June 2006 Monthly Forecast

Posted 26 May 2006
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MIDDLE EAST

Iraq

Expected Council Action
The Council will review the mandate for the multinational force (MNF) and the mandates of the Development Fund for Iraq and the International Advisory and Monitoring Board. Also in June, the quarterly report of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) is due, and the US is expected to report to the Council on the activities of the MNF. No formal action is expected on these issues.

Options
In the absence of clearly articulated policy requests to the UN from the recently formed Iraqi government, and given the overall situation in Iraq, the Council will be reluctant to explore any new options at this stage.

Council Dynamics
Most Council members feel that the UN should play a more prominent role in Iraq. However, the Secretariat remains reluctant to commit more personnel in Iraq without security guarantees.

Discussion of underlying issues about the MNF is likely to be muted. France and Russia seemed in the past inclined towards a resolution, including a timetable for the presence of the MNF in Iraq. However, the US and the UK argue that giving a deadline to the MNF would only contribute to a strengthening of the insurgency. It seems more likely that a new resolution will be discussed before the end of the MNF mandate on 31 December.

Council members are keen to maintain a consensus to avoid the reappearance of tensions that were present within the Council before the US-led military campaign in March 2003 and thus the underlying issues are rarely raised. It is therefore likely that the review process in June will be uncontroversial.

Underlying Problems
According to the Secretary-General, “staff security remains the Mission’s overarching principle.” For UNAMI to become more engaged in Iraq in the long term, member states would have to provide operational support and security. The Secretary-General, for example, has called for the development of a new integrated UN complex in Iraq. However, despite the UN’s willingness to become more involved and broad agreement among Council members, UNAMI still lacks capacity and protection to undertake a wider role.

The constitutional review process is the next political step for Iraq. However, the risk that violence could increase during that process may lead to a conclusion that the time is not ripe for this review.

UN Documents

 Selected Council Resolutions
  • S/RES/1637 (8 November 2005) extended the mandate of the MNF, the arrangements for depositing proceeds of export sales from petroleum and natural gas in the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), and the arrangements of the International Advisory and Monitoring Board until 31 December 2006.
 Selected Presidential Statements
  • S/PRST/2006/24 (24 May 2006) welcomed the inauguration of the Iraqi government.
  • S/PRST/2006/8 (14 February 2006) welcomed the results of the elections.
 Secretary-General’s Latest Report on UNAMI

Other Relevant Facts

 Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq
 Ashraf Jehangir Qazi (Pakistan)
 Deputy Special Representative for Iraq
 Jean-Marie Fakhouri (Lebanon)
 Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs in Iraq
 Michael von der Schulenburg (Germany)

Useful Additional Sources

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