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January 19, 10

NEWS / As Iraq makes progress, UN to focus more on social and economic development


18 January 2010 – United Nations efforts to help Iraq continue to evolve with the war-torn country’s progress as the Government is now seeking increasing support for social and economic development in the years to come, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said today.
Addressing a conference of the International Compact with Iraq at UN Headquarters in New York, she noted the important advances made since it was launched in 2006 “at a time of great scepticism” in a bid to forge a new partnership with the international community to consolidate peace and pursue political, economic and social development over the next five years.

“There were doubts about Iraq’s readiness for a major commitment; it was feared that it lacked a political process to frame such an overarching vision, and that the institutions were not yet ready for implementation,” she said. “It was also thought that the international community would not provide adequate support, and that the gap between the Government of Iraq and the rest of the world was too great…”

“The Compact offered a new beginning on the path toward peace and prosperity –.a path built on a shared vision between the Government of Iraq and the international community, a path based on the commitment of all partners to devote their goodwill and resources to Iraq’s recovery.”

Now, security has improved, normal life has increasingly returned, markets have re-opened and operate at normal hours, electricity and water delivery have returned to pre-war levels, and Iraq held successful provincial elections a year ago, with parliamentary elections scheduled for early March. The economy is also showing signs of life, oil production is increasing, and international interest in further developing Iraq’s oilfields has been overwhelming.

“All this progress notwithstanding, much work remains to be done,” she said. “Iraq’s challenges today are daunting and numerous. The political process is incomplete, and the country falls far short of its potential with regard to its social and economic development.

“These challenges will require the continued support and know-how of the international community. Iraq still needs its international partners, and the world still needs a peaceful and prosperous Iraq.”

The Compact is jointly chaired by the Iraqi Government and the UN, with the support of the World Bank.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=33512&Cr=iraq&Cr1=

 




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