Tuesday, 04 August 2009 03:00

New SRSG for Iraq Pledges to Accelerate Support to the Iraqi People

Baghdad - 4 August 2009- The newly-appointed Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Iraq (SRSG), Ad Melkert, outlined his vision for future UN support to Iraq at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) today in New York.   The mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) is due to be renewed this week.

 

Mr. Melkert, named in July as the United Nations’ top envoy to Iraq by UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon, told the UNSC that, “The opportunity to lead a mission as crucial as UNAMI, is to contribute to the future of the Iraqi people and to stability in the world.” He added that “My recent brief introductory visit to Baghdad has confirmed the sense of strong determination guiding the Iraqi government, and the spirit of utmost dedication motivating all UN staff in their joint efforts to bring about hope and progress.”


Mr. Melkert said that the time has come to give Iraq’s socio-economic development the priority it deserves, as Iraqis strive to reap the fruits of democracy in a more stable context. “All evidence shows that Iraq’s healthy future now depends on the diversification of its economy, on solid management of oil and gas contracts, on creating jobs for youth, on better services for its citizens and stronger capacities of those who seek to deliver them, ” he said.


He stated that the main vehicle for UN assistance will be Iraq’s five year National Development Plan (NDP) 2010-2014, on which UN agencies are closely cooperating with the Iraqi government. The NDP will refocus Iraq towards delivering broad socio-economic reforms to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and will be backed by large-scale UN and international support to strengthen Iraqi institutions and aid vulnerable communities. 


Mr. Melkert said that the UN will also continue its impartial work to promote vital reconciliation processes in Iraq, including through the High Level Task Force established further to UNAMI’s recent report on Iraq’s Disputed Internal Boundaries., and that preparations for the 2010 national election will be given a central priority. He added that regional relations are another key focus area, to promote good and constructive relations between Iraq and its neighbors on a wide range of issues from regional water-sharing during a potentially devastating drought, to closing the door on past conflicts and their grievances.


Melkert emphasized the need for "strategic acceleration of UN support to Iraq with more UN agencies, funds and programmes on hand to work with the Iraqi people. At the same time, Melkert said the UN in Iraq would work harder than ever to deliver as “one family”, and seek closer relationships with other international partners.


Mr. Melkert stressed that, “Assisting Iraq in regaining its rightful place among the community of nations lies at the heart of our Mission.”   He also pledged to step up consultation with Iraq’s leaders and its people on all areas of UNAMI’s mandate. ”We will be building on progress in the political sphere and throwing our full support behind economic and social development for the people, in partnership and constant consultation with Iraqis themselves,” he said.

Last modified on Tuesday, 04 August 2009 03:00

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