Cablegate: Unami Donor Briefing Previews "Exile" Arrangements

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

091813Z Dec 03





E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) Summary and Comment: At a December 9 donor
briefing, UNAMI Officer-in-Charge Kevin Kennedy previewed
UNSYG Annan's plans to name a new Special Representative for
Iraq "within a few weeks" and divide UNAMI operations between
Cyprus and Amman, with senior policy officials in Cyprus and
UNAMI program officers and operational UN agencies in Amman.
UNAMI's top priority is security, focused on enhancing
security of UN installations and planning for the eventual
re-entry of UN international staff in Iraq. UNAMI also is
engaged in an Amman-based strategic planning exercise to
identify reconstruction priorities for 2004. Kennedy
clarified that UNAMI could focus only on reconstruction as it
has not received instructions from the Security Council to
explore the political roles outlined in relevant UNSCRs.
UNAMI announced that the International Reconstruction Fund
Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) also will establish operations in
Amman, making all programming decisions here until it can
deploy international staff to Iraq. IRFFI acknowledged that
it will not be able to implement projects without an
international staff presence in Iraq. These monthly UNAMI
briefings will serve as a key exchange about UN programs in
Iraq and it may be useful to arrange participation by CPA or
Iraqi Ministry officials to ensure that Iraqi and coalition
views are adequately represented. End summary and comment.

2. (U) The UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) held its
first-ever donor briefing on December 9 in Amman. UNAMI
plans to hold monthly donor briefings in Amman until the
mission is able to establish operations in Iraq and pledged
to continue the Amman briefings even if a significant part of
the mission is relocated to Cyprus. Future briefings will
include updates from UNSECOORD and UNHAS and will also focus
on sector-specific needs.

3. (SBU) UNAMI Officer-in-Charge Kevin Kennedy reported that
UNSYG Annan will issue a report to the Security Council
"soon, possibly as early as today," (December 9) outlining
UNAMI's mission and temporary location until operations can
be established in Iraq. Kennedy also expects UNSYG Annan to
name a new Special Representative for Iraq ad interim "within
a few weeks." Emphasizing that he could not preview the
SYG's report, Kennedy said that UNAMI would likely divide its
operations between Larnaca and Amman, with the Special
Representative and top policy advisers based in Larnaca,
while UNAMI program officers and other UN operational
agencies would remain in Amman. Kennedy added that some
operational agencies, such as WFP, may also redeploy staff to
Cairo, Dubai or Rome. Acknowledging security concerns about
the large number of UN international staff currently in
Jordan (now at more than 300, as opposed to the usual 100),
Kennedy said the UN Iraq mission deployment would seek to
prevent a "massive" presence anywhere in the region.

4. (SBU) Kennedy identified security as UNAMI's top
priority. Current activities are focused on enhancing
security at UN facilities in Iraq to ensure the safety of
Iraqi national staff and plan for the eventual return of UN
international staff to Iraq. UNSECOORD Officer Alan Brimelow
reported that UNSECOORD is assembling a team of 19 security
officers who will be located throughout Iraq, working both
individual UN agencies and providing protective details to
certain senior UN officials. UNSECOORD also is developing
the plans required for a staged re-entry to Iraq, identifying
indicators and the assessments required to resume operations
in Iraq. Until security conditions in Iraq improve, Brimelow
concluded, the UN will only be able to implement emergency
humanitarian relief operations.

5. (SBU) Following the UN's November policy meetings in
Cyprus, UNAMI is now engaged in an Amman-based strategic
planning exercise. UN Development Group Strategic Planning
Advisor Michael Dalton reported that UNAMI will use data
collected during the UN needs assessment (conducted in Iraq
from June until August 2003) to determine the UN's
reconstruction priorities for calendar year 2004. UNAMI
hopes to complete the first draft in early January, with a
final draft ready for consultations with donors in late
January. The priorities identified in the strategic planning
exercise will form the core of programs implemented under the
International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI).
In response to a donor question, Kennedy clarified that the
strategic plan -- and more broadly, UNAMI's overall mission
-- could focus only on reconstruction programs as "current
circumstances" do not permit UNAMI to explore the political
role outlined in the relevant UN Security Council
Resolutions. Neither CPA nor the Iraqi Governing Council
have asked the UN to take over any political functions,
including the constitutional or legal drafting process.
Nevertheless, UNAMI will "try to be ready" in the event
instructions regarding political activities are issued by the
Security Council.

6. (SBU) IRFFI also plans to establish operations in Amman
until it can deploy international staff in Baghdad. (UNDG
Facilitation Officer Mireia Villar-Forner noted that terms of
reference for the Fund will be presented at a Liaison Group
meeting on December 11.) Although the core governance
structure and all accounting and treasury functions will be
based in New York, all programming policy decisions (e.g.,
where and how funds will be used) and donor coordination
meetings will take place in Amman. UNAMI added that the UN
Iraq country team would coordinate all programming decisions
with the relevant Iraqi authorities to ensure that they are
in line with overall Iraqi national reconstruction and
development plans, but acknowledged that the exact structure
and level of IRFFI consultations with Iraqi authorities were
still "a little vague." When pressed by the Japanese, IRFFI
also acknowledged that it currently had no ability to
implement projects funded by IRFFI. Without international UN
staff in Iraq to oversee the Fund, IRFFI "is not a position
to have large amounts (of funds) disbursed" and is instead
working to establish mechanisms for future disbursements.
Villar-Forner added that IRFFI therefore expects donors to
employ other funding options, including bilateral
contributions to other agencies. Until IRFFI is able to
implement projects, the fund facility will exist primarily to
"maximize coordination."

7. (SBU) Comment: These monthly UNAMI briefings will
undoubtedly serve as a key point for exchanging information
about UN programs and priorities in Iraq. While Embassy
Amman is able to report on these meetings, we do not have the
in-house capacity to comment in the course of the briefings
on sector-specific programs or priorities in Iraq. It may
therefore be useful to arrange participation from CPA or
Iraqi Ministry officials on an as-needed basis, to ensure
that the Iraqi authorities' concerns and reconstruction
priorities are adequately represented.

8. (U) CPA Baghdad minimize considered.

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