Press Releases

    15 December 2005

    On Eve National Elections, Secretary-General Urges All Iraqis to Vote as "First Step" towards Building Stable, United, Prosperous Country

    NEW YORK, 14 December (UN Headquarters) -- Following is UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's statement to the Iraqi people on the eve of national elections, issued today at Headquarters:

    Tomorrow, you, the people of Iraq, will have a further historic opportunity to shape your political future and choose your own leaders by democratic means.  Your vote will mark the beginning of a new chapter in Iraq's history.

    I, therefore, encourage all of you to turn out and exercise your democratic right to vote as a first step towards building together a stable, united and prosperous Iraq.  This is your chance to let your voice be heard as a force for peace and national reconciliation.  I appeal to all to refrain from violence or any other action which might undermine the democratic process.

    Ultimately, only you as a people can move Iraq forward.  I am pleased that the United Nations was able to support you at every step of this process, including through our assistance throughout the year to the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq.  Irrespective of the outcome of the election, the United Nations will continue to do all it can to help all Iraqis succeed in building a new Iraq.

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