Let me join other Council members previous in thanking Under-Secretary-General Lynn Pascoe for his briefing on the situation in Iraq and his introduction of the Secretary-Generalâ€™s report on UNAMI. We also thank Ambassador Khalizad for his updates on the Multinational Forces in Iraq.
My Delegation shares the Secretary-Generalâ€™s positive notes on the initial achievements of the people of Iraq in strengthening unity, stability and economic growth. We welcome positive developments resulting from those efforts such as the decline in the level of violence across the country, the gradual assumption by the local authorities of the control of competencies for security and the promulgation of key pieces of legislation. We are encouraged by the announcement by Prime Minister N.Al Maliki on 24 April 2008 that all political factions have agreed to rejoin the Cabinet and call upon all the parties concerned to build on the momentum for the well-being and interests of the entire nation. The improvement in Iraqâ€™s international relations, especially those with neighboring countries, should be supported and encouraged to continue as this is essential for not only Iraqâ€™s long-term peace and stability, but also those of the region.
We, however, concur with the Secretary-Generalâ€™s concerns about formidable challenges, including the outbreak of sectarian violence, disputed internal boundaries, pervasive poverty and marginalization, a substantial amount of foreign debts and the lack of resources, and the worsening of human rights and humanitarian situation, especially the situation concerning internally displaced persons, refugees and prisoners as partially reflected in UNAMIâ€™s report on 15 March 2008.
While reaffirming Viet Namâ€™s continued support for the efforts of the Iraqi Government and other concerned parties in consolidating peace and security, advancing political dialogue and strengthening national reconciliation, my Delegation believes that more tangible progress should be sustained in improving the rule of law, countering corruption, curbing illicit use of weapons as well as disarming, demobilizing and reintegrating militias and armed groups. Recognizing the organic relationship between security and development, we note the steps taken by the Government of Iraq to galvanize fundamental socio-economic reforms, poverty reduction, public resources management, governance and institutional capacity-building, basic services delivery and social welfare development. We recognize the important role of the United Nations in assisting Iraq with the political process, regional dialogue, economic reconstruction and humanitarian relief. We call upon United Nations agencies to make further contributions in this regard. We commend UNAMI for its work in helping the Iraqi Government address key priority issues as mandated by Security Council resolution 1770 (2007), such as national reconciliation, constitutional support, and electoral and humanitarian assistance. In the same vein, we hope that the upcoming high-level meeting of the International Compact with Iraq in Stockholm will further consolidate efforts of the international community and regional countries in helping Iraq better address various security, humanitarian, national reconciliation and socio-economic development challenges in the medium term.
Let me take this opportunity, once again, to reiterate Viet Namâ€™s solidarity with and support for the Government and people of Iraq in their quest for lasting peace, stability and development.
I thank you, Mr. President.