UN Security Council renews mandate of mission in Iraq
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), and reiterated its calls on the Iraqi leaders to form a new government at an early date, Xinhua reported.
The resolution extended the mandate of UNAMI, which expires on Saturday, until July 31, 2011. The Security Council voiced its intention to review the mandate "in 12 months or sooner, if requested by the government of Iraq," said the resolution.
The Security Council congratulated the people and the government of Iraq on the holding of the March 7 parliamentary election and the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court certification of the results, and called on "Iraq's leaders to form, in an inclusive process, a government as soon as possible, and in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution, that represents the will and sovereignty of the Iraqi people and their hope for a strong, independent, unified and democratic Iraq," the resolution said.
A new government has not been set up about five months after the parliament elections. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council urged Iraqi legislators to form a new government as soon as possible.
The March 7 parliamentary elections left Iraq unable to form a definite government, which Ad Melkert, the special representative of the secretary-general for Iraq, noted in his briefing to the 15- nation Council on Wednesday "could be exploited by elements opposed to Iraq's democratic transition."
Iraq has recently been plagued by sectarian attacks, including bombings and shootings on Tuesday in the capital Baghdad.
The Security Council "recognizes the security of UN personnel is essential for UNAMI to carry out its work for the benefit of the people of Iraq and calls upon the government of Iraq and other member states to continue to provide security and logistical support to the UN presence in Iraq," the resolution said.
The Security Council encourages "the government of Iraq to continue strengthening democracy and the rule of law, improving security and public order and combating terrorism and sectarian violence across the country," the resolution added.