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UN Role in Post-War Iraq


Highly Recommended ArticleLetter to the UN Security Council from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (November 14, 2006)

In this letter, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki requests that the Security Council renew the mandate of the "multinational force" (MNF) in Iraq for a further 12 months. Maliki believes that the MNF can play a continuing role in the training of Iraqi security forces, until all responsibilities are handed over to the Iraqi authorities. Despite Maliki's and other Iraqi officials' comments suggesting that the government would ask for changes in the mandate, the letter does not call for lifting the immunity granted to US troops, nor does it call for more respect for civilians.

Human Rights Commission Planned For Iraq (October 18, 2006)

With the help of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the Iraqi government will create a National Human Rights Commission to investigate human rights abuses in the country, including those blamed on international forces. The Commission will hear complaints from civilians and punish those who infringe upon the fundamental rights of the Iraqi people. The chief of UNAMI's human rights office maintains that full realization of all human rights is an important factor for stability in Iraq. (Khaleej Times)

Iraq Is At ‘Crossroads' Warns Annan (September 11, 2006)

In a report to the Security Council, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan describes Iraq as "one of the most violent conflict areas in the world." Iraqi government figures show that an average of 100 civilians die everyday in Iraq and 14,000 sustain serious injuries. Annan warns that if current patterns persist, the country faces the prospect of civil war. He also addresses the role of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), stating his office would review its operations to maximize its impact in the country. (UN News)

Three Years after Attack, UN Soldiers On (August 20, 2006)

Following the UN's retreat from Iraq after the 2003 bombing of its Baghdad headquarters, many Iraqis believe the organization lost its ability to help the country. The UN withdrew its 600 international staff from Iraq after two bomb attacks killed 22 staff members. This article points out that despite the lack of a visible presence amongst the population, and in spite of severe limitations on its freedom of movement, the UN has successfully directed "hundreds of projects" in the areas of agriculture, food security, environment and natural resource management. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Only A UN-Led Peace Process Can Halt the Iraq Catastrophe (July 5, 2006)

Coalition forces in Iraq cannot play a positive role in reconstruction efforts due to the ongoing corruption, criminality and gross human rights abuses perpetrated by their forces. The author of this Guardianopinion piece advocates a UN-led peace process to "accelerate national reconciliation, improve the delivery of essential services and facilitate the end of the militarization." This solution would include the release of Iraqi detainees, the establishment of a "regional contact group" to encourage Iraq's neighbors to play a greater role in reconstruction, and as well a timeline for withdrawal of foreign troops. While welcoming these measures, some warn a UN presence in Iraq would only discredit the world body.

UN Security Council Should Ensure Full Accountability for Multinational Force Abuses (June 14, 2006)

In a statement ahead of a Council meeting reviewing the mandate of the Multinational Force (MNF), Amnesty International USAcalls on the UN Security Council and the Iraqi government to hold to account "those who commit crimes under international law in Iraq, including members of the US-led MNF." Amnesty demands that the Council not extend the immunity from legal proceedings for abuses by the MNF or their contractors and concludes that "the Iraqi criminal justice system should be able to exercise jurisdiction over any crime committed in Iraq."

Iraq Tells UN it Wants Multinational Force to Stay (June 13, 2006)

Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari has formally notified the UN Security Council that it wants the US-led multinational force (MNF) to remain in place. Resolution 1637 said the Council would terminate the MNF's mandate at the request of Iraq's government. The letter's release coincided with a five-hour visit to Baghdad by US President George W. Bush. (Reuters)

Letter from the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations Addressed to the President of the Security Council (June 9, 2006)

Iraqi Minister for Foreign Affairs Hoshyar Zebari has requested that the Security Council extend the mandate of the Multinational Force (MNF) in Iraq, due for review in June. In a letter addressed to the President of the Council, Zebari thanked the MNF for its assistance in "providing security and stability in Iraq." Under Resolution 1637 (2005), the Council can terminate the force's mandate at any time if Iraq's government asks it to do so. In addition, Zebari welcomed the continuation of the current arrangements for the Development Fund for Iraq and the International Advisory and Monitoring Boards.

NGO Letter to the Security Council (May 19, 2006)

A group of 27 NGOs points out that the US-led Multinational Force (MNF) in Iraq has seriously violated international law, including bans on the use of torture, illegal detentions, siege tactics against population centers, and "indiscriminate and especially injurious" weapons. Furthermore, the MNF is responsible for failing to address patterns of corruption and mismanagement in Iraq's development fund and reconstruction programs. Citing numerous official reports and legal texts, the letter urges Council members to "substantially reconsider, revise or terminate" the MNF's mandate to bring it into conformity with international law. (Global Policy Forum)

Appeal against Electing the Occupied Iraq to the UN Human Rights Council (May 7, 2006)

In light of Iraq's nomination to the new UN Human Rights Council, human rights groups in Iraq urge UN member states to vote against Baghdad's membership to the Council. The current Iraqi regime, they point out, is largely a continuation of the US-appointed Governing Council, and does not represent a free Iraq. Along with Iraq's government, US occupation forces have committed "gross and systematic" violations of human rights. As such, Iraqi membership to the Human Rights Council would discredit the body, and complicate political negotiations in Iraq. (Monitoring Network of Human Rights in Iraq)

NGO Letter to the Security Council on Iraq (March 14, 2006)

On the eve of the Security Council's quarterly discussion on the situation in Iraq, a group of NGOs has written the Council to voice their concern. Several disturbing reports have been released by Secretary General Kofi Annan, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), and human rights organizations. These reports have highlighted significant violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, especially in the area of detention practices. In response, the NGOs ask the Council to break its pattern of pro forma review, "accept its responsibility" and "substantially review the mandate it has given to the MNF."

Report of the Secretary General Pursuant to Paragraph 30 of Resolution 1546 (March 3, 2006)

In his quarterly report to the Security Council, Secretary General Kofi Annan provides a summary of events during the past three months in Iraq. While he welcomes Iraq's elections and continued political negotiations, Annan warns that "the human rights situation in Iraq remains a cause of great concern." US and Iraqi internment of thousands of Iraqis "constitutes de facto arbitrary detention," blasts the Secretary General, who calls for the publication of investigations about the legality and conditions of detention in Iraq.

Bringing the United Nations Back In (February 21, 2006)

The US should withdraw from Iraq. Given the escalation of violence under US occupation, the argument that "guerillas would take advantage of a timetable…is frankly silly." According to Professor Juan Cole, the UN enjoys much greater political legitimacy in the Middle East than the US, and, he argues, an expanded UN role along with a US withdrawal, which Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has demanded, could help establish a "new situation" in which peace can prosper. (Informed Comment)

Statement by the President of the Security Council (February 14, 2006)

The United Nations Security Council, under the presidency of US Ambassador John Bolton, issued a statement addressing the situation in Iraq. The Council welcomes the results of the December 15, 2005 parliamentary election, encourages a peaceful political process, and urges Iraqi leaders to work towards greater unity and inclusiveness. The Council also encourages continued participation from the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq and the League of Arab States in aiding Iraq's political transition and economic reconstruction. The statement, however, does not address the ongoing US-led occupation, nor plans for the MNF's withdrawal.


US Detentions Abuse Iraq Mandate: UN (December 5, 2005)

In detaining thousands of Iraqis without due process, the US military is violating its UN mandate. In addition to the Iraqi government's own human rights abuses, US detentions and prison abuse fuel revolt rather than curb it. According to UNAMI Human Rights Chief John Pace, the entire US prison and detention system in Iraq is inconsistent with Security Council resolution 1546, which authorizes the US-led occupation. (Australian Associated Press)

UN's Humanitarian Activities in Iraq Quietly Save Lives (October 19, 2005)

Amid ongoing chaos, UN humanitarian relief is making steady progress in Iraq. Based on the results of a survey given to 22,000 Iraqis, relief initiatives have targeted priority issues of water, sanitation, education and health care provision. Cholera and polio have been eradicated, malaria is under control, and nearly 8 million children are in school. (UN News)

UNHCR Issues New Guidelines on Iraqi Asylum Seekers (September 27, 2005)

Citing continued security concerns, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugeeshas requested that governments continue to host and receive Iraqi asylum seekers. Despite the January 2005 elections, Iraqi citizens face increased violence, and many basic services are unavailable. Approximately 1.2 million Iraqis are internally displaced while 1.5 million have fled the country as emigrants or asylum seekers.

Iraq Slams US Detentions, Immunity for Troops (September 14, 2005)

Iraq's Justice Minister Abdul Hussein Shandal criticizes the US military for its detention of Iraqis and has requested that a UN resolution be changed so that foreigners are no longer immune from Iraqi law. Shendal has also expressed concern for the right of journalists in Iraq to interview insurgents and members of the resistance without fear of interrogation or arrest. (Reuters)

UN Builds Its Iraq Presence with Stealth, Caution (August 19, 2005)

The Los Angeles Timesreports that the United Nations has increased its presence in Iraq, though it maintains a low profile for security reasons. The UN has offered grants to women's rights groups, trained government officials, and has recently provided computers for the Iraqis who are drafting the constitution. UN officials must undertake their duties quietly due to the threat of attack. According to the article, the UN has become a "virtually clandestine organization" in Iraq.

UN to Stay On in Embattled Iraq (August 11, 2005)

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously voted to extend the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) for another year. The US-sponsored resolution may lead to an increase in UN staff in Iraq and the opening of new UN facilities in Erbil and Basra, despite Iraq's volatile security situation. Presently, around 260 UNAMI workers organize humanitarian operations and advise the constitution-drafting committee. (Inter Press Service)

Annan Cites Extensive Work by UN Mission in Iraq, Requests Mandate Extension (August 5, 2005)

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has asked the Security Council to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) until August 2006. He said that since the UN resumed activities in Iraq in August 2004, it has advised Iraqi officials throughout the transition to a new government, has offered counsel to the Iraqi government regarding social services, and has "promoted national dialogue and consensus-building on the drafting of the national constitution." (UN News)

The Conduct of the UN Before and After the 2003 Invasion (June 24, 2005)

In his testimony before the World Tribunal on Iraq, former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans Von Sponeck chides the UN Security Council for failing to prevent or remedy the "human catastrophe in Iraq." Blaming the political nature of the Council for the "massive failure of oversight responsibility," Von Sponeck calls on the UN and the global peace movement to push for justice and take on the responsibility of the "international conscience." (Common Dreams)

There's Progress in Iraq (June 21, 2005)

Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan lists UN achievements in Iraq and finds reasons for optimism. Not only has the UN helped with reconstruction and aid projects, it has performed a vital role in Iraq's political development. The UN has advised the committee responsible for drafting an Iraqi constitution, and will provide assistance during the October referendum on the constitution, and the December general elections. He stresses that despite UN help, the Iraqis are ultimately responsible for charting the future course of their country. (Washington Post)

At Iraqi Request, the UN Extends Approval for US-Led Forces to Stay (June 1, 2005)

The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved extending the mandate of US-led forces in Iraq beyond the end of 2005. The approval came in a private, closed-door consultation with no open discussion of the matter. Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari asked for and strongly endorsed the continued presence of "multinational forces," calling them "friendly forces [...] helping us to establish security, carrying out missions in the interests of the Iraqi people, and under the authority of the government." (New York Times)

Nearly All Iraqis Seek Greater UN Role in Political Transition, Security Council Told (April 11, 2005)

In his presentation to the UN Security Council, Secretary General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Iraq Ashraf Qazi said that "virtually all sectors of Iraqi society want the United Nations to play a larger role" in its political transition. Qazi also reported that the UN staff in Iraq "will be assessing the scope for increased humanitarian and development initiatives," and voiced the need to expedite training of competent Iraqi security forces so that they can take charge of the country's security. (UN News Service)

Interview with the UN Special Representative for Iraq, Ashraf Qazi (March 24, 2005)

According to UN Special Representative for Iraq Ashraf Qazi, the UN role in the country now involves assisting and advising on the political transitional process and helping to restore basic services and infrastructure. Qazi says "the infrastructure of the country has collapsed," and that "reconstruction of education and health are the most important issues." In tackling these issues, the UN works with local NGOs and hopes to resume cooperation with international NGOs as the security situation improves and they return to Iraq. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)


More Staff Bound for Iraq (December 15, 2004)

In a long anticipated statement, UN Spokesman Fred Eckhard announced that UN workers will return to Iraq to assist the Independent Electoral Committee and the Iraqi government in elections in January 2005. The decision follows strong US pressure on the UN to increase its presence in Iraq, but probably won't contribute significantly to a fair and credible electoral process. (Inter Press Service)

Iraq Presses UN for More Help on Elections (December 13, 2004)

In a briefing to the UN Security Council, Iraqi UN Ambassador Samir Shakir Sumaidaie called for a substantial increase of UN staff in Iraq to ensure that Iraqis "turn out in large numbers to participate in the first free elections of their lives." The US has criticized the world body for its limited involvement in election preparations, but UN Spokesman Fred Eckhard refuted claims that the UN is "shying from its responsibilities" by stressing concern over security of its staff as the reason for the UN's cautious approach. (AlertNet)

New Fund Helps Pay for Guarding UN Staff in Iraq (November 30, 2004)

The UN Security Council has approved the creation of a trust fund to support the cost of protecting UN staff in Iraq. The European Union requested the establishment of the trust fund to enable UN workers to return to the country and help prepare elections. Many governments are reluctant to incorporate their troops in the US-commanded multinational security force that will protect UN workers. (AlertNet)

UN Remains Critical in Post-War Iraq (November 19, 2004)

UN Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information Shashi Tharoor defends the role of the UN in Iraq amid the "great deal of collateral damage" the world body incurred as a result of the US invasion of Iraq. Tharoor stresses the "unique legitimacy provided by the United Nations" and its desire to witness "Iraqis regain control of their own political destiny." (YaleGlobal)

UN Unions Want Workers Out of Iraq (October 7, 2004)

As long as US troops occupy Iraq, UN workers remain at risk in the country and should stay out, UN staff unions argue. The organization will only be able to do its work when Iraqis no longer identify the UN with US occupying forces. (Inter Press Service)

Security Council Urges Countries to Contribute Forces to Protect UN in Iraq (October 1, 2004)

In a letter to the Security Council, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for international security staff in Iraq to protect the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). The Secretary General urged member states to contribute troops to the UN effort. (UN News)

UN Envoy Sees an Uphill Battle in Iraq (September 15, 2004)

As long as security does not improve in Iraq the UN will not be present to monitor the upcoming elections. Hundreds of officials were expected to be present to assist with the elections but no more than 35 are currently in Iraq. Iraq's UN representative Feisal Amin al-Istrabadi told the Security Council that this number was inadequate and that there were many obstacles to the elections. (Boston Globe)

To Do its Job, the UN Needs to Take Sides (August 27, 2004)

Former coordinator of the UN Iraq program Michael Soussan rejects the claims that the UN has close ties with the US in Iraq. He adds, that although the UN has clearly distanced itself from Washington, the UN cannot maintain a position of neutrality in Iraq. (International Herald Tribune)

Small Team of UN Personnel Attends National Conference (August 17, 2004)

A UN Election Assistance team is in Iraq monitoring the country's National Conference, the first significant UN presence since the bombing of its Baghdad headquarters in August 2003. The UN team will meet with members of the Interim Government and will prepare for national elections in January 2005. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

UN Absence Could Jeopardize Fair Elections (August 9, 2004)

Inter Press Servicereports that the UN is "unlikely" to send an electoral team into Iraq unless its workers are "heavily protected." UN monitors would assist in preparing for national election in January 2005, and supervise the elections. To date, UN member states have not contributed any troops to a "multinational force" protecting UN personnel.

UN Appeal Falls on Scared Ears (July 28, 2004)

Inter Press Servicereports that member states have made "no concrete troop commitments" to a multinational force that will protect UN staff and humanitarian workers returning to Iraq. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan reiterated that unless security is guaranteed, the UN will not send staffers to the country.

Pakistani Is Named UN Envoy to Iraq (July 13, 2004)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan named Pakistan's Ambassador to Washington Ashraf Jehangir Qazi as Special Representative to Iraq, replacing the late Sergio Vieira de Mello. Qazi will head a team of 20 staff members to oversee Iraq's political transition process. Washington requested an increase in the size of the team, however, officials asserted that the UN will only expand its presence after the creation of a "UN protection force." (Washington Post)

Envoy Bowed to Pressure in Choosing Leaders (June 2, 2004)

UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi admits that CPA officials, including US Chief Administrator Paul Bremer, "wielded significant influence" over appointments to the new Interim Government. US officials argued that Brahimi's candidates were not "sympathetic to the Bush administration's desire to maintain full US control over troops in Iraq." (Washington Post)

Shaky 'Sovereignty' for Iraq (June 2, 2004)

China Dailyargues that the US/UK sponsored UN Security Council resolution does not grant the Iraqi Interim Government full sovereignty. The proposal fails to ensure that the government has "independent control over the armed forces, civil administration and financial resources" and exercises full judicial authority over the trials of Iraqi prisoners of war and civilians, "perhaps the most basic symbol of sovereignty."

Four Nations Seek Iraq Resolution Changes (May 26, 2004)

A Chinese proposal amending the US/UK draft resolution on Iraq gives the new interim government the power to decide whether a multinational force remains in the country after June 30, 2004 and limits the force's mandate to January 2005. The changes received backing from other UN Security Council members, including France, Russia and Germany. (Associated Press)

US Dodges Iraqi Sovereignty with UN Resolution (May 24, 2004)

The US and the UK submitted a draft resolution to the Security Council that transfers "political and administrative sovereignty" to an Interim Iraqi Government appointed by UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi. Critics argue that the proposal "skirts the crucial issue of how much real sovereignty will be passed to the Iraqi people" and does not indicate a timeline when the US-led multinational force would leave the country. (Inter Press Service)

New UN Resolution Will Give Iraqi Interim Government 'Full Sovereignty' (May 22, 2004)

The White House plans to submit a Resolution to the UN Security Council outlining what powers the interim Iraqi government will have on June 30, 2004. Security Council members insist that "full sovereignty" be transferred to the government, including ceding control of security operations as well as control of Iraqi oil revenues and the Development Fund for Iraq. (Associated Press)

US Presses UN on Role in Iraq for Politicians (May 9, 2004)

The White House is now pressing UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to include prominent political figures, acceptable to the US, in Iraq's transitional government. This announcement comes only two weeks after President George Bush endorsed Brahimi's plan appointing "mainly technocrats" to the new government. (New York Times)

UN Iraq Resolution a Tough Sell (April 26, 2004)

The White House is seeking a new UN resolution endorsing its plan to "transfer sovereignty" to Iraq on June 30, 2004. The resolution would include provisions establishing legal cover for foreign troops and allowing Washington make final judgments dealing with Saddam Hussein's alleged WMD program. ( Washington Post)

UN Demands to Know What 'Vital Role' Will Be (April 25, 2004)

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi insist that the Security Council clearly define the UN's position in Iraq. Both Annan and Brahimi are adamant that the UN cannot take full responsibility for the country, especially since the US military is effectively "in control." (Observer)

US Open to a Proposal That Supplants Council in Iraq (April 16, 2004)

The Bush administration has accepted Lakhdar Brahimi's proposal to dissolve the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council and replace it with a new government of prominent Iraqis assembled under UN supervision. By endorsing this plan, Washington is relinquishing some of its political influence to keep its main-mise on military and security affairs. (New York Times)

Key Members Cool on UN Iraq Resolution (April 15, 2004)

By seeking a new Security Council resolution, the US hopes to provide "political cover" for countries willing to contribute troops to help stabilize the country. Anti-war countries such as France, Russia, and Germany argue that the US-led Coalition should strive for a "political solution" rather than more troops. (Associated Press)

Bush to UN: Help! (April 14, 2004)

Can the UN save the US in Iraq? AlterNetargues that the Bush administration's desperation to save-face ahead of US presidential elections in November prompted the White House's policy shift, empowering UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to determine a selection process for an Iraqi transitional government, and by seeking a UN resolution maintaining US forces in Iraq.

Blair and Bush Seek New UN Backing (March 21, 2004)

In an effort to solidify international support for the occupation, the Observerreports the US and the UK will seek a new UN Security Council resolution "mandating" a military presence in Iraq after June 30, 2004. Officials contend the plan gives the UN a "leading role" in post-occupation Iraq.

US Arm-Twists Iraqis to Seek UN Help Before June 30 (March 20, 2004)

Responding to the Iraqi Governing Council request, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will send a team of officials back to Iraq to organize and prepare for next year's elections, as well as to assist in the formation of a new civilian government. However, officials claim the letter was sent under pressure from Paul Bremer, who sees a UN presence in Iraq as "a political counterweight to the IGC." (Associated Press)

Iraqi Governing Council Has Doubts About UN Role (March 14, 2004)

Reuters reports that Shiite members of Iraq's Governing Council are reluctant to allow UN involvement in preparations for general elections. The members remain unconvinced that direct elections are not feasible by June 30, 2004, and are unwilling to negotiate with UN Under Secretary General Lakhdar Brahimi, a Sunni Muslim with a secular background as a former Algerian foreign minister.

Iraq: One Year After (March 2004)

This report by the Council for Foreign Relations(CFR) addresses the issues confronting the US-led occupation of Iraq. CFR stresses the importance of US acceptance for UN leadership in "developing…the process for creating a transitional authority, procedures for elections, and other institutions related to the transition."

Is US Willing to Give UN More Than 'Fuzzy Mandate' in Iraq? (February 12, 2004)

Will the White House concede control of Iraq to the UN? With Iraq security and election plans in total disarray, and with US election campaigns underway, the Christian Science Monitorargues that the Bush administration desperately seeks an exit strategy from Iraq and suggests the UN is now in a unique position to exert its authority over the US.

UN Team in Iraq Seeks Third Way (February 9, 2004)

A UN election assessment team in Iraq aims at determining whether general elections are possible by June 30, 2004. The US is hoping that the UN will endorse its plans for a transitional government, quelling the calls by Ayatollah Sistani, a leading Shiite cleric, for free elections. (Christian Science Monitor)

Why the US is Begging for UN Backing in Iraq (January 29, 2004)

This article questions the motives behind the White House Iraq policy, including the planned transfer of sovereignty set for June 30, 2004. The Institute for Policy Studiescalls for an immediate withdrawal of US troops, instead urging the UN, the Arab League and Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) "to provide direct support for Iraq's reclaiming of sovereignty."

UN to Send Expert Team to Help in Iraq (January 28, 2004)

Responding to the US and UK request, the UN is sending an elections team to Iraq. The team will determine if elections in the country are feasible by the US imposed deadline of June 30, 2004. In a dramatic policy shift, the US is hoping that the new UN role in Iraq will quell opposition to US plans as Iraq's transitional government is formed. (New York Times)

Bush and Bremer Blinked (January 23, 2004)

The US election campaigns puts increasing pressure on the White House "to declare victory (again) and distance Washington from the continuing mayhem," giving the Bush administration a final push into November. How will the President achieve this victory? (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Annan Signals He'll Agree to Send UN Experts to Iraq (January 19, 2004)

The US is conceding that the UN must play a vital role in Iraq's political process. The New York Times argues that if the UN does not accept the US concession, it may result in "fulfilling the frequent prediction of President Bush's that the UN risks becoming 'irrelevant' and going the way of the League of Nations."

US Joins Iraqis to Seek UN Role in Interim Rule (January 16, 2004)

The US, originally hostile towards the UN, is now finally conceding that its involvement in Iraq is critical to the transition to Iraqi sovereignty. The New York Times reports that the UN, wanting to help Iraq, does not "want it to be seen as merely giving in to an American plan."

UN Making an Initial Move Toward Returning to Iraq (January 13, 2004)

Amid mounting US pressure, the UN is sending military and security experts to study safety and security measures for the possible return of UN personnel to Iraq. The UN reaffirms that they "will only return to Iraq when clearer details on what the organization's responsibilities would be and how its workers would be protected." (New York Times)

Annan Wants to Define UN Role in Iraqi Power Transfer (January 6, 2004)

The UN Secretary General offered a three-party talk to the Iraqi Governing Council and the Coalition Provisional Authority to define a UN role in transferring powers to an Iraqi transitional government. Voice of Americasays that the Governing Council immediately accepted the offer, while the CPA balked, arguing, "Iraqis, and not the US dominated coalition, [should be] at the forefront of any talks on their country's future."


Annan Prods US, Iraq for Answers (December 20, 2003)

The Associated Pressreports that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is "clearly frustrated at not getting specific answers" from the Iraqi Governing Council and the occupation forces in Iraq. Annan stressed the need for greater clarification of the UN role before the proposed transition to Iraqi sovereignty in June 2004.

Iraqi Says UN Failed His Country (December 17, 2003)

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari criticized the Security Council for minimal involvement in post-war Iraq. Zebari insisted that political disagreements should "take a back seat to the daily struggle for security, jobs, basic freedoms and all the rights the UN is chartered to uphold." (New York Times)

The Iraq Tragedy: It's Too Late for the UN to Help Much (December 8, 2003)

This editorial argues that the UN could have aided an interim Iraqi government and fostered a constitutional system in the country, but no longer. The tenuous security situation may cause the UN to operate out of neighboring countries, preventing it from performing in a meaningful capacity. (International Herald Tribune)

Germany, France and Russia Ask UN to Call International Meeting on Iraq's Future (November 22, 2003)

Three Security Council members have called for an international conference on Iraq following the precedent of the 2001 Afghanistan conference. Secretary General Kofi Annan privately suggested that six countries bordering Iraq accompany this process. (New York Times)

US Plans New Iraq Proposal for UN (November 19, 2003)

The US seeks international recognition of its "exit strategy" from Iraq, but says it will not repeat extended argumentations in the Security Council. (Washington Post)

US Renews Push for UN Help in Iraq (November 19, 2003)

US Secretary of State Colin Powell has urged the UN to reinvigorate its role in postwar Iraq. But UN Secretary General Kofi Annan stressed the unstable situation on the ground, saying, "The moment we put ourselves in fortresses, we are not going to be as effective and as efficient." (Australian)

UN Officials Are Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop (November 16, 2003)

The Bush administration has decided to hasten the transfer of power to the Iraqis. But the move rekindles concern at the UN. The organization has limited staff in Iraq and worries that the US will "dump" Iraq into its hands. (New York Times)

Walking the Middle Ground, Annan Irks Extremes (October 31, 2003)

A Wall Street Journal editorial says that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is "more interested in defeating (U.S.) President George Bush than he ever was in toppling (Iraqi president) Saddam Hussein." Other commentators provide more moderate and substantive commentary on Annan's assertive response to US-backed Resolution 1511. (Inter Press Service)

Annan Explains UN Baghdad Withdrawal (October 30, 2003)

A report about the August 2003 blast at the UN Baghdad headquarters called security at the compound "dysfunctional." In the continuing climate of insecurity, Secretary General Kofi Annan decided to pull out international staff and conduct a reassessment of UN involvement in Iraq. (Associated Press)

Annan Won't Send UN Staff Back to Iraq (October 18, 2003)

Resolution 1511 allows the UN to play a role in post-war Iraq "as circumstances permit." According to a UN spokesman, the tenuous security situation in Iraq justifies minimal UN presence. (Associated Press)

Threading the Needle: UN Resolution 1511 and the Iraqi Occupation (October 16, 2003)

Ian Williams analyzes key statements from Resolution 1511, noting that the US-drafted resolution contains several promises of imminent transition to Iraq self-governance. Williams ironically notes that the White House may have put itself on a "slippery slope to a more genuinely multilateral approach." (Foreign Policy in Focus)

US Seems Assured of UN's Approval on Plans for Iraq (October 15, 2003)

The new US draft resolution on Iraq emphasizes that Iraqis have the right to "determine their political future." The New York Timesreports that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan referred to the passage "dismissively" as a "nice phrase," but reiterated that the passage or rejection of the resolution would not change the reality of Iraq's occupation.

The UN's Tragic Exit from Iraq (October 13, 2003)

The UN has a lot to offer Iraq through its expertise in peacemaking, fostering democratic transitions and sustainable economic development, argues Craig Murphy. Washington's insistence that it run the show, through Pentagon pro-consuls and corporate cronies, is a tragedy for the Iraqi people.

US Again Pushes for UN Support on Iraq (October 12, 2003)

US Secretary of State Colin Powell has offered a third draft resolution on Iraq with new amendments. The Washington Postreports that the amendments address key concerns expressed by Russia and China.

US May Drop Quest for Vote on Iraq in UN (October 8, 2003)

Several UN member states and the UN Secretary General have sharply criticized the new US draft resolution requesting financial and military assistance in the reconstruction of Iraq. Continuing controversy over a withdrawal timetable and the composition of the Iraq Governing Council may kill the draft resolution. (New York Times)

New US Draft On Iraq Faces Opposition (October 3, 2003)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Security Council members weigh in on the revised US draft resolution on Iraq. Sentiments covered the spectrum, from Annan's dismay that the draft did not include his recommendations, to cautious but conciliatory tones expressed by Russia. (Islam Online)

Fresh UN Retreat From Iraq (September 25, 2003)

A UN committee monitoring security in Iraq recommended the withdrawal of all international staff from the country. The BBCreports that the UN will retain some foreign staff, but will mostly rely on Iraqi citizens to continue its humanitarian work.

Bush's Plea for UN Help in Iraq Sparks Hostile Response (September 24, 2003)

Speeches by heads of state to the General Assembly contained very different messages. While US President George Bush defended the war in Iraq wholeheartedly and spoke about weapons of mass destruction, French President Jacques Chirac rejected the right of any country to use force unilaterally. (Independent)

UN Could Agree This Week On Plan for Iraq Sovereignty (September 15, 2003)

The five permanent members of the Security Council agree on the need to transfer political power in Iraq to Iraqis as soon as possible. But questions of a specific timetable and the composition of the Iraqi governing council remain unresolved. (Wall Street Journal)

Impressions on a New UN Role in Iraq (September 12, 2003)

This article from the Daily Starponders options for UN involvement in post-war Iraq. It encourages the UN to initiate far-reaching action for a more peaceful and stable Middle East region. This idea is the ideological cousin of the Helsinki Conference that reconciled NATO and Warsaw Pact countries in the 1970's.

A Return to the UN? (September 4, 2003)

The US seeks a UN-endorsed multinational force to join the US occupation force in Iraq, but intends not to share authority or decision-making with contributing states or the UN. Phyllis Bennis comments on the unprecedented nature of this plan and urges an alternative course for the occupying powers. (Project Against the Present Danger)

Germany, France Fault US Offer of UN Iraq Role (September 5, 2003)

France and Germany reserve support for a US plan to internationalize the occupying forces in Iraq. Both countries highlight the deteriorating security situation and unacceptably marginal Iraqi involvement in the country's reconstruction. (Los Angeles Times)

New UN Resolution Seen as Acknowledgment Unilateralism Doesn't Always Work (September 4, 2003)

In the perilous aftermath of the war in Iraq, the Bush administration and conservative policy analysts construct spin and devise euphemisms for changes in policy. Seeking troops and funds from other countries represents "pragmatism winning out over unilateralism." (Associated Press)

Bush Faces Humbling Search for UN Help (September 4, 2003)

Neoconservatives in the Bush administration face the fallacy of their optimistic predictions about a stable and secure Iraq in the aftermath of war. According to an Iraq expert, the US seeks "an exit strategy by internationalizing the situation." (Reuters)

Bush Looks to UN to Share Burden on Troops in Iraq (September 3, 2003)

The White House seeks a UN Security Council resolution authorizing a multinational force for Iraq. The Bush administration envisions "‘making this peacekeeping operation look like the kind that are familiar to us' in Kosovo, Bosnia and other places where the United Nations has taken the major role." (New York Times)

The United Nations and Iraq (August 29, 2003)

What action follows the slogans "US Out" and "Iraq for Iraqis?" An antiwar activist reluctantly replies that a UN/Arab League transitional administration represents the best of several bad options. (ZNet)

Beware the Bluewash (August 26, 2003)

George Monbiot insists that neither the US nor the UN have the moral authority to govern Iraq. Immediate transition of power and the opportunity to participate in reconstruction negotiations offers the best but most unlikely option for Iraqi citizens. (Guardian)

Boutros Ghali Lambasts Pliant UN (August 25, 2003)

Boutros Boutros Ghali, the former Secretary-General of the UN, worries that the organization has become an extension of the US State Department. Only the reform and improvement of the Security Council will prove that "the US and the UN are not one and the same." (Guardian)

'I Should Always Believe Journalists,' He Said, Adding: 'Please Pray for Me.' (August 24, 2003)

This article praises the political accomplishments and personal attributes of the late Sergio Vieira de Mello and Nadia Younes, both of whom lost their lives in the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad. (New York Times)

UN Members Push Back on Call to Share More of Iraq Burden (August 22, 2003)

The US campaign to bolster occupation forces faces an uphill struggle in a Security Council still bitterly divided over Washington's decision to launch a war without UN approval. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan insists that a resolution to send more troops to Iraq will not succeed unless the US agrees to share decision-making and responsibility. (Associated Press)

To Many Arabs, the US and UN Are One Entity (August 21, 2003)

This article contends that most Arabs increasingly perceive the UN as simply an extension of US power. It argues that the UN sank to new depths in Middle Eastern public opinion when the US invaded Iraq without the approval of the international body. The bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad merely reflects many of these sentiments. (Los Angeles Times)

US Wants UN to Press Members to Send Troops to Iraq (August 21, 2003)

In the aftermath of the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, the US pushes for a new Security Council resolution to persuade former opponents of the war in Iraq to contribute military and financial aid to the reconstruction effort. However, the US reaffirmed that the Occupying Forces would continue to command all military forces in Iraq. (New York Times)

Bush in Talks to Bolster UN Role (August 21, 2003)

The Guardianoutlines the debate among top Bush administration security advisors about a possible UN resolution for an international stabilization force.

UN Bombed for Perceived US Link, Experts Say (August 19, 2003)

Some Middle East experts and US academics attribute the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad to the increasing perception among Iraqis that the organization is a "tool for US foreign policy." (Inter-Press Service)

US Abandons Idea of Bigger UN Role in Iraq Occupation (August 14, 2003)

Bush administration officials say that they have abandoned the idea of giving the UN a more substantial role in the occupation of Iraq. France, India and other countries sought greater UN involvement in Iraq as a condition for their participation in peacekeeping there. (New York Times)

UN Envoys Near Accord on Iraqi Council Resolution (August 12, 2003)

UN diplomats say that permanent members of the Security Council move closer to agreement on a US-drafted resolution that would welcome Baghdad's new Governing Council and formally authorize the UN assistance mission in Iraq. (Reuters)

US Cool to New UN Vote (August 2, 2003)

Despite increasing pressure from US Congress members to "internationalize" the post-war reconstruction of Iraq, the Bush administration has not actively pursued a new Security Council resolution. A UN resolution could authorize broader international participation in the reconstruction. The Bush administration is concerned that greater UN involvement could reduce US control. (Washington Post)

Why We Should Transfer the Administration of Iraq to the UN (July 31, 2003)

Stephen Zunes insists that Iraqis and other Middle Easterners widely perceive the US as mainly concerned with their political and economic interests in the region. To secure government legitimacy, peace and stability in Iraq the administration of the country must be transferred to the United Nations. (Project Against the Present Danger)

Time for Another UN Resolution? (July 31, 2003)

The Economistargues that since neither the US nor Europe agrees on who should control Iraq, a new UN resolution might encourage more countries to participate in peacekeeping.

Amid Ongoing Insecurity, UN Steps Up Political Assistance to Iraqis (July 31, 2003)

The United Nations increases its political assistance to the new Iraqi Governing Council in writing a new constitution and facilitating future democratic procedures. However, a general lack of security continues to cause deep concern among its humanitarian agencies in Iraq. (UN News)

Briefing to the Security Council by Sergio Vieira de Mello (July 22, 2003)

Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN Special Representative for Iraq, and a member of the newly established Iraqi Governing Council both called for a quick end to the US military occupation of Iraq. They also called for an expedient restoration of the country's full sovereignty. (UN News)

Annan Asks for Timetable on US Withdrawal (July 20, 2003)

Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General, calls on US-led forces in Iraq to set out a "clear timetable" for a staged withdrawal. He also notes that numerous Iraqis have told UN officials that "democracy should not be imposed from the outside." (New York Times)

Report of the Secretary-General on Iraq (July 17, 2003)

Secretary-General Kofi Annan's report provides a blueprint for how the UN can assist in the reconstruction of Iraq. But Annan says that under its current Council mandate the UN cannot re-establish law and order and administer the country. These duties must remain the sole responsibility of the US-run Coalition Provisional Authority.

Russia Calls for New UN Resolution (July 17, 2003)

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov called for new UN Security Council resolutions to eventually deploy peacekeepers to Iraq. The Russian appeal comes amidst the US-led coalition admitted it faced a classic guerrilla resistance to its occupation. (Agence France Presse)

Iraq Council Team to Visit UN (July 15, 2003)

A delegation representing Iraq's interim Governing Council plans to visit the UN. The visit will mark one of the first official acts of the 25-member council, which was appointed by the US-UK military forces occupying Iraq. (Reuters)

US Row Casts Shadow over Blair (July 14, 2003)

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is facing growing domestic pressure to dissociate himself from the US and to urge President George Bush to expand the limited UN role in Iraq. But any such demand could inflame the already strained relations between the two countries over Guantanamo prisoners. (Guardian)

Lawlessness in Iraq and the Failure of Unilateralism (July 7, 2003)

The Bush administration tossed aside notions of multilateral cooperation and international law when it pushed ahead with its war on Iraq, but as casualties mount and chaos spreads, the US may quietly look for help from the UN and allies. Professor Ali Khan wonders, "Is this how unilateralism ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper?" (JURIST)

UN Still Battered by US Action on Iraq (July 2, 2003)

The UN continues to suffer from negative publicity originating in Washington, espescially over Iraq. The Bush administration has committed itself to ending attacks on the UN, but the world organization sorely lacks support from the administration, congress and the US media. (UN Wire)

Towards UN Administration of Internal Security & Political Transition (July, 2003)

The 97-0 vote in the US Senate calling on the White House to seek NATO and UN support for the post-war transition in Iraq highlights growing public concerns about the Bush administration's go-it-alone occupation policy. (Fourth Freedom Forum)

What the UN Can – and Can't – Do in Iraq (June 2, 2003)

According to the UN Wirethe UN does not have the resources to reconstruct Iraq but the organization would be the best administrator. The UN is perfectly suited with its neutrality and past experience with nation building in regions such as East Timor, Kosovo and Bosnia.

UN Iraq Envoy Moves Quickly (May 28, 2003)

With only a four-month assignment, the UN Envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello stated that the top priority is to assure an independent role for the United Nations and to protect the interest of the Iraqi people. (Australian)

UN Appoints Special Representative for Iraq (May 24, 2003)

Secretary General Kofi Annan informed the Security Council and the General Assembly that he is appointing UN Human Rights Chief Sergio Vieira de Mello (the US candidate) as the new special representative to Iraq. (New York Times)

Winning the Peace in Iraq: Defining a Role for the United Nations (May 22, 2003)

According to recommendations published by Save the Children UK, the UN should have a central role in Iraq to coordinate humantarian, peacekeeping and nation building efforts.

In Iraq, the UN Should Do What It Does Best (May 21, 2003)

David Phillips recommends that Secretary General Kofi Annan quickly push for a UN role in Iraq. But its function would be limited to a focus on governance, transitional justice and human rights. (International Herald Tribune)

Cook Accuses Blair of Sidelining the UN in Post-War Iraq (May 14, 2003)

Former leader of the Commons Robin Cook blames Prime Minister Tony Blair for "freezing out the UN from its proper role in post-war Iraq." (Independent)

UN Members Push Iraqi Rebuilding Fund To Lure US (May 2, 2003)

In an attempt to bridge the gap between US and other Security Council members, diplomats have suggested keeping the UN in charge of supplying food and medicine to Iraqi citizens. The plan also includes the creation of a reconstruction fund under an international umbrella that would also supervise Iraq's oil exports. (Energy Intelligence Group)

How the UN May Fit in Postwar Iraq (April 23, 2003)

UN officials' experience with funding and technical assistance in Afghanistan can be applied to Iraq. The US does not want the organization to play a major role, but the UN is the only organization that can provide a neutral force to assist in rebuilding a nation. (Christian Science Monitor)

EU Finds Common Ground on Iraq (April 17, 2003)

The European Union called for a "central role" for the United Nations in rebuilding Iraq and urged US troops to quickly restore order in the country. (Deutsche Welle)

Post-War Iraq: Asking the Right Questions (April 11, 2003)

Foreign Policy in Focuswarns against the US attempt to relegate the UN to a secondary role in Iraq's reconstruction. Only the "internationalization and United Nations" can bring a neutral, legitimate and durable government in Baghdad.

The Day After the Statues Fall (April 11, 2003)

Phyllis Bennis states that the Iraqis are pleased with the destruction of the regime but it does not mean the war is legal, justified or appropriate. The legitimacy of a new government depends how it is chosen and the UN must play a central role in selecting an interim authority. (ZNet)

US Digs in on Lesser Role For UN (April 11, 2003)

The US and the UK are going to keep close control of physical and political reconstruction in Iraq. They might limit the UN's role to seeking endorsement for an interim Iraq authority and help with humanitarian aid. (International Herald Tribune)

Britain Must Now Ensure That There is no US Puppet Government in Iraq (April 10, 2003)

Donald Macintyre of the Independentemphasizes the importance for Britain to work on post-war Iraq through the UN. A US official stated "to the victor, the spoils, and in this case the spoils are choosing who governs." Macintyre warns that such statements will only divide the international community further.

UN Considers Proposal For Peacekeeping in Iraq (April 10, 2003)

UN officials are drafting a proposal for a UN-authorized force in Iraq, similar to the multilateral force the UN authorized for Afghanistan. The plan, known as "coalition-plus," would transform the US-led coalition into a "peacekeeping or stabilization force," augmented with contingents from other countries, including Arab states. (Wall Street Journal)

UK and France Push for UN Iraq Role (April 9, 2003)

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin agreed that international involvement is vital to rebuild Iraq. But Straw was unclear on the UN's role in establishing an interim authority. (Guardian)

Annan Sees Important UN Role in Post-Conflict Iraq (April 7, 2003)

Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Rafeeuddin Ahmed as his Special Adviser to Iraq. Kofi Annan also expects the UN to play an important role because the organization has a good experience in the area. ( UN News Service)


Debating Post-Saddam Policy: Hardliners v. Realpolitikers (December 20, 2002)

The Bush administration cannot reach any consensus about the configuration of a post-invasion Iraq. The "neoconservative and unilateralist hawks" suggest a US military occupation similar to that which followed World War II, while the "more internationalist realpolitikers" propose a "short-term, international- and UN-supervised Iraqi administration." (Foreign Policy In Focus)

Groups Outline Plans for Governing a Post-Hussein Iraq (December 18, 2002)

An Iraqi opposition meeting ends with a call "for a democratic, federal, parliamentary government" in Iraq and a demand that the US let Iraqis take control of the country if the US drives Saddam from power. The group remains divided on several issues and some delegates left in anger, accusing the US of "cooking" the conference. (New York Times)

US Has a Plan to Occupy Iraq, Officials Report (October 11, 2002)

According to the New York Times, the White House is developing a plan to install a US-led military government in Iraq for a year or more while the US and its allies search for weapons and maintain Iraq's oil fields.

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