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UN Envoy In Iraq Expresses Hope For 2010 Polls

UN Envoy In Iraq Expresses Hope For 2010 Polls

New York, Dec 31 2009 4:10PM Looking ahead to 2010, the top United Nations envoy to Iraq expressed hope today for a united Iraqi Government following the elections scheduled for early next year, reaffirming the world body’s support for the country’s governance strategies.

In a news release issued by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ad Melkert said that huge inequalities and needs in some parts of the country remain a source of instability, with economic and social progress hinging on the country’s political conditions.

In this context, he expressed hope that the campaign for the nationwide elections slated for March will contribute to a “free and fair election, which will allow candidates to compete for ideas and positions.”

Mr. Melkert noted that UNAMI had played a significant role in bringing together various political actors and can achieve more in the future.

“My hope is that in the post election period, the formation of a new government will enable consensus building around major issues that would define stability for the future and thus strong determination for economic and social programmes,” he said.

The Special Representative also warned that actors outside Iraq often have expectations surrounding the UN mission and the pace at which progress is made which are not inherently consistent or compatible with events unfolding on the ground.

“My role should also include interacting with all partners whether they are the international community or the neighboring countries to provide a reality check on expectations and timeframes in which progress could be accomplished with the support of the UN and others,” Mr. Melkert said. “This would set realistic expectations while simultaneously respecting Iraq’s priorities, choices and impressive history.”

ENDS

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