitation,
health/nutrition, and food security, based in Amman. Sector
teams will be led by a UN agency with participation from IOs
and NGOs. NOTE: The former cluster system did not allow for
NGO participation at the same level as IO participation. END
NOTE. Each sector team will be the key coordinating body to
respond to needs for that specific sector. OCHA expects
sector teams to start meeting this week. In addition to the
sector teams, there will also be an information management
support group and an advocacy working group.

4. (SBU) Within the new structure, humanitarian assistance
will be coordinated through the humanitarian working group
(HWG) led by OCHA. This cross-sectoral group will support,
mobilize, and coordinate humanitarian outcome teams across
sectors. The IDP working group, established under the former
structure and chaired by UNHCR, will continue to function
until the HWG is operational. Once the HWG is fully
operational, the IDP working group may merge into the HWG.
IDP issues will fall under both the protection and essential
social services policy groups. There are many details of the
coordination structure that will need to be resolved over the
coming weeks. The UNCT is still discussing which UN agency
will be the chair and deputy chair for each sector team.
UNHCR will participate in leading the protection and housing
sector outcome teams, but it is still not clear which team it
will chair.

SHEARER'S TOP PRIORITIES
------------------------

5. (SBU) Increasing international posts in Iraq: Shearer is
focused on increasing the number of international posts in
Iraq, with a particular emphasis on moving senior level posts
in each humanitarian sector to Baghdad. The UN has now
officially opened an office in Irbil. Shearer plans to
establish a UN presence at the air base in Basra by the end
of January, and hopes to officially open an office in Basra
contingent on security considerations. The UN is also
looking into whether they have established more stringent
requirements in Iraq than in other countries of operation.

6. (SBU) Strengthening information management: Shearer stated

AMMAN 00004953 002 OF 002


that the UN in Iraq has been particularly bad at information
management, and that he has made improving information
management one of his top priorities. The UN currently
operates 19 different databases about operations in Iraq, and
only five of these databases are cross-linked. The UN has
little access to comprehensive, analyzed data. In addition,
organizations operating inside Iraq have little information
about the activities of other actors. Through the new
coordination structure, OCHA will take the lead role in
trying to improve information management over the coming
year.

7. (SBU) Increasing coordination with GOI: Through the new
coordination structure and increasing the number of
international posts, UNAMI plans to increase coordination
with the GOI. The UNCT hopes to rely more heavily on the
implementation of GOI ministries, while operating programs to
fill in gaps. Shearer pointed to the Joint GOI-UN Rapid
Response Plan for Assistance to Iraqi Returnees and WFP's
work with the GOI on expanding the public distribution system
as examples of recent UN-GOI coordination.

8. (SBU) Bolstering Humanitarian Financing inside Iraq: The
UNCT is currently engaged in a Consolidated Appeal Process
(CAP) to be launched at the January. The CAP is focused on
providing protection and essential social services to
vulnerable Iraqis. Shearer hopes the CAP will increase
coordination and present a targeted approach to UN operations
in Iraq. Shearer is also pushing donors to increase support
for the Emergency Trust Fund (ERF) and the micro-grant
program managed by OCHA. These programs can provide
immediate funding for NGOs to address emergency needs.

9. (SBU) Defining Military/Humanitarian Involvement and
Coordination: UNAMI will be the primary UN interlocutor with
MNF-I, and will discuss issues related to protocols, common
priorities, and information exchange. Shearer hopes to work
closer with MNF-I to develop a better understanding of one
another's activities and priorities in Iraq.

10. (U) This message was coordinated with Embassy Baghdad.

Visit Amman's Classified Website at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/amman
Hale

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