Security Council Unanimously Endorses Iraqi
United Nations -- The Security Council June 8 recognized the restoration of
full sovereignty to Iraq in a unanimous resolution marking a new political phase
in the relationship between Iraq and the international community.
The resolution, sponsored by the United States, the United Kingdom and Romania,
endorses the new Interim Government of Iraq which will assume authority with the
end of the occupation and the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) June 30,
allows the multinational force (MNF) to provide security in partnership with the
new government, sets out a leading role for the United Nations in helping the
political process over the next year; and calls on the international community
to aid Iraq in its transition.
The vote came one week after the formation of the new Interim Government of Iraq
with the help of U.N. Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte said that the vote
acknowledges "an important milestone: by June 30, Iraq will reassert its
sovereignty, a step forward on the path to a democratically elected government."
"The unanimous passage of resolution 1546 is a vivid demonstration of broad
international support for 'a federal, democratic, pluralist, and unified Iraq in
which there is full respect for political and human rights,'" the ambassador
said, quoting from the resolution.
"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," said
Negroponte, who is the U.S. ambassador-designate to Iraq.
With the new resolution, "the international community 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," he said.
"The Iraqi people are determined to create a new reality. International
assistance can and should enhance their prospects for success," Negroponte said.
"Member states should not delay in matching advice with concrete assistance."
In his remarks to the council, the ambassador also noted that the constructive
dialogue through which the resolution was developed and which lead to the
unanimous vote "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."
The resolution endorses the formation of the sovereign Interim Government of
Iraq and the proposed timetable for Iraq's political transition to democratic
government, a process which will culminate in elections for a new government in
It takes note that the multinational force is in Iraq at the request of the
interim government and says that the MNF "shall have the authority to take all
necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in
Iraq" in accordance with the letters sent to the council
-- and annexed to the resolution -- by the prime minister of Iraq and the U.S.
secretary of state which outline the "security partnership" between the Iraqi
government and the force.
Negroponte said, "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."
The resolution also addresses the current security reality and affirms the
security structures and mechanisms warranted at this time, the U.S. ambassador
According to the letters, the Iraqi security forces are responsible to the
appropriate Iraqi ministers and the Iraqi government has the authority to commit
Iraqi security forces to the MNF for operations. The letters also outline the
fora for Iraq and the MNF to reach agreement as partners "on the full range of
fundamental security and policy issues, including policy on sensitive offensive
In his letter, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the MNF intends to
establish a brigade-size force within the MNF specifically to provide security
for U.N. personnel and facilities, including convoy escort duties.
"The MNF is prepared to continue to pursue its current efforts to assist in
providing a secure environment in which the broader international community is
able to fulfill its important role in facilitating Iraq's reconstruction,"
Powell said. "In meeting these responsibilities in the period ahead, we will act
in full recognition of and respect for Iraqi sovereignty."
The MNF mandate will be reviewed at the request of Iraq or in twelve months. The
mandate will expire at the end of December 2005 with the democratic election of
a new government or earlier if requested by the Government of Iraq, according to
The resolution emphasizes the importance of developing effective police, border
enforcement and a "facilities protection service" under Iraqi control and asks
U.N. member states and international organizations to help the government build
The resolution recognizes that Iraq will manage its own financial and natural
resources; have the authority to disburse funds in the Development Fund for
Iraq; will assume the rights, responsibilities and obligations relating to the
oil-for-food program; and have authority over the Iraqi security forces and
Setting out a role for the United Nations, the resolution said that "as
circumstances permit" the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) shall play a
leading role in helping Iraq convene a national conference in July 2004 to
select a consultative council; hold elections by January 2005; promote national
dialogue on the drafting of a national constitution; and help with the
coordination and delivery of reconstruction, development and humanitarian
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan welcomed the resolution as well as the fact
that it had been adopted unanimously and developed in consultation with the new
Iraqi Interim Government.
"I believe it is a genuine expression of the will of the international
community, led by the Security Council, to come together again after last year's
divisions and to help the Iraqi people take charge of their own political
destiny, in peace and freedom, under a sovereign government of their choosing,"
Annan said after the vote.
The secretary general said that he hoped to name a special representative to
head U.N. operations in Iraq soon. He added that he is monitoring the security
situation closely in order to determine when the security situation is such that
U.N. workers can return to Iraq.
"I also believe that the overwhelming majority of people both inside and outside
Iraq will want the interim government to have a fair chance, and will judge it
on its performance," Annan said. "A great deal is riding on its success, and we
should all give it whatever help we can."