The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) until 31 July 2014 so it can continue to advise and support the country, which has been hit by the worst violence in years, to progress on the path to stability and development.
In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body also called on the Government of Iraq to continue to provide security and logistical support to the Mission, and on Member States to continue to provide it with sufficient resources.
Further, the Council decided that the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq and UNAMI shall continue their mandate with regard to overseeing outstanding issues relating to Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The mandate renewal comes amid an upsurge in violence and terrorist acts that have targeted mainly civilians and civilian infrastructure in Iraq, resulting in high civilian casualties at levels not seen since 2008, according to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s latest report on UNAMI.
“The scale of renewed violence in Iraq during the reporting period is alarming. I again urge political leaders from all sides to intensify their efforts to resolve the continuing political stalemate in accordance with the Constitution, through serious dialogue and with a spirit of compromise, so that no space is left to those who seek to exploit the situation through violence and terror,” he stated in the report.
In this regard, he welcomed recent Iraqi-led dialogue initiatives, as well as the agreement reached between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, which should be implemented swiftly.
“UNAMI stands ready to assist all parties in moving ahead towards national reconciliation,” Mr. Ban added.
A field mission led by the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), UNAMI played a key support role in the process by which Iraqis drafted and adopted a new constitution in 2005, and assisted the country in the holding of two national elections that same year as well as subsequent elections in 2009 and 2010.
The Mission is currently supporting efforts to promote dialogue to resolve Iraq’s disputed internal boundaries, including the future status of the northern city of Kirkuk, and also supporting Iraq’s Parliament, the Council of Representatives, on constitutional issues.
It is also working to promote the establishment of a strong human rights protection system, improve the quality of life in areas such as health, education, water and sanitation, and to assist vulnerable populations including internally displaced persons, refugees, and returnees.