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Cablegate: Un - Unami Compound to Be Considered by General

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0692 2142223
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 012223Z AUG 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4734
INFO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0682

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000692

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IZ PGOV PREL UNGA
SUBJECT: UN - UNAMI COMPOUND TO BE CONSIDERED BY GENERAL
ASSEMBLY DURING FALL SESSION

REF: A. RASHKOW-ABRAHAMS EMAILS 07-30-08
B. BAGHDAD 002133
C. STATE 070826
D. BAGHDAD 001425
E. STATE 046440

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - PLEASE HANDLE ACCORDINGLY

1. (U) This is an action request. See paragraph 4.

2. (SBU) As reported REFTELS B-E, despite several
demarches, we have not been successful in obtaining a firm
commitment from the Government of Iraq (GOI) regarding the
size of the contribution they will provide to build the
proposed new UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) UN
integrated compound in Baghdad. The SYG,s revised proposal
(in A/62/828 - preliminary cost estimate of $98.6 million) to
build the compound at a new site, formerly known as the
Al-Sijud Palace, will be considered by the Fifth Committee of
the GA during the main part of the 63rd GA in the Fall.
Mission reiterates its view that there is a high risk that
both the ACABQ and the Fifth Committee will not approve (or
will defer action on) the project without a commitment from
the GOI to fund a significant part of the costs involved - at
least 50 percent.

3. (SBU) As noted in REF A, the Department has been asked
by the French whether the USG could support a proposal that
the GOI should assume full responsibility for constructing
the new compound and in turn lease the facilities to the UN.
As anticipated by the Mission, the UN, at the working level,
has indicated that it does not favor such a proposal because,
in their view, it would significantly delay the project and
risk undermining the security aspects of the project. As we
understand, part of the concern driving the French proposal
was its fear that the UN was not capable of delivering on the
project in a timely manner. Their concern may be assuaged by
the recent UN report on the project referred to above.

4. (SBU) If the timely construction of the UNAMI compound
remains a high priority for the USG, Mission recommends we
consult further with the French stressing the UN's
reservations and ask them to work with us and the UK to
secure GOI agreement to fund a significant part of the
project. Mission also recommends we continue to seek a firm
commitment of the GOI to fund a significant part of the
project, at least 50 percent, as soon as possible, in order
to facilitate GA approval of the project in the Fall.
Wolff

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