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Negroponte Calls U.N. Resolution a "Milestone" for Iraq

United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Affairs

Explanation of Vote by Ambassador John D. Negroponte,
U.S. Representative to the United Nations,
on Resolution 1546, in the Security Council, June 8, 2004

Thank you, Mr. President.

With today's vote, we acknowledge an important milestone. By June 30, Iraq will reassert its sovereignty, a step forward on the path towards a democratically elected government. The unanimous passage of Resolution 1546 is a vivid demonstration of broad international support for - and I quote from the text "a federal, democratic, pluralist and unified Iraq, in which there is full respect for political and human rights."

Yesterday in this chamber Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi briefed the Council the formation of Iraq's Interim Government. The Interim Government will pave the way for national elections for a Transitional National Assembly to be held no later than January 2005. Resolution 1546 defines key political tasks in which the United Nations shall play a leading and vital role to support Iraqi efforts.

This resolution makes clear that Iraq's sovereignty will be undiluted, and that the Government of Iraq will have the sovereign authority to request and to decline assistance, including in the security sector. The Government of Iraq will have the final say on the presence of the multinational force. The resolution also addresses the current security reality, and affirms the security structures and mechanisms warranted at this time. The annexed letters from Prime Minister Allawi and Secretary Powell describe the security partnership that is being put into place between the sovereign Government of Iraq and the multinational force.

Mr. President, the international community now has a renewed opportunity to help the people of Iraq and their sovereign government. Undeterred by Saddam Hussein's legacy of many years of oppression and war, the Iraqi people are determined to create a new reality. International assistance can and should enhance their prospects for success. The resolution calls on the international community to join those already helping the talented people of Iraq. Member States should not delay in matching advice with concrete assistance - as President Bush has said, "Free Iraq deserves the full support of the international community."

The constructive dialogue through which this text was developed, which led to the Council's unanimous vote today, should mark strengthened international resolve to work together for a democratic, secure and prosperous Iraq, and for the lasting and permanent benefit of its people.

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

(end transcript)


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