Monday, 15 June 2009 03:00

SRSG Staffan de Mistura leaves Iraq after two years

Baghdad-15 June 2009-The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Iraq (SRSG) Staffan de Mistura leaves Baghdad after almost two years as the United Nations’ top official in Iraq and will be taking up his new assignment as Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme of the UN, where he  will continue to take a close interest in matters dealing with the Middle East region, including Iraq.


During this period UNAMI has substantially expanded its presence and activities inside Iraq, has contributed to the holding of the Provincial Councils Elections, while also launching a major initiative aimed at defusing tensions related to disputed internal boundaries and the city of Kirkuk.

On the occasion of his departure and taking up on a new senior assignment within the United Nations System, Staffan de Mistura stated: “Leaving Iraq again, after my fourth extended mission here, I leave hopeful that Iraq is on the road of democracy and stability after so much suffering. I am deeply grateful to the Iraqi authorities, and the people of Iraq for the support and confidence they have given the United Nations during this challenging period."

The SRSG said that he was very hopeful that a mechanism set up between the GOI and the KRG to discuss issues of common concern, with UN facilitation, could become operational in the coming days, based on the principles of a single united Iraq and respect for the Constitution.

At the same time, in the context of improving bilateral cooperation with Iraq\'s neighbors, the SRSG expressed optimism that, with the assistance of the United Nations, both Iraq and Kuwait would use the current opportunity to demonstrate good will and commitment towards a sustainable solution to their pending issues.

The SRSG stated that the United Nations would remain in Iraq as the Iraqis request and find it useful.  In this regard the UN will continue to increase its operations in building the capacity of Iraqi institutions, as we have done over the past year in the area of electoral assistance, the Article 23 Committee of the CoR, and on constitutional questions.  "But all this requires Iraqi ownership - we are here to assist and facilitate. The future of Iraq and its sovereignty is in the hands of the people of Iraq.”

Until the appointment of the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Mr. Andrew Gilmour, the Deputy Special Representative, will be Officer-in-Charge of UNAMI.

Last modified on Monday, 15 June 2009 03:00

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