Secretary-General ‘encouraged’ by progress in Iraq

8 June 2009

The successful and mostly peaceful polls earlier this year and an agreement on a new Speaker of Parliament are among the “encouraging signs of progress” Iraq has witnessed in recent months, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon writes in a new report.

The successful and mostly peaceful polls earlier this year and an agreement on a new Speaker of Parliament are among the “encouraging signs of progress” Iraq has witnessed in recent months, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon writes in a new report.

Following the January provincial elections, “we witnessed local democratic processes at work with the formation of political alliances to allow the selection of governors and their deputies in each of the 14 governorates that held elections,” Mr. Ban says, expressing hope that “this will serve to promote greater accountability in local governance institutions.”

Additionally, the Iraqi Security Forces continued to show they can assume stepped up security responsibilities, he notes.

“Those developments underscore a general positive trend in the country on both the political and security fronts,” the report says.

However, it warns that many obstacles remain, with national reconciliation still the main priority for the country.

“In particular, the resolution of key issues, including federalism, the sharing of natural resources and disputed internal boundaries, could serve as a means to achieving lasting peace,” the Secretary-General writes.

Progress on such complex issues will require Iraqi leaders uniting and adopting crucial constitutional and legislative measures in the political, electoral, economic and social realms, he adds.

In spite of the Iraqi Security Force’s demonstration of their ability, Mr. Ban says, continued attacks against civilians are a reminder of ongoing security challenges.

“I urge all Iraqis not to succumb to the politics of mistrust, intimidation, fear or revenge, but rather to work together to build on the positive achievements made so far.”

Also a source of concern is the rising tensions in areas such as Ninawa, Kirkuk and Diyala, the report says, calling on national and local leaders to work towards resolving underlying causes.

“Iraq’s recovery is entering a new phase, with the Government leading the effort and shifting from a multi-donor trust fund to an emphasis on bilateral donor relations,” it adds, noting that the UN will now focus on sustainable social and economic development.

“A healthy economy, jobs, services and a functioning government system are the benefits of good democratic governance,” the Secretary-General writes.

The UN will expand its outreach in Iraq, while it is hoped that the Government and UN country team will have a “more intensive and policy-based interaction” as the security situation improves, he adds.

 

♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox - Subscribe here to a topic.
♦ Download the UN News app for your iOS or Android devices.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Voter registration in Kurdistan off to good start – UN envoy

The United Nations envoy to Iraq has congratulated the election officials and people of the Northern Region of Kurdistan “for completing a successful and peaceful first week of the voter registration” for next month’s regional elections.