11 August 2006

Acting on Recommendation of Secretary-General, Security Council Extends for One Year United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI)

Iraqi Government Seeks Extended United Nations Presence, Says World Body Vital to Transition from "Tyranny to Democracy"

NEW YORK, 10 August (UN Headquarters) -- Welcoming a request from the new Iraqi Government that the United Nations continue helping the war-torn country build peace and security and restore its shattered physical and economic infrastructure, the Security Council today extended for 12 months the world body's Mission in Iraq.

Adopting resolution 1700 (2006), the Council again unanimously extended the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) through 10 August 2007, reaffirming the United Nations lead role in assisting the Iraqi people and Government in strengthening institutions and promoting national dialogue and unity.

In a 3 August letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan (document S/2006/609), Iraq's Foreign Minister had requested the further extension, saying that his Government was mindful of UNAMI's historic role in Iraq's transition from "tyranny to democracy".  He believed that the Mission had an ongoing vital role to play in helping "build a productive and prosperous Iraq at peace with itself and its neighbours".

The Secretary-General had earlier requested the extension (document S/2006/601), warning the Council that Iraq "continued to face formidable political, security and economic challenges" and still needed the support of the international community.  Insurgent, militia and terrorist attacks had continued unabated in many parts of Iraq, with sectarian violence posing an increasing threat to its people, he added.

The Council's action allows the Mission, whose mandate was set to expire tomorrow, to continue helping Iraq in key areas identified by the Secretary-General, such as drafting a constitution, setting up an elected Government and providing social services and humanitarian assistance.  UNAMI was also helping to rebuild the country, reform its legal and judicial systems, promote human rights and organize a census.

Also according to the resolution, the Iraqi Government could ask the Council to review the Mission's mandate at any time before it expiration in August 2007.

The meeting started at 11:50 a.m. and was adjourned at 11:53 a.m.

Council Resolution

The full text of resolution 1700 (2006) reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Recalling all its previous relevant resolutions on Iraq, in particular 1500 (2003) of 14 August 2003, 1546 (2004) of 8 June 2004, 1557 (2004) of 12 August 2004, and 1619 (2005) of 11 August 2005,

"Reaffirming the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Iraq,

"Recalling the establishment of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on 14 August 2003, the mandate of which was extended most recently on 11 August 2005, and reaffirming that the United Nations should play a leading role in assisting the efforts of the Iraqi people and Government in strengthening institutions for representative government, and in promoting national dialogue and unity,

"Stressing that this Iraqi national dialogue, which UNAMI should assist, is crucial for Iraq's political stability and unity,

"Welcoming the request conveyed in the letter of 3 August 2006 from the Foreign Minister of Iraq to the Secretary-General (S/2006/609), expressing the view of the constitutionally elected Government of Iraq that there continues to be a vital role for UNAMI in assisting Iraqi efforts to build a productive and prosperous nation at peace with itself and its neighbours,

"Taking note of the letter dated 1 August 2006 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2006/601), and expressing its appreciation for the role that the United Nations is playing in Iraq with the support of the international community,

"Welcoming the Secretary-General's agreement, as requested by the Government of Iraq, that the United Nations, as co-chair, will provide strong support for the International Compact of Iraq, launched on 27 July 2006 with a joint statement by the Government of Iraq and the United Nations,

"1. Decides to extend the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for another period of twelve months from the date of this resolution;

"2. Expresses its intention to review the mandate of UNAMI in twelve months or sooner, if requested by the Government of Iraq;

"3. Requests the Secretary-General to update the Council on a regular basis on the latest developments of the International Compact of Iraq;

"4. Decides to remain seized of the matter."

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