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Security Council extends UN mission in Iraq for one more year

7 August 2009 – The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for another year, and decided that it should continue to pursue its expanded role in the country.

The Council unanimously adopted resolution 1883, “reiterating its support to the people and the Government of Iraq in their efforts to build a secure, stable, federal, united and democratic nation, based on the rule of law and respect for human rights.”

As set out in resolutions 1770 (2007) and 1830 (2008), UNAMI is tasked with assisting the Government in the areas of elections, reconciliation, the resolution of disputed boundaries, human rights and humanitarian concerns, as well as reconstruction and development.

In today’s resolution, the 15-member Council also called on the Iraqi Government and other Member States to continue providing security and logistical support to UNAMI, recognizing that the security of UN personnel is essential for the Mission to carry out its work.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his recent report on UNAMI, said that Iraq is entering a crucial transition period, highlighted by its increased responsibility for its security and the national elections planned for next January.

It is also “potentially a time of opportunity” regarding the Iraq’s recovery and development, he added, citing momentum across the Government to tackle some of the country’s most entrenched socio-economic issues – unemployment, dilapidated infrastructure, corruption and poverty.

Briefing the Council earlier this week, Mr. Ban’s new top envoy to Iraq voiced cautious optimism as the country regains its sovereignty, while warning of potential dangers ahead.

“Although statistics tell the story of a downward trend in the overall level of violence, reality is still tainted by an unacceptably high level of indiscriminate attacks on civilians,” Ad Melkert stated, following his first visit to Iraq as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNAMI.

Mr. Melkert cited preparations for national elections in 2010 and the issue of ethnically disputed areas, including oil-rich Kirkuk, as two of the most critical priorities currently facing the UNAMI in promoting long-term stability in Iraq.

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