World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Iraqis Seek Greater UN Role In Transition


Nearly All Iraqis Seek Greater UN Role In Political Transition, Security Council Told

Virtually all sectors of Iraqi society want the United Nations to play a larger role as the country moves forward in its political transition to writing a new constitution and holding fresh elections, the Security Council was told today. But improved security is vital for any such expansion.

“Almost without exception, Iraqi interlocutors want the UN to assume greater responsibilities and a greater visibility in Iraq,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative Ashraf Qazi told the 15-member body.

“The new transitional institutions in Iraq will need continued and active support from the United Nations, the region and the international community at large,” he said, presenting Mr. Annan’s latest report on the country in an open briefing.

“We will be assessing the scope for increased humanitarian and development initiatives, consistent as always with the security of UN staff,” he added, voicing the hope that the arrival of new guard units for UN personnel will encourage other countries to support the expansion of UN activities “by practical as well as moral support.”

As he has nearly every day since the 30 January elections, from which Sunni Arabs largely absented themselves, Mr. Qazi stressed the imperative for all sectors to take part in the transition, especially the task of writing a new constitution that falls to the newly elected National Assembly in which Sunni Arabs now have little representation.

But he noted that all major parties, including those who stayed away from the voting booths, have already engaged in intensive talks on the transition. “I hope that Iraqis will build upon this positive momentum as they move on. It is important that no community should feel alienated from the political process,” he declared.

Shiite Arabs, who voted enthusiastically, represent about 60 per cent of the population, while mainly Sunni Kurds, who also turned out en masse, and Sunni Arabs, the dominant political force in the regime of ousted Saddam Hussein, represent about 20 per cent each.

“Members of the international community can critically support Iraq’s transition process by stepping up their reconstruction and development assistance both through the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq and bilaterally,” Mr. Qazi said, reiterating UN readiness to help in writing the constitution, if requested, and to coordinate international aid.

“The road ahead presents both great opportunities and serious challenges,” he added, stressing the need to eschew sectarian agendas or imposing majoritarian views.

On security, he noted that despite an apparent reduction in the number of violent incidents, the tactics and lethality of the insurgency continued to evolve and a credible political process offered the best prospect for improvement.

“The better and the faster Iraqi security forces can be trained, the sooner they will be able to assume their responsibilities and take charge of the country’s security,” he said.

In his report, released last month, Mr. Annan also stressed the vital need for all sectors to be brought into the next stages of the transition, including the writing of a new constitution.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC