|Date||10 August 2007|
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The situation concerning Iraq
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Wang Guangya
|Mr. Soler Torrijos
|Sir Emyr Jones Parry
Adoption of the agenda
The situation concerning Iraq
I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter from the representative of Iraq, in which he requests to be invited to participate in the consideration of the item on the Council's agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite that representative to participate in the consideration of the item, without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
Members of the Council have before them document S/2007/482, which contains the text of a draft resolution submitted by Italy, Panama, Slovakia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America. I also wish to draw the attention of the members to document S/2007/481, which contains the text of a letter dated 9 August 2007 from the representative of Iraq addressed to the Secretary-General, transmitting a letter from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq.
I welcome the participation of the Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, at this morning's meeting.
As this is the last time that Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry will participate in a Council meeting in his capacity as Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, I wish to take this opportunity to express to him, on behalf of the members of the Council, our appreciation of him, both as a colleague and as a friend. Ambassador Jones Parry has represented the United Kingdom at United Nations Headquarters since July 2003, a period during which the Security Council has taken many important decisions. He will be remembered as a very active ambassador who successfully led several missions to various parts of Africa and also led many rounds of negotiations on difficult and delicate draft resolutions. The most recent such resolutions are 1769 (2007), which authorized the establishment of the African Union/United Nations hybrid operation in Darfur, and the draft resolution on which we are going to take action this morning.
In bidding Ambassador Jones Parry a warm farewell, the other members of the Council and I wish him every success in his new undertakings.
It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it. Unless I hear any objection, I shall now put the draft resolution to the vote.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
favour=15 against=0 abstain=0 absent=0
Belgium, China, Congo, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States
There were 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 1770 (2007).
I shall now give the floor to the Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
I am pleased to take part in this important meeting of the Security Council this morning on the situation concerning Iraq. I welcome the Council's decision today to renew and strengthen the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1770 (2007).
The United Nations is deeply committed to helping the people of Iraq, and I am pleased to have the opportunity now to enhance, where possible, our contributions in crucial areas such as national reconciliation, regional dialogue, humanitarian assistance and human rights.
A peaceful and prosperous future is for Iraqis themselves to create, with the international community lending support to their efforts.
The United Nations looks forward to working in close partnership with the leaders and people of Iraq to explore how we can further our assistance under the terms of this resolution. I take this opportunity to express my profound appreciation and respect to the people and Government of Iraq for their courageous efforts to make their country more stable, democratic and prosperous.
As we remember our colleagues who died in Baghdad four years ago, I also take this opportunity to pay tribute to the brave men and women who continue to serve the United Nations in Iraq. As we move forward, their safety and security will remain a paramount concern.
I thank the Secretary-General for his statement.
I now give the floor to those members of the Council who wish to make statements following the vote.
I wish to extend a warm welcome to the Secretary-General and thank him for his statement.
I would like to begin by expressing my deep gratitude and sincere thanks to Ambassador Jones Parry for our work together in the Security Council. He will be missed. I would also like to warmly welcome Ambassador Ripert. I look forward to working with him and the rest of the French Mission on the many issues before the Council.
Today's adoption of the resolution renewing the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq marks an important new phase in the role of the United Nations in Iraq. It expands United Nations involvement in three ways.
First, it will provide increased assistance to the Iraqi people and their Government on domestic reconciliation that leads to a national compact. Clearly, domestic reconciliation is the responsibility of the Iraqi people and Government, but the United Nations can lend specific expertise to help this process.
Secondly, the United Nations can also help promote regional understanding that supports Iraqi reconciliation. This updated mandate marks another important step along the road to increased support for Iraq from the region and the international community. This process is already underway with meetings in Baghdad, Sharm el-Sheikh and elsewhere.
Thirdly, as the Secretary-General said, the United Nations will help marshal resources to assist those Iraqis affected by the humanitarian crisis. In fulfilling the tasks set out in this resolution, United Nations staff members in Iraq are making, have made and will make a vital contribution to Iraq's future stability, and we deeply appreciate their sacrifices and their dedicated and selfless work. The United States, as part of the multinational forces in Iraq, will do its part to ensure that the United Nations security and resource needs are met so that the United Nations expertise can be fully deployed to help address the challenges in Iraq.
We are indeed grateful for the expanding United Nations role in helping the Iraqi people shape their future. However, let me be clear. The United States will continue to shoulder all of its responsibilities to assist Iraq's Government and people. We are fully dedicated to success in Iraq, and our commitments to Iraq, to the region, to the United Nations and to the rest of the international community remain.
The United States looks forward to standing side by side with the Iraqi people for a stable, secure Iraq at peace with itself and its neighbours, and we intend to continue our considerable efforts to help build that new Iraq and to help the Iraqis overcome the challenges of sectarianism and terrorism.
Without a doubt, we in the international community have had our differences with regard to Iraq. Despite those differences, I believe that we all share the same vision for Iraq's future. That is clearly the case today. Today's forward-looking resolution, adopted unanimously by the Security Council, is an important signal that the page has turned. The resolution underscores the widespread belief that what happens in Iraq has strategic implications not only for the region, but for the entire world. I thank my fellow members of the Security Council for their commitment to the people of Iraq and to the United Nations important role.
We hope that today's resolution will be a springboard to greater international support for Iraq's Government and people. The United States stands ready to work with other countries in the region and elsewhere to support the Iraqi Government and people as they build a democratic, prosperous and stable society.
I welcome the unanimous vote to adopt resolution 1770 (2007) and the statement made by the Secretary-General.
Success in Iraq will depend on a collective effort by the entire international community. It will be Iraqi-led, with our support, primarily through the International Compact with Iraq. We heard a candid and comprehensive assessment of progress on the Compact from Deputy Prime Minister Saleh on 20 July. The United Kingdom, for its part, will continue to stand by Iraq as its close friend and, as the United Kingdom Prime Minister actually termed it in the United Nations last week, we will continue to discharge fully our responsibilities.
Within that context, the United Nations has played a significant and valuable role, offering consistent support to Iraq's transition since the fall of the former regime in 2003. In its work, it has gone through dark and difficult times, notably the horrific attack on the Canal Hotel in August 2003, which resulted in the loss of Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 United Nations personnel. As we approach the fourth anniversary of that tragic event, we offer once more our condolences to the families of those dedicated officers and express our gratitude to the United Nations for its steadfast commitment to its mission in Iraq and to all those others who work in the field, day in, day out, for the United Nations.
The original role of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq was described in resolution 1546 (2004). The Mission has made progress on much of it, supporting the Iraqi Government and people, but it is clear that, while some tasks set out in that mandate remain necessary, others have been completed. And there are still other tasks that the United Nations should be doing but which are not in fact provided for. Of those new tasks now set out in today's resolution, the United Kingdom would highlight a supporting role for the United Nations in furthering reconciliation and dialogue and, in due course, reintegration programmes; in helping Iraqis tackle the remaining challenges which come under the rubric of the constitutional review and the implementation of constitutional provisions; and in facilitating dialogue between Iraq, its neighbours and States in the region.
In addition to those political roles, there are humanitarian challenges with which the United Nations can assist both inside and outside Iraq. The United Nations will continue to have a significant role in assisting the process of economic reform, capacity-building, reconstruction and service delivery, and in helping to coordinate the donor effort. It will also play its part in promoting the protection of human rights and in helping to take forward judicial and legal reform.
The United Kingdom fully understands and shares the sense of importance that the United Nations attaches to the security of its personnel within Iraq. It respects the duty of care to deployed personnel, and therefore supports the Secretary-General's plans to build an integrated secure facility within Baghdad from which the United Nations can deliver on its commitments on a long-term basis. We also hope that the United Nations will soon be able to redeploy a contingent to Basra, where its expertise would be helpful in delivering capacity-building in Iraq's South-East.
In all its tasks, it is vital that the United Nations role be coherent and coordinated both internally and with others' efforts. I emphasize once more that a democratic and stable Iraq at peace with itself and with its neighbours can be delivered only through a collective effort by all, and the burden of delivering that must be a shared one.
May I thank you personally, Sir, for the kind words which you addressed to me on this, my last appearance in the Chamber. With your permission, I should like to say a few words to the Council.
It has been an honour and a privilege for me to represent the United Kingdom for more than four years in the United Nations in order to defend the positions of my Government and to put forward the thinking of the United Kingdom. It has been a rewarding task. Under the Charter, this Council has the specific responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. That encompasses crises, internal and regional conflicts, the scourge of terrorism, the protection of civilians, tackling the risks posed by proliferation, and so on. There are countless tasks.
The Council cannot and does not shirk its responsibilities, even though those tasks are difficult. For the United Kingdom's part, we seek to apply ourselves assiduously, working for the best solutions and outcomes. Consensus among all Council members is a very desirable outcome. It can only strengthen the impact of our decisions, but -- and I say this also to the Secretary-General -- adopting resolutions and statements is not enough. We must always work for implementation on the ground and for a real impact on people's lives to deliver security and peace, but remembering, too, that that requires parallel progress on the political and the economic tracks.
Cooperation among colleagues and between States is crucial, as are good relations between the Council and the other organs of the United Nations. So may I thank my colleagues and their missions for their cooperation and their friendship over these years. I should also like to thank the Council's secretariat, which supports us in our work, including the unseen translators and interpreters for all they do, and more generally the Secretary-General and the Secretariat for the work that they do, day in, day out, and particularly outside New York.
Lastly, I break with custom, but my particular thanks go to my team in the United Kingdom mission for all their support and their endeavours.
The Russian Federation supported resolution 1770 (2007), adopted today, on the extension of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the expansion of the scope of its activities. Over the past few years, Russia has been in favour of the maximum possible involvement of the United Nations in the process of the settlement of the Iraq issue, actively using its independent mediating potential to overcome the profound military and political crisis in Iraq and advance the political process there. The draft resolution adopted today reflects to a great extent our concept of the role of the United Nations in Iraqi affairs.
We expect the United Nations Mission to deal more broadly now with the political and socio-economic problems of Iraq and to help the Iraqi political factions to complete the tasks of achieving national reconciliation and agreement, preserving the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the State. We hope that UNAMI, as it is assigned new prerogatives, will become a tangible element in regional diplomacy, creating an atmosphere favouring the normalization of the situation in Iraq.
Of course, increasing the potential of the United Nations in Iraq must be ensured through appropriate security measures. UNAMI must be assisted in this by the Multinational Force and the Iraqi, the army and police.
UNAMI will be able to successfully complete the task before it only if the Iraqi Government is in a position to work on establishing peace in the country and returning it to the road to stability and development.
Greater participation by the international community is also necessary for the resolution of the Iraqi crisis. Initial steps in this direction were taken in the Sharm el-Sheikh conference and the work just started in the regional working group. We feel that the well-known Russian proposal on carrying out a broad-scale and comprehensive international meeting on Iraqi issues fully meets the requirements of an accelerated settlement to the Iraqi problem.
The Chinese delegation supports and welcomes Security Council resolution 1770 (2007). It is a very important resolution, for both Iraq and the United Nations. Over the past four years, the Security Council has been holding regular reviews of the Iraqi settlement in the hope of playing its due role in pushing through a resolution to the situation in that hot spot. At this time, significant progress has been achieved in the political process.
However, in other areas, especially in the security sector, grave challenges remain. The international community is gravely concerned with the situation. Achieving stability and tranquillity as soon as possible is central to the Iraqi settlement. It is also the common aspiration of the Iraqi people and has a bearing on the peace and stability of the Middle East as a whole.
China has always believed that the key to the ultimate and proper solution to the Iraqi issue lies in achieving an Iraq governed by Iraqis. Of course, this cannot be achieved without the earnest assistance of the countries in the region and the international community.
By adopting resolution 1770 (2007), the Council has entrusted the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) with new responsibilities, including providing assistance to Iraq for conducting the process of national reconciliation, encouraging regional dialogue, coordinating economic reconstruction and intensifying humanitarian assistance. History has shown that the United Nations has a comparative advantage and abundant experience in those areas, and the United Nations should have a lot to do. We should not fail to recognize that UNAMI playing a role in the country is a gradual process, and that this process also depends on myriad other factors.
We hope that the Iraqi Government and the Multinational Force will provide the United Nations with the necessary security guarantees so as to enable UNAMI to accomplish its mission as mandated by the Council. We also hope that the parties concerned will actively support the United Nations in its efforts and create the necessary conditions for the United Nations to play a role.
The Chinese Government and people have always closely followed the situation in Iraq. We have maintained that Iraqi sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be preserved and have always encouraged the Iraqi people to put their long-term national interests in perspective, strengthen their unity and overcome the difficulties they face in their national reconstruction process. China will continue to support Iraq in its reconstruction process, and we hope this war-affected country will embark on the road of peace, stability and development as soon as possible.
I now give the floor to the representative of France, Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert. On behalf of the Council, I would like to warmly welcome Ambassador Ripert, who is joining us today as the new Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations. The other members of the Council and I look forward to working closely with him.
Thank you, Mr. President, for your words of welcome. I am most honoured to represent France in this Council, which has such an important role. You and all my other colleagues here will find me ready to listen and cooperate. On behalf of the entire French delegation, I would like to express to Emyr Jones Parry our feelings of friendship and our admiration for the remarkable work he has done in the Council, representing and defending the interests of the United Kingdom, a country that France and the French people hold close to their hearts.
To return the subject that the Council is considering today, I would like to welcome the courage and the remarkable work carried out in a particularly difficult situation by all of the personnel of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). The tragic death of Sergio Vieira de Mello and his colleagues, mentioned by several of my colleagues, demonstrates the context in which the United Nations works in Iraq.
Since the Secretary-General is present, I would also like to warmly thank his Special Representative for Iraq, Mr. Qazi, whose mission is coming to an end and who has done so much to advance the political process for national reconciliation there.
The situation in Iraq continues to be of great concern in several respects. First, in terms of security, Iraq remains plagued by violence and the Iraqi people continue to pay a very heavy price in that regard. Secondly, on the humanitarian front, the situation created by the increasing numbers of internally displaced persons and refugees should command our attention. It constitutes a grave threat to Iraq and to regional stability.
In view of those facts, we must now more than ever work collectively to find solutions. The Iraqi people themselves must, of course, lead the way in searching for those solutions. The key, as we know, is a true national reconciliation process that is as inclusive as possible and that will isolate the forces that seek the failure of Iraq.
Efforts must also be made by the States of the region. The Sharm el-Sheikh conference of 4 May was a useful step in that direction, since it brought neighbouring countries together around important principles such as the stability and unity of Iraq and the rejection of interference in its internal affairs. All three of the working groups established by the conference have already held their first meetings. This momentum should be maintained and strengthened and should lead to concrete actions.
Finally, -- and this is the purpose of today's meeting -- the international community, through the United Nations, should strengthen its efforts in support of the current internal and regional momentum. That is the focus of the commitment of the United Nations, which continues to play an important part in the process of rebuilding Iraq in very difficult conditions. France has consistently favoured strengthening the role of the United Nations in Iraq, a strengthening that should take into account limitations related to the situation on the ground and the need to ensure the security of United Nations personnel in the field.
We hope that the various areas of United Nations intervention in Iraq will be involved in such strengthening. I am thinking about action that can be taken in the political area to contribute to the process of dialogue and national reconciliation, as well as everything that can be done to ease the severity of the humanitarian situation. I recall, in that regard, the responsibility of the Iraqi Government to protect affected populations as well as United Nations and associated personnel. Finally, at the economic level, I am thinking about the implementation of the International Compact with Iraq and activities to coordinate humanitarian assistance for the reconstruction of Iraq.
The text adopted today by the Council enables us to make progress in that direction. France thus voted in favour of it and welcomes the Council's unanimous support for this approach.
At the outset, I should like to welcome the Secretary-General and to thank him for his statement.
My delegation voted in favour of the present resolution, convinced that there must be convergence of all international efforts if stability is to be achieved in Iraq for the benefit of its people, who have suffered greatly in the past and who continue to suffer from daily acts of violence, which have repercussions on the stability of the entire region.
Indeed, the State of Qatar has a sincere desire for peace and prosperity in Iraq, given our geographic location and the historical social ties linking us to that fraternal country. That is why we stress the need to implement this resolution in close cooperation with Iraq and without undermining the mandate of the coalition forces in Iraq, which have the responsibility to ensure peace and stability in the country in accordance with international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war.
We attach particular importance to the need not to endanger the civilian population during military or other types of operations so that the Iraq people do not once again find themselves caught between terrorist acts and counter-offensive operations. The international community must understand that it is vital to rebuild Iraq and its institutions, to resolve its problems and to support its national sovereignty, without interference in its internal affairs.
Since this is the last Council meeting to be attended by our colleague Ambassador Sir Emyr Jones Parry, I should like to take this opportunity to wish him every success in the future. My delegation was delighted to be able to work with him. He has always been able to address issues in a professional and balanced manner in order to achieve consensus.
I also wish to welcome Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, Permanent Representative of France. We are certain that we will be able to work with him in fruitful cooperation, and we wish him every success in his new duties.
I should like to thank the Secretary-General for taking part in our meeting today. I am also pleased to pay tribute to Ambassador Jones Parry for his high dedication to the work of the United Nations during the past four years, as well as to warmly welcome Ambassador Ripert to the United Nations and the Council.
Italy sponsored the present resolution, which, we believe, provides the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) with the stronger mandate it needs to carry on its important tasks for the Iraqi people after the completion of the process outlined in resolution 1546 (2004), setting out a key element of the much-needed support of the international community for Iraq.
There are several elements in the present resolution that we believe to be important. The first is the fact that it acknowledges the full sovereignty of Iraq and the existence of a constitutionally based Government. This is important, as we are convinced that the solution to Iraq's problems lies first and foremost in the hands of the Iraqi people and Government. Secondly, it sets out a broader mandate for UNAMI, a mandate that covers all the areas of action that we believe to be relevant, and that thus enables the mission to play a central role.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to commend all the United Nations staff of UNAMI, both local and international, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ambassador Qazi, for the important and outstanding work that they are doing in Iraq through their high professionalism and personal commitment in the face of a difficult situation and great personal risks.
First of all, I would like to join others in welcoming the Secretary-General and thanking him for his statement.
After years of hardship, including living under harsh sanctions, the Iraqi people deserve peace, stability and progress. My delegation therefore believes that the Government of Iraq, in cooperation with the international community, should redouble its efforts to find a viable solution that will ensure stability and security in the country.
The current security conditions in Iraq have also had serious humanitarian consequences. The problem of Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons has become one of the world's largest and fastest-growing, but least known, humanitarian crises.
While restoring security is a matter of urgency, it is also critical to address friction based on ethnicity and religion. Unity is vital to achieving a peaceful Iraq. We therefore believe that Iraqis must stand shoulder to shoulder at all levels, put aside all their differences and work together to respond to the challenges that continue to confront the country.
Iraq cannot go it alone in embracing transformation to meet the innumerable challenges ahead; it needs partnership and support from various quarters. Therefore, the role and the contributions of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) are essential in helping the Iraqis to achieve their goals. My delegation thus supports the extension of its mandate and the addition of new responsibilities to its tasks. That is why we voted in favour of resolution 1770 (2007).
At the outset, I would like to thank the Secretary-General for his presence, his statement and his efforts to help and assist Iraq and the Iraqi people.
Let me thank you, Mr. President, for convening this important meeting, at which the Council has adopted resolution 1770 (2007), concerning the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for another year. The resolution expands UNAMI's mandate to take new developments into account, especially following the Baghdad meeting for neighbouring countries held on 10 March 2007 and following the launch of the International Compact with Iraq on 3 May 2007 as well as the expanded Sharm el-Sheikh conference held in Egypt on 4 May 2007.
We all know that the Government of Iraq is currently confronting several challenges, especially at the national, regional and humanitarian levels. Of prime importance at the national level is the issue of dialogue and reconciliation, which requires a review of controversial laws, the constitution, the adoption of the hydrocarbon law and other debatable issues. We are keen to proceed in that direction in an attempt to overcome all obstacles by all available means.
On the regional level, we believe that the expanded neighbouring countries meetings held in Baghdad and in Sharm el-Sheikh and the establishment of the three committees -- namely, the committees on energy, on security and on refugees -- have placed a number of obligations on neighbouring countries. The most significant obligation is to assist Iraq and the people of Iraq in overcoming the difficulties facing them, especially with regard to reconstruction, the humanitarian situation of the Iraqi people residing in recipient countries, the establishment of security and stability and combating terrorism.
On the humanitarian level, Iraq's present circumstances and the consistent attempts of terrorists to provoke sectarian strife have a negative impact on the humanitarian situation, which has led to an increase in internal displacement and to the flow of Iraqi refugees to some countries in the region. We thank those countries that have shown generous hospitality. Such situations have created a national, regional and international responsibility to coordinate and deliver assistance to all people in need.
We are aware that these challenges should be addressed by the Government and the people of Iraq. The Government of Iraq is working hard to fulfil this responsibility and to proceed in its efforts in spite of all difficulties. While we realize that this is, in principle, a national responsibility, we, however, cannot achieve it without the assistance of the international community, represented by the United Nations, especially the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. For three years, UNAMI has stood by the Iraqi people and successive Iraqi Governments during that period, especially the current democratically, constitutionally elected national Government. It has stood by Iraq upon its request and has accomplished immense achievements in cooperation and coordination with the Government of Iraq.
We now look forward to a greater role for UNAMI, consistent with the expanded mandate set out in the resolution adopted by the Council today. We reaffirm the need of the Government and the people of Iraq for that assistance. As His Excellency the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq mentioned in his letter addressed to the Secretary-General on 6 August 2007,
"During the coming period, the interests of Iraq require that the role of UNAMI should be expanded and activated on both the humanitarian and political tracks, at home and in the region, and that the specialized United Nations agencies, funds and programmes should be brought back to work, each in its area of specialization, to reconstruct and stabilize the country, to contribute to the coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance pursuant to the obligations contained in the Charter and to launch comprehensive campaigns to address the deterioration of the infrastructure". (S/2007/481, annex)
Thus, we further reiterate that UNAMI still has a very active role in assisting us to reach the goals we seek in order to build a productive and prosperous Iraq living in peace with itself, with its neighbours and with the world.
I wish to thank all the members of the Security Council, and especially the sponsors of today's resolution, for their understanding of the situation in Iraq and for their help and assistance.
Before concluding, I would like also, since today is his last day in the Security Council, to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to His Excellency Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry for his excellent work and for his assistance to Iraq and to the Iraqi people. I wish him the best in his future personal and professional life.
I would like finally to welcome Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert of France. We look forward to working with him in the service of our friendly countries.
There are no further speakers on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.