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Support must continue during Iraq’s transition


Support must continue during Iraq’s political transition, Security Council told

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With the Security Council poised to act soon on a draft resolution on Iraq, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his Special Adviser Lakhdar Brahimi today urged the international community to continue support for the county, and its new interim government, as it deals with challenges during “a new phase of the political process” – the return of sovereignty on 30 June.

“All of the work that needs to be done now, especially with respect to security, must be focused on the objective of creating the conditions for genuine and credible elections to be held by January 2005,” Mr. Brahimi said in an open briefing to the Council on the political transition process in Iraq.

Speaking at the outset of the session, the Secretary-General said he was confident that, “through the talent of its people and the natural resources it enjoys, Iraq will soon be able to resume its rightful place among the family of nations.”

“I appeal to the Security Council and the international community at-large, Iraq’s neighbours in particular, to respond favourably and generously to the interim government’s request for assistance and support,” he said.

Mr. Annan stressed that security remained the primary obstacle and constraint, and expressed hope that, “through our combined efforts, we can help promote a political process with a credibility that has a positive impact on the overall security environment, and reverses the logic of violence on all sides.”

Adding his voice to the Secretary-General’s, Mr. Brahimi said in order to create the right conditions for elections, as well as to face the enormous challenges before them, the people of Iraq urgently needed the help of the international community.

“Iraq needs the clear and united support of its neighbours. Iraq needs the generosity of its creditors. Iraq needs the patient, strong and sustained support of this body, the Security Council, and that of the United Nations as a whole,” he said.

Mr. Annan also recalled the process of consultation undertaken by Mr. Brahimi and his team on the formation of an interim government, as well as the work of a UN electoral team headed by Carina Perelli to assist Iraq with preparations for elections, and paid tribute to their efforts.

“Their determination to help the people of Iraq is eloquent testimony to the idealism that continues to motivate so many of our staff around the world,” he said.

After hearing from the two speakers, the Council adjourned to hold consultations on the latest draft – the fourth in two weeks – of a resolution submitted by the United Kingdom and the United States on Iraq.

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