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SG Asks Council to Extend UN Iraq Mission One Year

Secretary-General Asks Council to Extend UN Iraq Mission for One Year

New York, Aug 4 2006 4:00PM

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recommended that the Security Council extend the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for another year to help the country in the face of formidable political, security and economic challenges.

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), with a current mandate set to expire on 11 August, has grown in size and expanded its activities beyond Baghdad as much as the security situation permits, according to a letter the Secretary-General sent to the Council president. A total of 396 international civilian and military personnel are currently in the country.

The Secretary-General cautions that in the light of security concerns, all UN activities in Iraq for the foreseeable future will be carried out only “as circumstances permit.”

The letter highlights the vital role the mission has played in facilitating the country’s political transition in the past year, particularly with regard to the holding of two national elections and the adoption of a new Constitution.

“Despite meeting these benchmarks, Iraq continues to face formidable political, security and economic challenges,” Mr. Annan writes. “Over the past 12 months, the security and human rights situation has remained a matter of serious concern.”

He notes that insurgent, militia and terrorist attacks continued unabated in many parts of the country and that sectarian violence poses an increasing threat to the population.

“While the Government of Iraq has the primary responsibility for addressing these challenges, it will need the continued support of the international community to succeed,” he says.

The UN would provide strong support for the International Compact for Iraq, a new partnership aimed at consolidating peace and promoting political, economic and social development, the letter says.

UNAMI was also prepared to strengthen its activities in reconstruction and development, particularly in capacity building and donor coordination, as well as provide further constitutional and electoral assistance, he notes.

“The continued close cooperation with the Government of Iraq and the continued active support of the Security Council and the international community will be essential for enabling UNAMI to fully implement its mandated tasks,” Mr. Annan stresses.

Set up by the Security Council in August, 2003, UNAMI is headed by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Ashraf Qazi, who formerly served as a career diplomat for his native Pakistan.


ENDS

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