Yearbook of the United Nations, 2004. Part 1, Political and security questions. Chapter 4, Asia and the Pacific
In 2004, the security challenges in Asia and the Pacific, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq, continued to test the resolve of the international community in its efforts to restore peace and stability to that region, return it to democratic governance, and promote and strengthen its economic and social development. In Afghanistan, where institutions of security and justice and the provision of basic services were still weak and dependent on the international community, significant progress was made towards the implementation of the benchmarks contained in the Bonn Agreement [YUN 2001, p. 263] governing Afghanistan's transition to peace and democracy. With United Nations support, provided through the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), headed by the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, the Constitutional Loya Jirga (grand council) finalized and adopted in January a constitution for Afghanistan, paving the way for the re-establishment of the rule of law and the holding of democratic elections. Those elections, which were held without any major security incidents, allowed President Hamid Karzai and a new cabinet to take office in December and to begin planning for parliamentary and provincial elections in 2005. The international community's commitment to a stable and peaceful Afghanistan was reaffirmed at a conference held in Berlin, Germany, on 31 March. Delegates, among other things, pledged $8.2 billion towards an Afghan-led reconstruction programme and adopted the Berlin Declaration, which expressed the determination of the Afghan Government and the international community to continue the tasks of rebuilding and reforming the political, social and economic structures of Afghanistan. The conference also adopted the Berlin Declaration on Counter Narcotics, which called for regional cooperation in the fight against the cultivation and trafficking of illicit drugs. In March, the Security Council extended the UNAMA mandate to provide support for the implementation of the Bonn Agreement for an additional period of one year. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a multinational force established by Security Council resolution 1386(2001) [YUN 2001, p. 267], continued to assist the Afghan Government in the maintenance of security in Kabul and its surrounding areas. It expanded its support role through the deployment of provincial reconstruction teams in other parts of the country. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) continued to carry out its role as lead command for ISAF throughout 2004. In January, the Council further refined the sanctions measures against Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida, the Taliban and their associates. It also strengthened the mandate of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee and established, for a period of 18 months, an Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team to report on the implementation of the measures by States and to recommend further action for consideration by the Council. In addition, it improved the Committee's consolidated list, which remained a critical tool for implementing all sanctions measures. The Economic and Social Council, in July, adopted resolution 2004/37, on providing support to the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts to eliminate illicit opium and foster stability and security in the region (see p. 1244). By resolution 59/161, the General Assembly, in December, also called on the international community to support the Afghan Government in its efforts to eliminate opium production (see p. 1244). The Economic and Social Council, in July, adopted resolution 2004/10 on the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan (see p. 1163). In Iraq, the challenges to peace and security were a major priority for the international community and the United Nations. Despite the enormous security constraints, the United Nations continued to promote an inclusive, participatory and transparent political transition process, provide reconstruction, development and humanitarian assistance, and promote the protection of human rights, national reconciliation and judicial and legal reform. On 28 June, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), established in 2003 by the occupying forces to provide for the interim administration of Iraq, handed over authority over the entire territory to the Interim Iraqi Government, which was officially established on that same day. Consequently, the Governing Council of Iraq ceased to exist. The Secretary-General's Special Adviser, Lakhdar Brahimi (Algeria), at the request of the Governing Council of Iraq and CPA, undertook three missions to Iraq between February and June 2004. During those visits, which also included a team from the UN Electoral Assistance Division, he helped the Iraqis to negotiate an appropriate modality and schedule for the holding of elections and facilitated a consultative process, which resulted in an agreement on the structure and composition of a sovereign and independent Interim Government. UN electoral experts assisted in the establishment of an independent Iraqi electoral commission and contributed technical expertise for the preparation of general elections, scheduled to take place in January 2005. In March, the Iraqi Governing Council approved the Transitional Administrative Law, which served as the legal basis for the Interim Government until the ratification of a permanent constitution. On 8 June, the Security Council adopted resolution 1546(2004), by which it endorsed the proposed timetable for Iraq's political transition, including the formation of a sovereign Interim Government of Iraq by 30 June 2004 and the convening of a national conference. It endorsed the holding no later than 31 January 2005 of direct democratic elections for a Transitional National Assembly, which would have responsibility, among other things, for forming a Transitional Government and for drafting a permanent constitution leading to a constitutionally elected Government by 31 December 2005. The resolution gave the United Nations a strong and clearly defined mandate and took note of the intention to create a distinct entity under unified command of the multinational force to provide security for the UN presence in Iraq. Moreover, the resolution reaffirmed the authorization for the multinational force under unified command established under resolution 1511(2003), and decided that the force should have the authority to take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq. In August, the United Nations helped to convene a national conference at which an Interim National Council was elected. Meanwhile, the security environment continued to deteriorate throughout 2004, with attacks, including acts of terror, against Iraqi civilians, State representatives and members of the multinational force. In November, the Interim Iraqi Government declared a 60-day state of emergency throughout the country, with the exception of the three northern governorates. Due to a lack of security, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), established in 2003, carried out its activities from outside the country, specifically in Cyprus, Jordan and Kuwait. International and regional efforts were made to foster greater stability in Iraq, including a ministerial meeting in Sharm El Sheik in late November, which the Secretary-General attended. The United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) assessed material that was in the public domain on the issues pertaining to Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. They also investigated the discovery of items relevant to their mandates that had been exported from Iraq as scrap metal. In April, the Secretary-General appointed a high-level Independent Inquiry Committee, chaired by Paul A. Volcker (United States), to investigate allegations of impropriety in the administration and management of the oil-for-food programme. The Committee submitted a status report and a briefing paper. Progress was made in the identification and return of remains of missing Kuwaiti and third country nationals from Iraq, and on the return of all Kuwaiti property seized by Iraq during the 1990 invasion and occupation of Kuwait. In 2004, Timor-Leste continued to establish and strengthen its national institutions with assistance from the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) and UN agencies. As the security situation remained stable throughout the year, and to help Timor-Leste achieve full self-sufficiency, the Security Council, in May, extended the UNMISET mandate for a period of six months beyond 20 May 2004, but reduced the size of the operation and revised its tasks to take account of the changed circumstances on the ground. In November, the Council extended the Mission's mandate for a final period until 20 May 2005. The Government of Timor-Leste assumed full responsibility for maintaining security and stability within the country, although UNMISET remained ready to assist in exceptional circumstances. UNMISET continued to provide capacity-building assistance to public administration, law enforcement and the judiciary. In October, a UN technical assessment mission made recommendations pertaining to UNMISET's tasks and composition. In other developments, local elections, the first ever to be conducted by Timorese authorities, were held in December. Relations between Timor-Leste and Indonesia continued to improve, although the two countries did not reach final agreement on the demarcation of their land border. Marine boundary negotiations between Timor-Leste and Australia continued, though no final agreement was reached on the exploitation of petroleum and natural gas resources in the area. After a prolonged stalemate, the political and institutional processes in Cambodia resumed in 2004. In November, Cambodia ratified the Agreement between the United Nations and the Cambodian Government concerning the prosecution of crimes committed during the period of Democratic Kampuchea. The Agreement would enter into force once the United Nations was satisfied that sufficient funding was in place to support the operations and staffing of the Extraordinary Chambers for a sustained period of time. In 2004, the peace process in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, moved forward slowly but steadily. The United Nations Observer Mission in Boungainville (UNOMB) oversaw the destruction by the Bougainville parties of over 90 per cent of weapons. The Boungainville parties together with the Government of Papua New Guinea finalized a constitution. Its adoption would pave the way for the election, scheduled for early 2005, of an autonomous Bougainville Government. UNOMB's mandate was extended for a final period until 30 June 2005. Among other concerns in the region that were brought to the attention of the United Nations were relations between India and Pakistan; developments in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; the situation in Myanmar; the issue of the Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa islands in the Arabian Gulf; and cooperation with the Pacific Islands Forum. The activities of the United Nations Tajikistan Office of Peacebuilding were extended for another year, until 1 June 2005, in order to continue to support Tajikistan in its post-conflict peace-building efforts.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2004. v. 58; Vol. 58
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