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tenmillion
06-25-2010, 05:30 PM
JUNE 2010 **THANK YOU SCOOTER**
IRAQ

Expected Council Action • Key Recent Developments • Human Rights-Related Developments • Key Issues • Underlying Problems • Options • Council and Wider Dynamics • UN Documents • Other Relevant Facts • Useful Additional Source • Other SCR Reports on Iraq

Expected Council Action
The Council is expecting a comprehensive progress report on Iraq and the Kuwaiti missing persons issue before 30 June. The activities of the high-level coordinator, who advises the Security Council on these matters, are currently funded through 30 June. The Council seems likely to extend the coordinator’s activities before the end of the month.
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Key Recent Developments
Ad Melkert, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, briefed the Council on a range of issues relating to Iraq on 25 May. With regard to Iraq/Kuwait issues Melkert expressed concern about Iraq’s level of commitment to make progress with Kuwait and said the demarcation of the Kuwaiti border by Iraq remains a necessary step for progress. Iraq’s Ambassador to the UN Hamid al-Bayati also spoke and stressed Iraq’s commitment to fulfilling its obligations and resolving all issues related to Kuwait. (An example of the kind of problems that are arising as a result of unresolved issues with Kuwait was evident on 26 May when Iraq dissolved its national airline, apparently in response to a UK court decision to freeze the airline’s assets in light of debts owed by it to Kuwait.)

An Iraqi court on 17 May overturned a ban on nine newly elected members of parliament who had been barred from holding office for alleged Baathist ties. The court decision followed a statement by Iraqi President Jalal Talibani the week before that action to bar electoral candidates on the basis of ties to the Baath Party had been halted. (The process of excluding such candidates from the electoral process, which began in the run-up to elections held on 7 March and continued in the following weeks, had the potential to alter the election outcome.)

Iraq’s Independent High Election Commission said on 16 May that a recount of votes cast in the Baghdad area had been completed. The recount confirmed earlier results 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. Iraq’s Supreme Court must still certify final results.

The Secretary-General’s latest report on the activities of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) was released on 14 May. On Iraq/Kuwait issues, the report noted that Iraq had now appointed its first ambassador to Kuwait since 1990. In addition, progress had continued towards implementing a project to increase Iraqi capacity to identify and exhume human remains. The project would be funded by a Kuwaiti grant and administered by UNAMI in support of the high-level coordinator. The Secretary-General encouraged Iraq to fulfil its obligations related to Kuwait, which could in turn lead to action in the Council on the removal of other outstanding Chapter 7 measures. The report also noted that the formation of the next Iraqi government was expected to require a considerable amount of time, and that the coming months would be a critical time for Iraq.

Iraq and UNAMI launched a UN Development Assistance Framework for 2011-2014 on 11 May that is meant to support the country's five-year National Development Plan.

Over a hundred people were killed across Iraq in a series of bombings and shootings on 10 May. Iraqi officials said the attacks were carried out by the group Al Qaida in Iraq in response to the killing of two of the group's leaders in a recent joint Iraq-US military operation. The Secretary-General strongly condemned the attacks in a statement the following day.

Iraq's presidential council urged on 4 May that a new government be formed quickly and warned that delays could result in a resurgence of violence. The same day Maliki’s State of Law coalition and the Iraqi National Alliance coalition agreed to ally themselves in the Iraqi parliament. Both are predominately Shiite. Such an alliance would bring the two groupings close to the number of seats in parliament needed to form a government. However, some contentious issues, such as the selection of a prime minister, remain to be resolved.

The UN Compensation Commission, which settles damage claims resulting from Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, on 29 April dispensed $590 million to nine successful claimants, bringing the total amount disbursed by the commission to over $29 billion.
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Human Rights-Related Developments

An Iraqi lawmaker called for a UN investigation into reported torture of detainees at Muthanna, an old airport in West Baghdad, prompted by a report published on 27 April by Human Rights Watch (HRW). In the report—based on interviews with 42 men detained by the Iraqi army between September and December 2009 after sweeps of a stronghold of Sunni Arab militants in and around Mosul—the organisation called on the Iraqi authorities to establish an independent and impartial inquiry to investigate the abuses. The detainees were interviewed in the Al Rusafa Detention Centre on 26 April following their transfer from Muthanna. HRW urged the authorities to determine who was responsible for the abuses and to prosecute them, including anyone in authority who had failed to prevent the torture.

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Key Issues
The key issue before the Council is how much further progress is needed on resolving the question of missing Kuwaiti persons and property, and whether an extension of the mandate of the high-level coordinator’s activities is desirable.

A related issue is Iraq's request that the Council remove measures imposed in resolutions adopted during the regime of Saddam Hussein. This question remains as the backdrop when considering issues such as Kuwaiti missing persons and property. Progress made on the missing persons issue could aid in resolving other Iraq/Kuwait issues such as compensation and the maintenance of the boundary between Iraq and Kuwait. Similarly, the resolution of Iraq/Kuwait issues could potentially facilitate the lifting of other measures imposed on Iraq, such as those related to disarmament.
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Underlying Problems
Underlying problems are the relative fragility of Iraq as a new democracy and the danger that the delays in forming a government will hinder progress on the Kuwaiti missing persons issue and perhaps also prompt a resurgence of sectarian violence.
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Options
Options include:

extending the activities of the high-level coordinator for an additional six months or longer;
seeking to hasten progress on Iraq/Kuwait issues by adopting a statement substantively addressing the issues and reaffirming the Council's commitment to resolving outstanding issues between Iraq and Kuwait; and
allowing the high-level coordinator’s mandate to expire (an unlikely option).
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Council and Wider Dynamics
Council members seem to hold differing views on how much progress has been made in resolving the question of missing persons and property. A number of members seem to be worried that work on the issue has advanced very little since the last briefing in October 2009. Others including Russia and the UK hold a more positive view and perceive Iraq to be determined to resolve the issue to Kuwait’s satisfaction. It is unclear how much new information the coordinator’s comprehensive report will contain.

Most members seem to accept that the activities of the high-level coordinator should continue. Some note that Kuwait encourages the continuation of the coordinator’s mandate. For others the political situation in Iraq is a consideration, bearing in mind the possibility that it may take several months to form a new government. Meaningful progress on Iraq/Kuwait issues is therefore seen as unlikely in the short term and therefore the continuation of the high-level coordinator’s role is viewed as prudent. Some members feel that the financing of the coordinator’s activities should be extended for more than six months so the issue does not come up during the busy December calendar.

The issue of government formation is also a consideration for members with regard to the broader issue of historical Council resolutions that date from the Saddam era. A number of members feel that additional action is required on Iraq’s part before Chapter 7 measures can be lifted, which will be more likely after a new government begins operating. For example, ratification by the Iraqi parliament of the Additional Protocol to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is viewed by some members as necessary before any action is taken on disarmament issues, is unlikely at present due to the post-election uncertainty in the country.

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

Selected Security Council Resolutions

S/RES/1905 (21 December 2009) extended the arrangements for the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) and the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) until 31 December 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 Press Statement

SC/9772 (22 October 2009) noted the Council agreed to extend the financing of the mandate of the high-level coordinator for eight months.
Selected Meeting Record

S/PV.6293 (6 April 2010) was a briefing on the DFI and the IAMB.
Selected Letters

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 by 31 December 2010.
S/2010/72 (4 February 2010) informed the Secretary-General that the Council had earmarked funds to finance the mandate of the high-level coordinator until 30 June 2010 and requested a comprehensive progress report by 30 June 2010.
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/2010/240 (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/2009/539 (16 October 2009) was the latest report on Iraq/Kuwait missing persons and property.
S/2009/385 (27 July 2009) was the report on the review of Iraq resolutions.
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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)

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Useful Additional Source

Elena Derby and Anthony H. Cordesman, “The Uncertain Politics behind Iraq’s Election: Political Controversies and the Formation of a Viable Government,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, 14 April 2010
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