July 2010 Monthly Forecast

Posted 1 July 2010
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MIDDLE EAST

Iraq

Expected Council Action
The Council is expecting a report on the Development Fund for Iraq in July. It is likely that the UN Controller will brief Council members in informal consultations on the fund. No Council action is expected. An open meeting may be possible which would allow an Iraqi representative to speak.

Key Recent Developments
On 1 June Iraq’s supreme court certified the results of the 7 March national elections that gave the Iraqiya list of candidates led by Ayad Allawi 91 seats in parliament, the State of Law list led by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki 89 seats and the Iraqi National Alliance list, which includes followers of Moktada al-Sadr, 71 seats. On 2 June the Security Council congratulated the people and government of Iraq on the election certification. It called on all political entities to respect the certified results and to quickly engage in an inclusive process to form a representative government. It also condemned recent terrorist attacks aimed at disrupting the government-formation process.

On 7 June an Iraqi official said Iraq had protested to Iran over that country’s shelling of Kurdish rebels in the northern Kurdistan region of Iraq. Kurdish officials said the next day that Iranian troops had also begun constructing a small fortification on Iraqi territory to facilitate their activities.

Also on 7 June, attacks targeting police and members of the Awakening movement killed 11 people and wounded dozens more in Baghdad and other parts of the country. (The attacks appear to be consistent with others in recent weeks made against members of the Awakening movement, which is composed of government-backed Sunni militias that have fought Al-Qaida in Iraq.)

On 12 June Maliki and Allawi met to discuss the political situation in Iraq. Although no immediate agreement was apparent, a spokesman said it was hoped the meeting would open the way for further talks between the leaders of the two largest political coalitions and that all parties agreed on the importance of including the Iraqiya coalition in the new government. Iraq’s parliament met briefly on 14 June for the first time since national elections, but was adjourned with a new government yet to be formed. (Discussions have continued between Maliki’s State of Law coalition and the Iraqi National Alliance, which have agreed to ally themselves in the Iraqi parliament but are still working to resolve differences over the form of the new government. The two groups together have close to the number of seats needed to form a government.)

On 13 June, 26 people were killed in coordinated bombings targeting the Iraqi Central Bank. On 20 June, 27 people were killed and dozens injured when two vehicle bombs apparently targeting the Iraqi Commercial Bank in Baghdad exploded.

Iraq’s electricity minister resigned on 21 June as a result of several days of protests over lack of electricity and chronic power outages. Seventeen police were injured and one protestor killed as thousands demonstrated in the south of the country.

On 15 June Gennady Tarasov, the High-Level Coordinator for Iraq/Kuwait missing persons and property, briefed Council members on the latest Secretary-General’s report on the issue. In a press statement after the briefing, the Council confirmed a decision to finance the activities of the High-Level Coordinator for another six months and noted that a designated period for confidence-and cooperation-building begun in April 2009 had proven to be useful. However, the Council also recognised that no confirmed remains of Kuwaiti or third-country nationals had been found during the reporting period and noted that limited progress was made on “clarifying the fate” of Kuwait’s national archives.

On 21 June US Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill said while the US would provide all possible assistance, Iraq politicians must themselves find agreement on a way forward to form a new government. Hill reiterated the US intention to end combat operations in August and withdraw all troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.

Human Rights-Related Developments

On 11 June, the Human Rights Council (HRC) formally adopted the report of the Universal Periodic Review of Iraq. The Minister for Human Rights of Iraq, Wijdan Salim, told the HRC that the report would be implemented in several ways. A national committee had been established to follow up the review’s recommendations accepted by Iraq. A national conference would be held in September to discuss a draft road map for the implementation activities. The Human Rights Action Plan would then be brought into alignment with the National Development Plan. In the HRC’s debate prior to the adoption of the report, Human Rights Watch urged Iraq to complete the procedures for ratifying the Convention against Torture, fully implement the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and repeal articles from the penal code that identified the commission of an offence with “honourable motives” as a mitigating excuse.

Key Issues
A key issue for the Council in July is progress by Iraq in establishing a successor mechanism to the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI). (Resolution 1905 called on Iraq to develop an action plan for the effective transition to a post-DFI mechanism by 31 December 2010.)

Iraq’s request for the removal of restrictions imposed in resolutions adopted during Saddam Hussein’s regime is a related issue.

Extended delays in government formation or unrest over the government’s composition could undermine Iraq’s ability to make further progress toward fulfilling its obligations in order for Saddam-era restrictions to be removed.

Underlying Problem
A major underlying problem is the fact that Iraq is a relatively new and fragile democracy with substantial sectarian and political divisions.

Options
Options include:

  • adopting a press statement that encourages Iraq’s efforts toward establishing a DFI successor mechanism; or
  • refraining from action at this time.

Council and Wider Dynamics
Council members appear to view the July DFI report as an opportunity for Iraq’s Committee of Financial Experts (COFE) to further explain its work plans for transitioning to a post-DFI mechanism. Most members do not seem to favour taking any decisions at the present time.

Many Council members continue to feel that the formation of Iraq’s new government may facilitate more active engagement on Iraq/Kuwait issues such as border demarcation. The ratification of the Additional Protocol to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is another step which some members view as necessary before they consider lifting restrictions imposed by Saddam-era resolutions. Council members seem more optimistic about making progress on these issues after government formation occurs than at the present time.

The US is the lead country on Iraq issues in general, and the UK is the lead on Iraq/Kuwait issues.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1905 (21 December 2009) extended the arrangements for the DFI and the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) until 31 December 2010, called on Iraq to develop an action plan and timeline for a post-DFI mechanism in 2010 and requested the Secretary-General to report on strengthening oversight of the DFI, legal issues and options for a post-DFI mechanism, and Iraq’s progress in preparing for such a mechanism.
  • S/RES/1883 (7 August 2009) extended UNAMI’s mandate for another 12 months.
  • S/RES/1859 (22 December 2008) requested the Secretary-General to report on all Council resolutions concerning Iraq since 1990; a letter from Iraq requesting the lifting of Saddam-era resolutions is included as an annex to the resolution.
  • S/RES/1483 (22 May 2003) established sanctions against the previous Iraqi government, created the DFI, provided immunity to Iraqi petroleum products and envisaged the termination of the oil-for-food programme.
  • S/RES/1284 (17 December 1999) appointed a High-Level Coordinator for Iraq/Kuwait missing persons and property.

Selected Presidential Statement

  • S/PRST/2010/5 (26 February 2010) underlined the importance of Iraq’s ratifying the Additional Protocol and expressed the Council’s willingness to review disarmament-related restrictions on Iraq.

Selected Meeting Records

  • S/PV.6320 (25 May 2010) was the latest briefing on UNAMI.
  • S/PV.6293 (6 April 2010) was the latest briefing on the DFI and the IAMB.

Selected Press Statements

  • SC/9955 (15 June 2010) noted the Council agreed to extend the financing of the mandate of the high-level coordinator for six months.
  • SC/9943 (3 June 2010) was on Iraq’s election certification.

Selected Letters

  • S/2010/365 (18 June 2010) included Iraq’s second quarterly report on the action plan and timeline for the transition to a post-DFI mechanism by 31 December 2010.
  • S/2010/150 (22 March 2010) included an IAEA assessment of Iraq’s cooperation with its safeguards activities.
  • S/2010/153 (18 March 2010) included Iraq’s first quarterly report on the action plan and timeline for the transition to a post-DFI mechanism.
  • S/2010/37 (19 January 2010) was Iraq’s letter to the Council arguing that Iraq had fulfilled its disarmament obligations and asking for the removal of related restrictions under existing resolutions.

Selected Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2010/300 (9 June 2010) was the most recent report on Iraq/Kuwait missing persons and property.
  • S/2010/240 (14 May 2010) was the most recent report on UNAMI.
  • S/2010/166 (1 April 2010) was the most recent report on the DFI and the IAMB.
  • S/2009/385 (27 July 2009) was the report on the review of Iraq resolutions.

Other Relevant Facts

Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq

Ad Melkert (Netherlands)

Secretary-General’s High-Level Coordinator for Iraq/Kuwait Missing Persons and Property

Gennady Tarasov (Russia)

Useful Additional Source

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