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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Ban Ki-moon heads to Sharm el-Sheikh next week for Iraq Compact launch

27 April 2007 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon heads to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, next week for the formal launch of the International Compact with Iraq (ICI), a five-year peace and development plan which envisages a reciprocal relationship between peace-building and economic prosperity in the war-ravaged country.

Mr. Ban, who will co-chair the launch with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, also plans to attend a high-level meeting to include the foreign ministers of the “expanded Iraq neighbours, representatives of the Permanent Members of the Security Council and members of the G-8 countries,” spokesman Michele Montas told reporters in New York. The Group of 8 brings together Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ban’s Special Adviser for the International Compact with Iraq and Other Political Issues, Ibrahim Gambari, continued his meetings in various capitals to widen support for the initiative and discuss commitments of Member States before the 3 May launch in Sharm el-Sheikh.

“He met in Brussels today with Javier Solana, the European Union’s High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, who confirmed his attendance at the launch event, as well as that of several ministers of the European Union (EU),” Ms. Montas reported.

Earlier in the week, Mr. Gambari, who is travelling with Sinan Mohammed Rida Al-Shabibi, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, held high-level meetings in London, Kuwait City and Sofia.

An initiative of the Iraqi Government for a new partnership with the international community, the Compact is a five-year national plan that includes benchmarks and mutual commitments from both partners with the aim of helping the country on the path towards peace, sound governance and economic reconstruction.

Under the plan, the Government will work to meet basic needs, protect the rights of all citizens and ensure the optimal use of the country’s resources for the common good. National reconciliation, improved security, better governance and continued economic and social reforms should help unlock Iraq’s own development potential, according to the ICI, which calls on the country’s international partners to provide financial, technical and political support to help meet these challenges on the basis of mutual commitments.

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