by H.E. Ambassador Le Luong Minh, Permanent Representative of Viet Nam
at the Debate of Security Council on “The situation concerning Iraq”
New York, 21 January 2008
At the outset, I would like to join the previous speakers in thanking the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, for his introduction of the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Assistance in Iraq (UNAMI). I thank the Secretary-General for his report. I also thank the Representative of the United States, Ambassador Khalilzad for his briefing.
The report of the Secretary-General presents us with a mixed overall picture of the situation in Iraq in the reporting period. On the bright side, my Delegation is pleased to note that despite extremely difficult circumstances, the people of Iraq have persevered in the political transition process set out in resolution 1546 (2004) and entered a new phase of striving for unity, stability and development. The marked reduction in the number of violent incidents, the gradual assumption by the Iraqi authorities of the control of competencies for security, the process of implementation of Article 140 of the Constitution and the reinforcement of the Jaysh al Mahdi ceasefire... are positive developments. On the dark side, my Delegation shares the concerns of the Secretary-General about daunting challenges that the people of Iraq still face in the quest for peace, security and development. Attacks against civilians, outbreaks of sectarian strife, lack of consensus in promulgating key legislative documents, the escalation of border tension and the worsening humanitarian and human rights situation with unresolved plights of almost 4 million refugees and internally displaced persons continue to pose serious challenges to the Government and people of Iraq. In the present situation, the role of the United Nations in Iraq in the political process, constitutional support, electoral assistance and especially humanitarian assistance and national reconciliation is of still greater importance. We commend WFP, WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, UN-HABITAT, UNFPA, UNHCR and other UN agencies for the activities they are undertaking in Iraq under what described by the Secretary-General as “extremely difficult conditions”.
Viet Nam highly appreciates and supports the efforts undertaken by UNAMI in the implementation of its expanded mandate under resolution 1770 (2007). At the political level, we support the efforts of the parties concerned in advancing the political process, promoting national dialogue and reconciliation. We remain convinced that reinforcing the constitutional review process, disbanding militias and armed groups, curbing illicit use of weapons, improving the livelihood of civilians and the conditions of refugees and displaced persons, as well as strengthening the rule of law are amongst important measures that can help Iraq tackle existing problems.
On the economic front, we encourage the Government of Iraq to undertake specific measures with a view to achieving tangible results in poverty reduction, public services provision, job creation and institutional strengthening. In our view, these are essential to create a sound basis for the reconstruction work to be effective and sustainable. We reaffirm our support for the activities undertaken within the framework of the International Compact with Iraq. In implementation of its expanded mandate, UNAMI should continue to assist Iraq to undertake effectively these measures.
My Delegation is encouraged by efforts by the Government of Iraq to strengthen constructive cooperation and dialogue with regional countries on economic, security, energy and humanitarian issue. We share the assessment that the reduction in the number of violence incidents in September, October and November last year are partially thanks to the increase in this co-operation. We hope that this type of co-operation and dialogue will take place not only with Iran and Syria, but also with other neighboring countries concerned with a view to ease border tension, prevent further hostilities and resolving humanitarian issues. In the context of continued difficulties almost in every field, the role of the international community in general and of the regional countries remain instrumental in helping Iraq respond to various security, humanitarian, national reconciliation and socio-economic development challenges. Viet Nam will continue to support the political process in Iraq and the effort of the parties concerned aimed at restoring peace, stability, unity and prosperity of Iraq. We support the efforts of the Iraqi people in rebuilding their country and look forward to developing political, economic, commercial relations with Iraq when conditions permit.
I thank you, Mr. President.