Saturday, July 30, 2011

UN Security Council Renews Mandate of Mission in Iraq
UNITED NATIONS (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution to extend for a year the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) as the current mandate is set to expire on July 31, 2011.
The resolution, which was drafted by the United States, stressed that "challenges to security in Iraq still exist and that improvements need to be sustained through meaningful political and national unity".
It reaffirmed the importance of UNAMI "in advising, supporting and assisting the Iraqi people and government to strengthen democratic institutions, advance inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation".
The resolution also expressed its intention to review the mandate of UNAMI "in twelve months or sooner if requested by the government of Iraq", in addition to requesting that UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon report to the Security Council every 4 months "on the progress made towards the fulfillment of all UNAMI's responsibilities".
Last week, Ad Melkert, who is UN Secretary-General's special representative for Iraq, said that there is ground for "cautious optimism" in Iraq.
"In most of what I have witnessed in Iraq there is ground for cautious optimism, provided that determined leadership within the country and a stronger spirit of cooperation in the region with Iraq prevail," Melkert said.

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