The United Nations Security Council today welcomed the progress made in recruiting, training and equipping Iraqi security forces and looked forward to those forces progressively playing a greater role and ultimately assuming responsibility for Iraq's national security.
In statement read to the press by this month's Council President, Ambassador Ellen Margrethe Løj of Denmark said that the members of the Council discussed today the mandate of the Multinational Force (MNF) in Iraq, and the relevant provisions for the Development Fund for Iraq and the International Advisory and Monitoring Board.
The Council had also been briefed earlier by Iraqi Foreign Minister Zebari and the briefing on the activity of the MNF by Ambassador Patterson of the United States.
“The members of the Council agreed upon the continuation of the mandate of the Multinational Force in Iraq in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1546 and at the request of the newly elected Iraqi government,” Ambassador Løj said, adding that the Council had also agreed upon the continuation of the relevant arrangements for the Development Fund for Iraq and the International Advisory and Monitoring Board in line with previous its previous decision.
According to resolution 1546, the mandate of the MNF must be reviewed either at the request of the Government of Iraq or by 8 June. The Council mandate for the force will expire when the political process leading to a permanent, constitutionally-elected government is completed, or earlier if requested by the Iraqi authorities.
Ambassador Løj said the members of the Council look forward to continued progress in Iraq's political transition, consistent with resolution 1546. They also reaffirmed their support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and for a federal, democratic, pluralist and unified Iraq, in which there is full respect for human rights. “The members of the Council welcome efforts undertaken by the Iraqi Government to ensure the full respect for human rights by all Iraqi authorities, and encourage the Government to continue these efforts,” she added.
“The Security Council deplored the violence directed against innocent civilians and the Iraqi authorities and re-emphasized its call upon Member States to assist in the security of Iraq's borders and prevent the transit of terrorists to and from Iraq, as well as the flow of arms and financing to terrorists, consistent with their obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1546,” said Ambassador Løj.
The Security Council also stressed the need for Iraq's constitutional process to be inclusive, participatory and transparent. It also encouraged the Transitional National Assembly and other relevant institutions to reach out broadly to all segments of Iraqi society, with a view of promoting genuine political dialogue and national reconciliation and ensuring that all Iraqis have a voice in the drafting of the constitution.
“The members of the Security Council also welcomed the international
community's support to Iraq” Ambassador Løj said, adding: “[They] expressed support for the initiative of the European Union and the United States to host, at the request of the new Iraqi government, an International Conference to provide a forum for Iraq to engage the international community on its priorities, vision and strategies for the transition period and welcomes the leading roles of Iraq and the UN in preparations for the conference.”