Negroponte Asks Nations to Help with Security in Iraq

 

Tuesday  July 22, 2003

Says U.N. Security Council Resolution 1483 calls for a contribution of forces

 
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte has asked nations to help with the security situation in Iraq, citing the two-month-old U.N. Security Council resolution on post-war Iraq as a basis for international participation.
 
In his July 22 remarks to the Security Council, Negroponte said that Resolution 1483 "appeals to member states and concerned organizations to contribute to conditions of stability and security in Iraq, and we strongly encourage member states to contribute stability forces under this resolution."
 
"The unfolding political process is opposed by some, and the undeniably fragile security situation is a clear manifestation of the minority of those who opposed political freedom," Negroponte said. "They are enemies of freedom and are threatened by visible signs of progress. But they will not prevail."
 
He spoke during a public meeting attended by three members of the new Iraqi Governing Council.
 
Negroponte said that the presence of the governing council members is "a powerful symbol" of the fact that "for the first time in almost 50 years in Iraq, there is no limit on the freedom of expression ... all shades of opinion have full freedom to compete in an open market of ideas."
 
The ambassador also urged nations to help promote economic activity because "political progress will be empty of meaning if the people of Iraq cannot provide for their own livelihood."
 
He said that the United States will also support the international donors conference being planned for later this year to help Iraqis reform their institutions and rebuild their country.
 
Following is the transcript of the ambassador's remarks:

(begin transcript)

USUN PRESS RELEASE #109 (03) July 22, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement by Ambassador John D. Negroponte, United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Situation in Iraq, at the Security Council, July 22, 2003
________________________________________________________________________

Thank you, Madam President.

I would like to welcome you back to New York again, the host city of the United Nations. We are very pleased that you, yourself, in person, are chairing this extremely important meeting of the Security Council.

We welcome the presence of the Secretary General, we thank you for the thorough and comprehensive report that you have submitted to the Council on the subject of Iraq. And we of course also welcome your Special Representative, Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello, and acknowledge his positive contributions. His work in Iraq and the work of the United Nations staff exemplify the vital role for the United Nations envisaged by President Bush and Prime Minister Blair in their Hillsborough Statement.

I would especially like to welcome Mr. Adnan Pachachi, Mr. Ahmed Chalabi and Mrs. Aqeela al- Hashimi, the three members of the Governing Council that are here with us today. For the first time in almost fifty years in Iraq, there is no limit on the freedom of expression in that country. In Iraq today, all shades of opinion have full freedom to compete in an open market of ideas. Your presence here is a powerful symbol of that freedom.

Two months ago today, this Council adopted Resolution 1483, which created a forward path for the Coalition Authority and the United Nations on the ground in Iraq. Resolution 1483 affirmed our collective commitment to the free political development of an internationally recognized, representative government of Iraq. Today, just two months later, the Iraqi people have made tremendous progress on the challenging transition to democracy with the formation of the 25-member Governing Council, on July 13, nine days ago. As the Secretary General noted in paragraph 107 of his recent report, the Governing Council provides a broadly representative Iraqi partner --for the first time in decades, there is a national political body that reflects the rich mosaic of Iraqi society.

The establishment of government by and for the Iraqi people as envisaged in Security Council Resolution 1483 is underway. This Governing Council deserves the full encouragement and support of the international community and especially this body.

I note also that the Secretary General's report emphasizes, in the same paragraph, the importance of establishing a clear timetable leading to full restoration of sovereignty.

The Governing Council will play a leading role in determining the process for drawing up a new constitution and proceeding to democratic national elections. We anticipate that it will establish a Preparatory Commission to recommend a process by which a new constitution for Iraq will be prepared and approved. These are key milestones on the road to the internationally recognized, representative government the Security Council envisioned in Resolution 1483.

The role of women in Iraq's political development should not be overlooked. More than seventy women participated in a day of workshops on July 9 entitled "Voice of Women in Iraq." That event was organized by a steering group of Iraqi women, with assistance and participation by the Authority and the United Nations, including UNIFEM, UNDP, and UNICEF. The same steering group will publish the workshop recommendations on constitution and democracy, among a number of other issues.

This unfolding political process is opposed by some and the undeniably fragile security situation is a clear manifestation of the minority of those who oppose political freedom. They are enemies of freedom, and are threatened by visible signs of progress. But they will not prevail. President Bush has made clear that the United States, together with our Coalition partners and others willing to join us in this important effort, is committed to establishing the conditions for security, which will allow prosperity and democracy to flourish. In this connection, I would recall that, in its first operative paragraph, Resolution 1483 appeals to Member States and concerned organizations to contribute to conditions of stability and security in Iraq, and we strongly encourage member states to contribute stability forces under this resolution.

The security situation in Iraq is unquestionably complex. The Coalition's approach to establishing security in Iraq is multifaceted, including enabling the Iraqis to ultimately provide for their own security. The Coalition has moved quickly to establish Iraqi police forces and shortly will begin recruiting, vetting, and training the first members of the new Iraqi Army. Security forces for ministries and for other purposes --for example, port security --are being screened, hired, and trained.

In addition to the indispensable elements of security and political freedom, Iraq must achieve economic growth and development. Political progress will be empty of meaning if the people of Iraq cannot provide for their own livelihood.

Resolution 1483 appeals to Member States to assist the people of Iraq in their efforts to reform their institutions and rebuild their country. The preparations underway for an international donors conference later this year will allow the international community to meet this challenge and help to rebuild Iraq. We reaffirm our commitment to the international community to implement 1483 in a transparent manner.

Together, we must promote economic activity on an urgent basis, including the revitalization of the oil industry, the judicious use of oil revenues and other foreign exchange, and the development of a free market economy. Iraq is blessed with vast natural resources and human potential. The challenge is to create the conditions for Iraq's potential to be realized, setting the Iraqi economy on the path for sustainable growth and establishing a strong momentum toward an open market economy, while keeping in place a social safety net.

The coming weeks and months will be full of challenges and -- to be sure -- also difficulties. The opportunity now exists for the Iraqi people to create the conditions for a stable, prosperous and democratic Iraq, and we must help them to meet that challenge. Thank you very much, Madam President.

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