Press Releases

    4 October 2004

    Security Council Welcomes Secretary-General’s Proposal for UN Security in Iraq, Urges Member States to Contribute Forces

    NEW YORK, 1 October (UN Headquarters) -- In order to be able to expand United Nations’ staffing and activities in Iraq, the Security Council today welcomed the Secretary-General’s proposed arrangements for an integrated United Nations security structure for its Mission there (UNAMI), and urged Member States to respond positively with contributions.

    By agreeing to a reply to the Secretary-General’s letter of 21 September (S/2004/764), the Council welcomed the proposal for the new security structure, whose deployment would be subjected to ongoing assessments of the overall security situation in Iraq over the coming months and the related deployment of substantive staff.  The Council’s response will be issued as document S/2004/765.

    The safety of United Nations personnel and premises has been a key question surrounding the return of the United Nations to Iraq ever since two bomb attacks against the Organization’s offices in Baghdad last year led to the eventual withdrawal of all international staff.

    The security structure, which would be in addition to the protection provided by the multinational force, would undertake the following tasks:  carry out access control and patrols within Mission facilities; provide personal security details for personnel both within United Nations premises and on the move; conduct training and coordinate security arrangements between the Mission and other United Nations organizations, as well as with the multinational force under unified command authorized by the Security Council.

    Also according to the Secretary-General’s proposal, the security structure would consist of four elements, namely:  international security staff; protection coordination officers; personal security details; and guard units.

    With regard to the latter, there would be a need for three formed guard units, each consisting of up to 160 armed civilian police, paramilitary or military personnel, to be provided as contingents from Member States.  Those units would form part of UNAMI and would be responsible for controlling access to and conducting patrols within UNAMI premises.

    Following the Council’s confirmation of the acceptability of that arrangement, the Secretary-General, in his letter, expressed that he would then hope to proceed to generate the guard units and, subject to the overall security situation and the necessary logistical, financial and related arrangements, deploy them along with the other elements of the integrated security structure.

    The meeting began at 3:40 p.m. and adjourned 3:45 p.m.

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