9 November 2005
Security Council Extends Mandate of Iraq Multinational Force until End of 2006, Unanimouisly Adopting Resolution 1637 (2005)
Also Extends Arrangements for Development Fund; Iraq Thanks Council for Clear, Unequivocal Support for Political Transition
NEW YORK, 8 November (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council today unanimously adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the multinational force in Iraq until the end of next year and allowing for a review of that mandate at any time, no later than mid-June 2006, or for its termination, at the request of the Iraqi Government.
The Council, acting under Chapter VII in adopting the new resolution 1637 (2005) submitted by Denmark, Japan, Romania, the United Kingdom and the United States, also decided to extend until 31 December 2006 the arrangements for depositing proceeds from export sales of petroleum, petroleum products, and natural gas into the Development Fund of Iraq, as well as the arrangements for monitoring the Fund by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board.
The Council also decided to review the deposit arrangements and the role of the International Advisory and Monitoring Board at the request of the Iraqi Government no later than 15 June 2006.
(The Development Fund for Iraq was established on 22 May 2003 with the adoption of Security Council resolution 1483 (2003), by which the Council ended economic sanctions against Iraq. The Fund was set up to administer proceeds from the export sales of Iraq's oil, as well as funds remaining from the United Nations "oil-for-food" programme and other assets seized from the former regime).
Speaking after the vote, the United States' representative said he was pleased that the Council had been able to come together quickly and unanimously to respond to the Iraqi Government's request for continued support. The text responded directly to the request of the Iraqi Government, and notably, the Iraqi Mission had played a visible and substantial role in its negotiation. Substantial progress had already been made in helping to build and train the Iraqi security forces, but with much work remaining, the multinational force would continue to work with the Iraqi Government to maintain security and stability in Iraq.
Stressing that the foreign forces in Iraq must maintain their temporary status in the framework of following up the political process, France's representative said that the future government, at any time, would be able to request that the mandate be renewed or that it end. The mandate was time-limited. Unless a contrary decision was made by the Council, that mandate would expire on 31 December 2006. Moreover, the Council had foreseen that the mandate would be reviewed no later than 15 June 2006. In that time, the multinational force and the Iraqi forces would need to act in compliance with international law.
The Council President for the month, the Russian Federation representative, in his national capacity, said that some of his amendments to the text had been reflected, including the need for a national dialogue among all segments of Iraqi society. The resolution had been adopted so that the Iraqi Security Forces could assume responsibility for the security situation in the long term, making it possible for the multinational force to conclude its mandate and fully withdraw. A constructive atmosphere in the Council was necessary for a successful Iraqi settlement. Based on such considerations, he had supported the resolution.
Iraq's representative expressed his appreciation for the Council's positive response to the request by his Prime Minister, as well as for the manner in which the resolution had been adopted, in an environment of harmony and agreement on the principles laid out in resolution 1546 (2004), which had set the foundation for Iraq's political process. Failure in that process was too awful to contemplate and would represent a threat to regional and international peace. With such clear and unequivocal international support for the political transition, they would go forward with redoubled efforts and confidence to complete their journey towards peace and prosperity in Iraq and for the defeat of terrorism in their country.
Explanations of vote were also made by the representatives of the United Kingdom, Romania, Japan and Denmark.
The meeting began at 11:55 a.m. and was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.
The Security Council met today to consider the situation in Iraq. It had before it a draft resolution (document S/2005/704) sponsored by Denmark, Japan, Romania, the United Kingdom and the United States, which reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Welcoming the beginning of a new phase in Iraq's transition and looking forward to the completion of the political transition process, as well as to the day Iraqi forces assume full responsibility for the maintenance of security and stability in their country, thus allowing the completion of the multinational force mandate,
"Recalling all of its previous relevant resolutions on Iraq,
"Reaffirming the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Iraq,
"Reaffirming also the right of the Iraqi people freely to determine their own political future and control their own natural resources,
"Welcoming the commitment of the Transitional Government of Iraq to work towards a federal, democratic, pluralistic, and unified Iraq, in which there is full respect for political and human rights,
"Calling upon the international community, particularly countries in the region and Iraq's neighbours, to support the Iraqi people in their pursuit of peace, stability, security, democracy, and prosperity, and noting the contribution that the successful implementation of this resolution will bring to regional stability,
"Welcoming the assumption of full governmental authority by the Interim Government of Iraq on 28 June 2004, the direct democratic elections of the Transitional National Assembly on 30 January 2005, the drafting of a new constitution for Iraq and the recent approval of the draft constitution by the people of Iraq on 15 October 2005,
"Noting that the Government of Iraq, established as a result of the election scheduled to take place by 15 December 2005, will play a critical role in continuing to promote national dialogue and reconciliation and in shaping the democratic future of Iraq and reaffirming the willingness of the international community to work closely with the Government of Iraq with respect to efforts to assist the Iraqi people,
"Calling upon those who use violence in an attempt to subvert the political process to lay down their arms and participate in the political process, including in the election scheduled for 15 December, and encouraging the Government of Iraq to engage with all those who renounce violence and to promote a political atmosphere conducive to national reconciliation and political competition through peaceful democratic means,
"Reaffirming that acts of terrorism must not be allowed to disrupt Iraq's political and economic transition, and further reaffirming the obligations of Member States under resolution 1618 (2005) of 4 August 2005 and other relevant resolutions and international obligations with respect, inter alia, to terrorist activities in and from Iraq or against its citizens,
"Recognizing the request conveyed in the letter of 27 October 2005 from the Prime Minister of Iraq to the President of the Council, which is annexed to this resolution, to retain the presence of the multinational force in Iraq, and further recognizing the importance of consent of the sovereign Government of Iraq for the presence of the multinational force and of close coordination between the multinational force and that government,
"Welcoming the willingness of the multinational force to continue efforts to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq, including participating in the provision of humanitarian and reconstruction assistance, as described in the letter of 29 October 2005 from the United States Secretary of State to the President of the Council, which is annexed to this resolution,
"Recognizing the tasks and arrangements set out in the letters annexed to resolution 1546 (2004) of 8 June 2004 and the cooperative implementation by the Government of Iraq and the multinational force of those arrangements,
"Affirming the importance for all forces promoting the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq to act in accordance with international law, including obligations under international humanitarian law, and to cooperate with relevant international organizations, and welcoming their commitments in this regard,
"Recalling the establishment of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on 14 August 2003, underlining the particular importance of UNAMI assistance for the upcoming election by 15 December 2005 of a government pursuant to a newly adopted constitution, and affirming that the United Nations should continue to play a leading role in assisting the Iraqi people and Government with further political and economic development, including advising and supporting the Government of Iraq, as well as the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, contributing to coordination and delivery of reconstruction, development and humanitarian assistance, and promoting the protection of human rights, national reconciliation, as well as judicial and legal reform in order to strengthen the rule of law in Iraq,
"Recognizing that international support for security and stability is essential to the well-being of the people of Iraq, as well as the ability of all concerned, including the United Nations, to carry out their work on behalf of the people of Iraq, and expressing appreciation for Member State contributions in this regard under resolution 1483 (2003) of 22 May 2003, resolution 1511 (2003) of 16 October 2003 and resolution 1546 (2004),
"Recognizing that the Government of Iraq will continue to have the primary role in coordinating international assistance to Iraq and reaffirming the importance of international assistance and development of the Iraqi economy and the importance of coordinated donor assistance,
"Recognizing the significant role of the Development Fund for Iraq and the International Advisory and Monitoring Board in helping the Government of Iraq to ensure that Iraq's resources are being used transparently and equitably for the benefit of the people of Iraq,
"Determining that the situation in Iraq continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
"1. Notes that the presence of the multinational force in Iraq is at the request of the Government of Iraq and having regard to the letters annexed to this resolution, reaffirms the authorization for the multinational force as set forth in resolution 1546 (2004) and decides to extend the mandate of the multinational force as set forth in that resolution 1546 (2004) until 31 December 2006;
"2. Decides further that the mandate for the multinational force shall be reviewed at the request of the Government of Iraq or no later than 15 June 2006, and declares that it will terminate this mandate earlier if requested by the Government of Iraq;
"3. Decides to extend until 31 December 2006 the arrangements established in paragraph 20 of resolution 1483 (2003) for the depositing into the Development Fund for Iraq of proceeds from export sales of petroleum, petroleum products, and natural gas and the arrangements referred to in paragraph 12 of resolution 1483 (2003) and paragraph 24 of resolution 1546 (2004) for the monitoring of the Development Fund for Iraq by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board;
"4. Decides further that the provisions in the above paragraph for the deposit of proceeds into the Development Fund for Iraq and for the role of the International Advisory and Monitoring Board shall be reviewed at the request of the Government of Iraq or no later than 15 June 2006;
"5. Requests that the Secretary-General continue to report to the Council on UNAMI's operations in Iraq on a quarterly basis;
"6. Requests that the United States, on behalf of the multinational force, continue to report to the Council on the efforts and progress of this force on a quarterly basis;
"7. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
The Council also had before it two letters dated 31 October: from the Prime Minister of Iraq, Ibrahim Aleshaiker Al-Jaafari, to the Security Council President (document S/2005/687); and from the United States Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, to the Council President (document S/2005/691).
The first, from the Iraqi Permanent Representative, says that Iraq was still confronted by forces of terrorism that incorporated foreign elements which carry out horrific attacks and terrorist acts in an attempt to thwart Iraq's political and economic development. The Iraqi security forces, which were growing in size, capacity and experience every day, needed more time to fill our their ranks, fully equip themselves and complete their training, with a view to assuming full responsibility for all security matters and providing adequate security for the Iraqi people. Until such time as they assumed full responsibility for Iraq's security, the country needed the continued support of the international community, including the participation of the multinational force, in order to establish lasting peace and security in Iraq.
In her letter to the Council President, Ms. Rice confirmed, consisted with the request of the Iraqi Government to extend the force's mandate, that the multinational force under unified command stood ready to continue to fulfil its mandate as set out in Security Council resolution 1546 (2004). Since the end of the occupation on 28 June 2004, the Iraqi Government and the multinational force had developed an effective and cooperative security partnership to address the evolving nature of Iraq's security environment, including the continuing need to prevent and deter terrorist acts. That partnership played a critical role in the daily efforts to improve security throughout Iraq. Substantial progress had already been made in helping to build and train the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), allowing them to take on increasing security responsibilities. The Iraqi Government and the multinational force were developing a security plan to set forth the conditions necessary for transfer of security responsibility from the multinational force to the ISF.
Action on Draft
The Council unanimously adopted the text as resolution 1637 (2005).
EMYR JONES PARRY (United Kingdom) said that the resolution unanimously adopted responded to a request from the Iraqi Government, as set out in its Prime Minister's letter of 27 October. The resolution also came with important guarantees -- that the Iraqi Government would be able, at any time, to seek a review of arrangements or termination of the multinational force's mandate. Addressing Iraqi needs through the negotiation on the text had been quite crucial. As a contributor to the multinational force, the United Kingdom would continue working in close partnership with the Iraqi Government in assisting its efforts to assure that Iraqi forces assumed full responsibility for security and stability in Iraq as soon as possible. He looked forward to notable progress next year.
He said that terrorist efforts by the insurgency, spreading death, heartbreak and misery, would only delay completion of the force's mandate. Such terrorist acts must not be allowed to disrupt Iraq's transition. He looked forward to efforts by all States, including Iraq's neighbours, to ensure that terrorists, their weapons and their financing were kept from entering Iraq. He also looked forward to the elections for a constitutionally elected assembly in December, in which he hoped for the participation of all Iraqis to ensure that the Assembly fully represented the country's diversity. The referendum in October had shown just how many Iraqi people preferred democracy to the "rule of the gun". The resolution today, adopted so rapidly and unanimously, underlined the international community's determination to help the Iraqi people realize the vision of a stable, peaceful and democratic Iraq. With such continued support, that vision would be realized, he stressed.
JOHN R. BOLTON (United States) said he was pleased that the Council had been able to come together quickly and to unanimously to respond to the Iraqi Government's request for continued support. The constructive dialogue that had produced the text demonstrated the Council's strengthened resolve to work towards a democratic, secure and prosperous Iraq that was for lasting and permanent benefit of the Iraqi people. The unanimous adoption of the resolution was a vivid demonstration of broad international support for a "federal, democratic, pluralist and unified Iraq".
He said the resolution drew heavily from resolution 1546, which remained the cornerstone of Security Council consensus for Iraq. It addressed those elements in resolution 1546 that expired at the end of the political transition process set out in that resolution, namely the mandate for the multinational force and arrangements for the Development Fund for Iraq and the International Advisory and Monitoring Board. Addressing those issues now would facilitate continued international support for Iraq's security, and would give the newly elected Iraqi Government time to assume office, address constitutional questions and consolidate its authority before confronting issues such as those addressed in the resolution. Should it choose to do so, the new Iraqi Government could act on those matters at any time.
Most importantly, he added, the text responded directly to the request of Iraq Government as stated in the letter of Prime Minister Al-Jaafari to the Council. It was notable that the Iraqi Mission not only joined the Council today, but also that it had played a visible and substantial role in the negotiation on the resolution. As stated in the letter from Secretary of State Rice, substantial progress had already been made in helping to build and train the Iraqi Security Forces, allowing them to take on increasing security responsibilities. That said, there was still much work to be done on that front, and the multinational force would continue to pursue that task, as well as other aspects of its mandate, as it worked with the Iraqi Government to maintain security and stability in Iraq.
The Iraqi people continued to demonstrate the courage that had been seen throughout the transition process, going to the pools in extraordinary numbers last month and approving a new constitution. In so doing, they had offered inspiration to other countries new to democracy and to other parts of the Arab world. Iraq was quickly approaching another major milestone in its transition, namely the new election on 15 December. It was important that it be a transparent, participatory and inclusive process for all Iraqi communities. The United States welcomed the efforts of the Iraqis, the United Nations and other members of the international community that enabled all Iraqis to participate in the political process.
He urged the international community, especially the Arab world, to come forward and support the Iraqi people. That support came in many forms, including participation in the Coalition, contribution to Iraq's humanitarian and reconstruction activities and increased diplomatic engagement. Support was critical at the current time, as it helped to consolidate Iraq's democratic progress and to demonstrate solidarity with the Iraqi people in the face of terror.
GHEORGHE DUMITRU (Romania), in joining co-sponsors of the resolution, had in view the letter from the Iraqi Government to the Council President requesting the extension of the force's mandate. The Council rightly rallied around that request and articulated its response with the same understanding of timing and effectiveness that the letter had laid out. Extending the mandate now would allow the Iraqis to focus on carrying out preparations for the most important step yet in the country's political transition -- the Assembly elections.
He said he highly welcomed the constructive work by Council members during negotiations on the text, as well as its unanimous adoption. The final text was well balanced and an appropriate response to the specific request of the Iraqi Government. Romania had repeatedly affirmed its support for the Government's actions towards ensuring durable stability, effective reconstruction and a democratic transition. Romania would remain engaged in Iraq as long as its presence and assistance were needed by the Iraqi people and Government.
KOJI HANEDA (Japan) welcomed the Council's unanimous adoption of the resolution, the nature of which was primarily technical. For its part, the Iraqi Government, in anticipation of the eminent start of election campaigns, had requested the early adoption of the text. For troop-contributing countries, the resolution's early adoption was vitally important for gaining a stable perspective of the troop-contributing framework. The text had been amplified with the full complement of political messages. Given its importance, Japan had decided to co-sponsor the text, the adoption of which would send the right message for the necessity of the multinational force's continued presence in the country, including to the citizenry of troop-contributing nations.
LARS FAABORG-ANDERSEN (Denmark) welcomed the unanimous adoption of the text, which demonstrated the international community's support to Iraq's endeavours to create a democratic nation. In face of the serious challenges facing the country, the Iraqi people had met significant milestones in achieving that goal, including the recent election on Iraq's constitution. A process of national reconciliation was taking shape and an increasing number of Iraqis were taking part in the process. He hoped the December election would consolidate that trend.
Denmark would continue to contribute to the establishment of a peaceful and prosperous Iraq, and would stand by its commitment to contribute to Iraq's national security as requested by the Iraqi Government, he said. Denmark looked forward to the day that the Iraqi security forces would assume full responsibility for security in the country. Strengthening the police forces was essential to building a stable Iraq. Denmark was ready to do its share in creating a prosperous Iraq with a competitive economy and vibrant civil society. In spite of the progress already achieved, serious challenges remained. The security situation was slowing down progress in other areas. Times had changed, and Saddam Hussein and his regime was a thing of the past. Denmark stood ready to meet the remaining challenges facing Iraq.
MICHEL DUCLOS (France) said he had supported the draft and had participated in the discussions leading to its consensus adoption. He had some clarifications, however, regarding France's approach. His first concern was to meet the official request made by the Iraqi Transitional Government, which had sought a 12-month extension of the force's mandate. His second objective had been to the people of Iraq, to send them a message of support for Iraq's sovereignty. He had wished, on the one hand, to encourage a follow-up to the political process and, on the other hand, to recall that it was within that framework that there existed foreign forces in Iraq, which must maintain their temporary status. His third priority had been to recall the crucial role of the United Nations in Iraq's political transition beyond 31 December. The resolution met those different concerns.
He said that the decisions taken by the Council today in the resolution had been supported by several provisions. First among them was the Council's emphasis on the importance of pursuing the political process beyond the 15 December elections and of the designation of a sovereign government. In today's resolution, the Council had called on the future government to promote a truly inclusive political dialogue for national reconciliation, including by appealing to all of those who would renounce violence. The challenges were considerable, but essential for the future of a stable, united and democratic Iraq. The international community must provide all its support to Iraq on that path.
France favourably viewed the prospects of an Iraqi national conference organized with the assistance of countries in the region to promote the integration of all groups and communities in Iraq in the political process, he said. It was obvious that the Council did not prejudge decisions to be taken by the next government regarding the force's mandate. The future government would, at any time, be able to request that the mandate be renewed or that it end. The mandate was time-limited. Unless a contrary decision was made by the Council, that mandate would expire on 31 December 2006. Moreover, the Council had foreseen that the mandate would be reviewed no later than 15 June 2006. In that time, the multinational force and the Iraqi forces would need to act in compliance with international law.
Also reaffirmed in today's text was that the United Nations must continue to play a decisive role in the political transitional process and economic transition through the provision of assistance to Iraq and through the Secretary-General's Special Representative there. Overall, the Council today had taken on its share of responsibility, and it had done so bearing in mind the requests made by the Iraqi Transitional Government. It had also acted in a way that was consistent with logic, which had guided its actions in Iraq for the past two years and which sought to ensure the effective exercise by Iraq of its full sovereignty. France would continue to support the Iraqi people on the path of national reconciliation, democracy and reconstruction. That was why he voted in favour of the resolution.
Council President ANDREY I. DENISOV (Russian Federation), speaking in his national capacity, thanked the co-sponsors for the draft. His delegation had carefully studied the text and had made several amendments to it, which were designed to provide the text with a more appropriate, updated nature reflecting the Iraqi situation. Some of the amendments had been reflected in the draft. His delegation had stressed the importance of including such basic principles in the text as respect for sovereignty and the need to conduct a national dialogue to achieve reconciliation among all segments of Iraqi society. The resolution had been adopted so that the Iraqi security forces could assume responsibility for the security situation in the long term, making it possible for the multinational force to conclude its mandate and fully withdraw. Tasks also remained for the United Nations Mission, which, in the near future, would have to resolve significant challenges in organizing elections and promoting understanding among the different factions.
In adopting the text, concessions had been made on both sides, he said. The Russian Federation had wanted to mention in the draft the holding of a new international meeting on Iraq. However, bearing in mind ongoing consultations between Baghdad and the League of Arab States on the organization of an inter-Iraqi conference under the auspices of the League, that had not been appropriate at the current time. Concluding such a conference would, at some point, be necessary, as it would advance the inter-Iraqi dialogue and international reconciliation. A constructive atmosphere was necessary in the Council for the success of the Iraqi settlement process. Based on such considerations, he had supported the resolution.
SAMIR SHAKIR MAHMOOD SUMAIDA'IE (Iraq) said he had appreciated the Council's positive response to the request by his Prime Minister to extend the force's mandate and that of the Development Fund and the International Advisory and Monitoring Board. He thanked every Council member for their positive contribution and for the spirit in which preparations for the resolutions had occurred. He noted with satisfaction the manner in which the resolution had been adopted, in an environment of harmony and agreement on the principles laid out in resolution 1546 (2004), which had laid down the foundation for Iraq's political process. He pledged the continued adherence by the Iraqi Government to that political process.
He said his country had fulfilled its obligation at every stage in that transitional process, and he looked forward now to country-wide elections on 15 December under a constitution, which had been approved by the great majority of Iraqis. It was very important for the international community that that process was successful. Failure was too awful to contemplate and would represent a threat to regional and international peace. There was certainly no way that Iraqi people would contemplate failure; they were determined to go forward with the process. With such clear and unequivocal international support for the political transition, Iraqis would go forward with redoubled efforts and confidence to complete their journey towards peace and prosperity in Iraq and for the defeat of terrorism in their country.
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