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Annan Calls For Broad Burden-Sharing In Iraq

At World Conference, Annan Calls For Broad Burden-Sharing In Iraq

New York, Jun 22 2005 9:00AM

Opening an international conference on Iraq in Brussels today, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged the international community to share more broadly the burden of the reconstruction and stabilization of the war-torn country in a way that has a positive impact on the lives of ordinary Iraqis.

"[Iraqis] look to this conference for a clear sign that the international community will be their determined and dedicated companions on the tough road that they must walk to achieve a stable, peaceful, democratic Iraq," Mr. Annan told the one-day conference co-hosted by the European Union and the United States.

"By our words, and more importantly by our deeds we must reassure them that we will not let them down," he added.

He said that the large and diverse Iraqi delegation had put a comprehensive vision of the future before the conference, and he praised the people of Iraq for their hard-won political progress. Iraq's newly elected authorities now bear the burden of leading their country successfully through the next steps of the transition, he stressed, including the important drafting of a new, inclusive constitution.

"Compromise and reconciliation are the way forward, not hatred and violence," he said. "Iraqis must find it within themselves to reach out to one another and address issues on which they may differ."

In addition to progress in the political realm, faster progress is needed in reconstruction, development and humanitarian assistance, the Secretary-General said. He expressed hope that the conference would enable Iraq's Government to avail itself fully of expertise and resources being offered from both inside and outside Iraq, and that next month's donor meeting in Amman would ensure that the resources would, indeed, be available.

"The United Nations will continue to implement our mandate to the fullest extent possible, and we are delivering," he said, pointing to the UN's role in the successfu
assistance in mediation, constitution-writing, capacity-building and donor coordination.


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