Yearbook of the United Nations, 2005. Part 1, Political and security questions. Chapter 4, Asia and the Pacific
In 2005, the United Nations continued to face great political and security challenges in Asia, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq, in its efforts to restore peace and stability, and promote economic and social development in that region. In Afghanistan, the political transition provided for under the Bonn Agreement [YUN 2001, p. 263] was completed with the holding of parliamentary and provincial council elections on 18 September and the inauguration of the National Assembly on 19 December. In recognition of the fact that Afghanistan would require international assistance to meet security, economic and humanitarian challenges, the Afghan Government and the United Nations, following the parliamentary elections, initiated consultations with international actors to reach a consensus on the strategy to address them. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a multinational force established by Security Council resolution 1386(2001) [ibid., p. 267], continued to assist the Afghan Government in the maintenance of security in Kabul and its surrounding areas. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) continued its role as lead command for ISAF throughout 2005. In December, NATO adopted a revised ISAF operational plan, which expanded its presence to the southern regions of Afghanistan. In July, the Council further refined its sanctions measures against Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida, the Taliban and their associates, and provided more clarity regarding who could be placed on the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee's consolidated list, which remained a critical tool for implementing all sanctions measures. The mandate of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Committee was extended for 17 months. The Monitoring Team submitted two reports on the implementation of the sanctions measures by States. The Economic and Social Council, in July, adopted resolution 2005/24 on support to the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts to implement the counter-narcotics implementation plan (see p. 1357). By resolution 60/179, the General Assembly, in December, called on the international community to support the Afghan Government in ensuring the effective implementation of that plan (ibid.). The Council, in July, adopted resolution 2005/8 on the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan (see p. 1259). Nowhere were the stakes higher and the challenges to global peace and security greater than in Iraq. The United Nations continued to promote an inclusive, participatory and transparent political transition process, despite great security constraints due to an ever increasing level of violence. During the year, the Iraqi people exercised their right to vote on three different occasions. In January, elections for the Transitional National Assembly, 18 governorate councils and the Kurdistan National Assembly took place. Following the election, Ibrahim al-Jaafari was elected Prime Minister of the Iraqi Transitional Government. The constitutional referendum was held on 15 October, resulting in the adoption of a new constitution, and on 15 December, elections were held for a new Parliament, the Council of Representatives. Though final elections results were expected to be announced in January 2006, the transition timetable set forth in the Transitional Administrative Law and endorsed by resolution 1546(2004) was completed with the holding of those elections. However, while Iraq met all the key benchmarks of that timetable, it continued to face formidable political, security and economic challenges. The political transition was accompanied by an increasingly sophisticated and complex insurgency, underscored by high levels of ethnic and sectarian violence, intimidation and murder, including the assassination of foreign diplomats. The security environment constrained both the UN presence and its ability to operate effectively in Iraq. UN staff continued to rely to a large degree on the multinational force for security and information. The high-level Independent Inquiry Committee of the Iraq oil-for-food programme, headed by Paul A. Volcker, reported evidence of mis-administration in the programme and of corruption within the United Nations and by affiliated contractors. The Committee also found that the programme's general management was characterized by weak administrative practices and inadequate control and auditing. The Committee, however, did note that the programme succeeded in restoring minimal standards of nutrition and health in Iraq, while helping to maintain the international effort to prevent the former regime of Saddam Hussein from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. The Secretary-General took full responsibility for his personal failings, as well as the Organization's. With the establishment of two liaison detachments in Basra and Erbil, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) continued to operate from three countries, with offices in Baghdad, Amman, Jordan, and Kuwait City. Given the prevailing security situation inside Iraq,UNAMI relied on the Multinational Force for logistical support and personnel security. The United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency continued to assess material that was in the public domain pertaining to Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. Despite greater cooperation from the Iraqi authorities, progress towards the resolution of the issue of the repatriation and return of all Kuwaiti and third-country nationals or their remains was slow. Kuwait continued to face no small task in locating mass graves and in recovering mortal remains. In 2005, Timor-Leste continued to strengthen its national institutions with help from the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) and the newly established United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL). As State institutions and security structures were not yet strong enough to stand alone at the close of UNMISET's mandate on 20 May, UNOTIL was created as a follow-on mission, with a scaled down structure, for a period of one year, to support and monitor progress in the development of critical state institutions and to observe democratic governance and human rights. After a law on restructuring the Government was promulgated, a new Government was selected and sworn in on 28 July. Local elections were completed in all 13 districts. UN support of the serious crimes process, tasked with investigating and prosecuting crimes against humanity committed in 1999, came to a close with the termination of UNMISET's mandate. Significant progress was made towards the demarcation of the land border between Indonesia and Timor-Leste. An agreement between Timor-Leste and Australia over the sharing of Timor Sea oil and gas resources was also close to finalization. The Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville made significant progress towards the fulfilment of the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement. With the support of the United Nations Observer Mission in Bougainville (UNOMB), the weapons disposal process was completed and elections to establish the first Autonomous Bougainville Government were held. Joseph C. Kabui, former President of the Bougainville's People's Congress, was elected to the presidency. Following the elections, UNOMB's mandate, having been fully implemented, was terminated on 30 June. Among other concerns in the region brought to the attention of the United Nations, were growing instability in Central Asia; developments in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; the situation in Myanmar; tensions in Nepal; and the issue of the Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa islands in the Persian Gulf. The activities of the United Nations Tajikistan Office of Peacebuilding were extended for another year, until 1 June 2006, in order to continue to support Tajikistan in its post-conflict peacebuilding efforts. The General Assembly adopted a resolution welcoming Mongolia's efforts to celebrate its eight hundredth anniversary of statehood in 2006, emphasizing the concept of dialogue among civilizations.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2005 v. 59; Vol. 59
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