Friday, July 28, 2006

Good for the UN! In spite of Bolton....

From The Middle East Times...International Edition:

UN, Iraq launch development compact
AFPJuly 28, 2006

The United Nations launched Thursday a compact with Iraq aimed at reviving the war-torn nation's economy and integrating it into the global economy. Jointly chaired by the Iraqi government and the United Nations and backed by the World Bank, the International Compact with Iraq will over five years "bring together the international community and multilateral organizations to help Iraq achieve its National Vision," the UN and Iraq said in a joint statement.

"The government's vision is that five years from now, Iraq shall be a united, federal and democratic country, at peace with its neighbors and itself, well on its way to sustainable economic self-sufficiency and prosperity, and well integrated in its region in the world," the statement said.

The primary focus of the compact is "building a framework for Iraq's economic transformation and integration into the regional and global economy," it said.

The compact will be overseen by an executive committee including Iraq and UN officials, the World Bank, the IMF, and other regional financial institutions. "The executive committee will assist the [Iraq] government to formulate a strategy for economic regeneration and fundamental reforms for integrating Iraq within the regional and global communities."

Under the compact Iraq commits itself to treating all of the country's ethnic groups fairly and equally sharing its oil resources through a transparent energy sector. It also vows to fight corruption and keep to rigorous budgets.

The United Nations for its part obliges itself to help Iraq achieve these goals through its Baghdad mission and other international agencies based in Iraq. The statement also includes a cooperation agreement with the World Bank.

The compact was reached during Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki's visit to the United States and was immediately backed by Washington. "We strongly support this important initiative," US Deputy Secretary Robert Kimmitt said in a statement. Washington looks "forward to working with the Iraqi leadership, the United Nations, and other members of the permanent group to help Iraq realize its vision of a united, stable, and prosperous nation underpinned by a self-sustaining economy," Kimmitt said.


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