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UN Under-Secretary General visits Kurdistan and Iraq to assess political situation
WED, 15 JUN 2011 14:39
Erbil, Kurdistan – Iraq (KRG.org) – Prime Minister Barham Salih on Monday in Erbil received Mr B. Lynn Pascoe, the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs.
Mr Pascoe was visiting the Kurdistan Region as part of a larger official visit to Iraq in order to assess the current political situation in the country. He met with national and regional leaders to discuss the UN’s continuing role in promoting the democratic process in Iraq.
In his meeting with the Under-Secretary, Prime Minister Salih said, “The United Nations has played a vital role in helping to maintain and promote democracy in Iraq, and I hope that it will play an even more important role in Iraq’s future. Specifically, I hope that it will help solve the problems related to the disputed regions according to the federal constitution.” The Prime Minister added that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has always welcomed the UN’s involvement in Iraq.
Mr Pascoe stressed the UN’s commitment to help ensure Iraq’s democratic process is successful, so that all the people of the country can co-exist peacefully. He also spoke about the UN’s readiness to move their offices from Jordan’s capital Amman to Iraq in the near future, when the security situation stabilises.
The Prime Minister and Mr Pascoe talk about other ways that the UN could assist Iraq, not only with political issues but also with humanitarian aid for IDPs, educational and cultural programmes.
Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, the KRG’s Head of Foreign Relations who attended the meeting, said, “These types of visits are very important because they allow the visitors to see firsthand the problems that are being faced in the Region, as well as the progress we are making in the face of these challenges. Given the UN’s excellent track record in helping countries and regions across the world, we welcome their advice and assistance in improving the conditions of the people living in the Kurdistan Region.”
The UN has nearly 600 foreign and national staff throughout Iraq, working for their various agencies. The majority of these agencies work with the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), which plays an important advisory role in helping to solve the outstanding issues between the Kurdistan Region and the federal government.
Before being appointed to his current position by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007, Mr Pascoe served as the US Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia and spent almost forty years in the US Foreign Service.
Other KRG officials who attended Mr Pascoe’s meeting with the Prime Minister were the Minister of Planning Ali Sindi and the Minister for Culture and Youth Kawa Mahmoud. Mr Pascoe also attended separate meetings with UNAMI and with the Minister for the Interior and Acting Deputy Prime Minister, Karim Sinjari, to discuss the political and security situation and relations between KRG and UN.
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