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U.N. Welcomes Iraqi Governing Council

U.N. Welcomes Iraqi Governing Council, Establishes Iraq Mission

Negroponte says vote "paves the way for peace, stability, democracy"

By Judy Aita
Washington File United Nations Correspondent

United Nations -- The U.N. Security Council August 14 established a "U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq" and welcomed the establishment of the Governing Council of Iraq.

The council adopted a resolution setting up the mission by a vote of 14 to 0 with Syria abstaining. The resolution was co-sponsored by the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Bulgaria, Guinea, Chile, and Angola.

U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said that the council's support for the Governing Council of Iraq "hastens the day when the people of Iraq are in full command of their own affairs -- a condition they have not known for some three decades."

"This resolution helps pave the way toward the peace, stability, and democracy that the long-afflicted Iraqi people so richly deserve. It also sends a clear signal to those who oppose the political transformation under way in Iraq that they are out of step with world opinion," the ambassador said.

The resolution endorses "the vital role that the United Nations is playing in Iraq," Negroponte told the council.

In its resolution the Security Council welcomed the "establishment of the broadly representative Governing Council of Iraq on 13 July 2003, as an important step towards the formation by the people of Iraq of an internationally recognized, representative government that will exercise the sovereignty of Iraq."

The U.N. assistance mission was established for an initial period of 12 months. In a July report to the Security Council, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan recommended the creation of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq to better enable the United Nations to fulfill its responsibilities under resolution 1483. U.N. activities in Iraq are currently being overseen by the secretary general's personal representative, Sergio Vieira de Mello. Annan has recommended that the assistance mission be made up of about 300 civilian staff to deal with humanitarian, political, human rights, and reconstruction issues.

Three representatives of the 25-member Iraqi council met with the Security Council and U.N. officials at U.N. headquarters in July, asking the international community to support their efforts to rebuild their country and establish democracy.

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