16 June 2006

Security Council Press Statement on Review of Multinational Force, Development Fund for Iraq Mandates

NEW YORK, 15 June (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement to the press was delivered today by Security Council president Ellen Margrethe Løj (Denmark):

As required under resolution 1637, members of the Security Council discussed on 15 June the mandate of the Multinational Force (MNF) in Iraq, and certain arrangements for the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) and the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB).

The members of the Security Council received a briefing from Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and an update on MNF activities from United States Ambassador John Bolton.  The members of the Council further noted Foreign Minister Zebari's letter of 9 June 2006 (document S/2006/377).  As requested by Iraq's constitutionally elected Government in that letter, the members of the Council agreed upon the continuation of the mandate of the MNF and of the arrangements for the DFI and IAMB, in accordance with resolution 1637.

The members of the Security Council welcomed the recent appointment of Iraqi Ministers of Defence, Interior and National Security Affairs, completing the formation of Iraq's constitutionally elected Government.  They also welcomed the progress made in recruiting, training and equipping Iraqi security forces and their increasing responsibilities on the ground.  Members of the Security Council continued to look forward to the day Iraqi forces assume full responsibility for the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq, thus allowing the completion of the MNF mandate.  They also reiterated the importance for all forces promoting the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq to act in accordance with international law, including obligations under international humanitarian law.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their resolute condemnation of terrorism in Iraq, including recent horrific attacks on civilians and religious sites aimed callously at provoking intercommunal tensions and those against foreign diplomats.  They again urged all Iraqis to participate peacefully in the political process and demanded that those who use violence lay down their arms.  They reiterated their encouragement to the new Government to work tirelessly to promote national reconciliation and an atmosphere in which sectarianism is rejected.

More broadly, the members of the Security Council also received a briefing from Assistant Secretary-General Angela Kane on the activities of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq.  They commended the work of the UN in Iraq led by Special Representative Ashraf Qazi and underlined the importance of continued and enhanced international support to Iraq's sovereign Government at this crucial time.  They urged all States, including Iraq's neighbours, to examine how they might reinforce their support in coming months.  In this regard, they looked forward to the continued efforts of the League of Arab States, including the forthcoming conference in Baghdad, in support of the political process the Council has endorsed.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Iraq.  The members of the Security Council also reaffirmed their support for a federal, democratic, pluralist and unified Iraq in which there is stability, prosperity and full respect for human rights and the rule of law.

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