The Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG), Sergio Vieira de Mello has enjoyed a hectic first week in Iraq establishing contact with key interlocutors. On 3 June, he met with Ambassador Bremer, Adminitrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority, and discussed priorities for reconstructing Iraq. On 8 June, he met with Adnan Pachachi, a former Foreign Minister, and on 9 June, he saw Hamid Al-Bayati, a member of SCIRI's Central Committee. On 10 June, he met with Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim, senior member of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and discussed issues related to the current transition and explored how to advance the political process. SRSG said that the UN was bringing its experience and independence to the Iraqi people to help them with the full restoration of their sovereignty and their civil, political, economic and social rights.
The new structure of CPA is still under discussion and will be finalised in 2-3 weeks. The draft structure includes 5 Directorates: Civil Affairs Policy; Economic Policy; Security Affairs; Aid; and Press and Public Affairs/Operations. The affiliation of Council (ICC) is being established as first point of contact on external assistance to Iraq. The
ICC will also deal with humanitarian matters, planning and identification of gaps.
Following the mayoral elections in Kirkuk of 28 May, the first Kirkuk City Council meeting took place on 1 June 2003.
The local authorities in the three northern governorates have been requested by the CPA to form one administration, instead of the two current administrations. The CPA have asked the UN agencies to continue working with their local counterparts in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah until the new administration is formed.
In the Centre Area, the Protection Working Group met on 1 June to discuss developing strategies to respond to humanitarian situation of IDPs in Kirkuk. The IDP, Refugee, and Returnee Sub-group met in UN Mosul office on 3 June and discussed the joint humanitarian assessment mission to Kirkuk, the CPA's proposed strategy on land and property restitution, as well as the proposed mass information campaign targeting potential returnees to Mosul area. A coordination meeting between UN agencies and NGOs in the Centre Area was held on 3 June.
The inauguration of the first Baghdad Area (Baghdad, Diyala, and Anbar) UN Co-ordination meeting took place on 1 June 2003 in Baghdad. The second meeting of Baghdad Area Co-ordination was held on Sunday 8 June, focusing on an overview of the situation of vulnerable persons and adjustments to Baghdad Area coordination mechanisms.
The Area Coordinator's Office in the North held two rounds of meetings (11-15 May and 25-27 May) with the UN agencies to review Oil for Food Programme information requirements on ongoing and planned projects, as well as on current and future financial expenditures.
UN Area Coordinator's Office in Basrah holds a daily Humanitarian Open Forum (HOF). Recently, in an attempt to encourage a more active participation of Iraqi women in the public life and emphasise their role in the society, UN Area Coordinator asked several leading Iraqi women to take part in the HOF. They will give presentations on the status of women in Iraq, and their experiences.
2. PRIORITY CONCERNS
The security situation in Baghdad is improving; however the incidence of security incidents targeting coalition forces has been increasing west of the city. Significant improvement of public security and decrease of night shooting is reported, as patrols and checkpoints have increased. A significant number of weapons and ammunition is seized every day. The number of Iraqi police stations is increasing. More shops remain open late; however, Iraqis keep firearms in their homes and shops. There are concerns that growing social inequities between prosperous urban districts and poorer urban/rural areas may lead to increased violent criminality in Baghdad.
In Nassriyah, a WFP convoy was stoned, and similar incidents have occurred in Amarah and Safwan. In Kut, a driver working for a private company shipping WFP food has been attacked by a mob. The WFP warehouse in Kirkuk, guarded by coalition forces and local police, has been looted for the second time in four days.
In Basrah, 3,000 policemen are now operational (4,500 pre-war). The re-registering of 7,000 former naval soldiers of the Basrah River Service is ongoing. Once fully operational, this force will interdict river smuggling and will guard silos at Umm Qasr.
In Mosul, car jacking and smuggling continue on Highway 1 (Baghdad-Mosul).
The first group of policemen graduated from the Mosul police academy, and a new chief of police has been appointed.
Assessments of IDPs are ongoing. During an UN inter-agency visit to villages in Ninewa governorate, local leaders and CPA reported that Arab families (over 300 households) were displaced from their homes and now reside with relatives. These families do not require humanitarian aid, but are in need of legal assistance, as Kurdish now occupy their homes, and both may hold competing deeds.
An UN inter-agency mission to assess the IDP situation in Kirkuk took place on 29 May. The objective of the assessment was to obtain an overview of the IDP situation, and as a result, to develop strategies to respond to the humanitarian needs. The mission visited 27 sites and found 646 IDP families. The majority were Kurds returning spontaneously to the area expecting to recover their lost property. Their situation did not appear to be critical, given that most IDPs had purchasing power as well as food stocks. However, the sites that the IDPs occupy had very limited sanitation facilities and services. The UN will provide assistance to these individuals based on their needs, but they will not be registered at this time.
UNHCR has visited Iranian refugee settlements in Basrah governorate. Most refugees expressed their wish to return to Iran. 98 families were already repatriated. The refugee leaders are to prepare a list of all those persons wishing to return and their destination. UNHCR informed the refugees that the Iranian authorities prohibit the importation of livestock and assets.
3. OIL FOR FOOD PROGRAMME (OFFP) UPDATE
Over 218,296 MT of food was dispatched to Iraq by WFP under the Oil for Food Programme (OFFP).
As at 2 June, the total value of priority items from the Oil-for-Food Programme's humanitarian pipeline that can be shipped to Iraq for emergency needs has reached $1.2 billion. Most of these supplies are in the food ($551 million), electricity ($293 million), agriculture ($184 million) and health ($126 million) sectors.
No further priority cases will be accepted by OIP, unless they have been agreed by the Authority, the Iraqi interim administration and the representatives of the Secretary-General. OIP will continue to accept and process amendments from the agencies lists of 484 confirmed priorities as at 3 June 2003. OIP staff have been deployed to Iraq to establish the mechanisms for the prioritization of contracts pursuant to paragraph 16 (a) of Security Council resolution 1483.
In compliance with the SCR 1483, UN agencies in the three northern governorates are revising projects in view of the phase out of the OFFP. A number of issues are under discussion, including the capacity of the local authorities to operate/maintain projects after the phase out; legal and financial implications of termination of contracts; projects implemented with locally generated funds; and UN databases on OFFP-funded projects.
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