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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan, Deputy Permanent Representative and Charge d'Affaires ad interim of China to UN, at Security Council Open Briefing on Iraq
(July 22, 2003)


Madam President,

The Chinese Delegation wishes to thank Secretary-General Kofi Annan for his recent report on Iraq and the supplementary briefings he and his Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello have just delivered. We have also listened attentively to the briefing given by Dr. Adnan Pachachi from Iraq.

Over the past two months, Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello has acted under the mandate of Security Council resolution 1483, conducted extensive contacts with various Iraqi sectors and other relevant parties and listened to their views on Iraqi reconstruction, providing us with important information for our comprehensive and objective understanding of the current situation in Iraq and the aspirations of the Iraqi people. In his report, Mr. Secretary-General has made many useful recommendations for the way forward. We highly appreciate the valuable contribution made by the Secretary-General, Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello and other members of his team and we will continue to firmly support them in implementing relevant Security Council resolutions.

In the Secretary-General's report and the supplementary briefings given by the Secretary-General and Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello, there are three points in particular that have drawn our attention. Firstly, the Iraqi people ardently hope to see an early restoration of sovereignty to ensure "governing themselves". Secondly, security situation in Iraq remains unstable and economic reconstruction is an arduous and long-term task. Thirdly, the United Nations can play an active role in the course of reconstruction.

The Chinese side would like to make its views focusing on these areas.

First of all, we fully understand the strong aspiration of the Iraqi people for being masters of their own country. We wish to see the early formation of a broadly representative interim administration supported by the Iraqi people. We are in favor of an early launching of the constitutional process led by the Iraqi people.

We welcome the establishment, a week ago, of the Governing Council in Iraq. We share the view of the Secretary-General that it is important for the Iraqi people to see a clear timetable leading to the early restoration of sovereignty. We look forward to the day when Iraq will return to the embrace of the international community as a new independent and sovereign member with its policy of good neighborliness.

Second, we are deeply concerned with the security situation in Iraq and its negative effects on the restoration of normal life of the Iraqi people and on the international humanitarian relief endeavor. To achieve security and stability in Iraq is undoubtedly a very important and urgent task. Security is closely linked with reconstruction and development. We hope that with the efforts of the parties concerned, law and order will be restored and the security situation will be improved in Iraq as soon as possible.

After suffering years of economic sanctions and scourge of war, Iraq is faced with an arduous and complex task of reconstruction. Effective response to these challenges needs the extensive participation and support of the international community. In this regard, the forthcoming international conference on Iraqi reconstruction in October is of important significance. We wish the conference fruitful results.

Third, we are in favor of an active and effective role played by the United Nations in the political process and economic reconstruction of Iraq. Security Council resolution 1483 has laid a good foundation for this effort and it has reflected the consensus of the international community. It should therefore be fully implemented. As is pointed out by the Secretary-General, the legitimacy and impartiality of the United Nations is a considerable asset in promoting the interests of the Iraqi people. The recommendations put forward by the Secretary-General in his report on future role played by the United Nations in Iraq's reconstruction are timely and highly important. The Security Council should give them due attention and careful consideration.

Madam President,

I wish to reiterate here that China always attaches importance to Iraqi reconstruction and China was one of the first countries to give humanitarian assistance to Iraq. We will continue to render support to the Iraqi people within our abilities and we are ready to work with other members of the international community to help the Iraqi people in their reconstruction endeavor and ensure an early realization of national stability and development.

Madam President,

The Iraqi people have a long history and culture and their country is a cradle of civilization. The industrious, courageous and talented Iraqi people have made important and remarkable contributions to human development in all historical phases.

We are confident that the great Iraqi people, though confronting extremely arduous, complex and difficult situation and challenges, will add new annals of peace, stability, development and prosperity to their history through their own hands and wisdom.

Thank you, Madam President.
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