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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
Ambassador and Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Open Briefing on Iraq
Security Council Chamber, 03 June 2004

The Philippines attaches great importance on the reconstruction in Iraq. We are convinced that the United Nations plays a central role in the political process leading to the establishment of a permanent government in Iraq.

It is critically important that the political process to restore sovereignty in Iraq would be fully accepted and supported by the people of Iraq. As many have stressed within and outside the UN, “Iraqi ownership” of the process must be a guiding principle in this exercise. The legitimacy of the process in the eyes of the Iraqi people would be a key element in ensuring that democracy and stability take deep roots in the country. We have an important role to play in achieving this goal.

Our approaches to this objective may diverge but one thing is clear, Iraq requires the participation and cooperation of the international community, the UN plans and programmes, and other stakeholders, to place Iraq on track to peace and stability. The leading role of the UN in this effort would be a critical foundation to a diplomatic consensus among all major players to extend help in the Iraqi reconstruction.

Our efforts would be futile without the inputs by those who would be directly affected by our actions: the Iraqi people themselves.

The Security Council thus benefits immensely from the presence of Minister Zebari today, who has provided us with a clear presentation on the desires and aspirations of the Iraqi people towards the establishment of a new Iraq.

Whatever action the Council would take, should consider the various elements that Minister Zebari had explained especially on allowing the Iraqi people to freely determine their own political future.

There are many issues that demand our attention. Many of them will have to be discussed and debated in later days, either in this forum or in other forums that we will have on Iraq. But the Council will certainly be guided by what the Iraqis themselves need as Minister Zebari had shared with us. The points he had raised and responses made to questions are elements, which we should ponder on as the Council deliberates on a resolution that spells out the framework of action for the reconstruction of Iraq.

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