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Iraq: International Assistance

Volume 461: debated on Monday 11 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what body will have responsibility for the co-ordination and monitoring of the international compact with Iraq; and when this body is planned to be formed; (140372)

(2) if she will make a statement on the broader international assistance in the development of Iraqi security forces which is described in the international compact with Iraq; which countries are to be involved; and what form this assistance is to take;

(3) how often and at what level the participants in the Iraq compact are expected to meet; and if she will make a statement.

I have been asked to reply.

The international compact for Iraq (ICI) is an opportunity for the Government of Iraq to set out its economic and political priorities for the next five years, with the help of the United Nations and the international community. It will develop the key reforms necessary to enable Iraq to make the most of its own resources and build a strategy for longer-term growth. The focus will be to build a framework for Iraq's economic transformation and integration into the regional and global economy. Its scope will cover short-term and long-term economic goals to enable Iraq to become financially self-sufficient, in order to ensure economic development and sustainable growth. The UK is pleased that the Government of Iraq is tackling these important issues and we hope that regional and international partners will support their efforts.

The Security context of the compact stresses the importance for the Government of Iraq to work with international partners to develop the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). Security assistance is provided to Iraq under the auspices of the multi-national force for Iraq. This force is in Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government and is mandated by UN Security Council Resolutions 1546 and 1723 to develop stability and security in that country; 25 countries contribute to it, all with the common objectives of helping to provide security, training and mentoring to the Iraqi security forces until they are fully able to manage the security situation.

Implementation of the compact priorities will be overseen by the compact secretariat which was established on 28 May in Baghdad. The secretariat will operate out of the Deputy Prime Ministers' Office and will be supported by a Steering Committee and a number of sector working groups. The secretariat will be responsible for coordinating, implementing and monitoring performance of the policies and reforms laid out in the joint monitoring matrix.

The Government of Iraq plans to meet regularly with the international community to keep them updated on progress. They will produce monthly/quarterly reports on progress against indicators in the compact. Such reports will be passed for discussion to the Baghdad coordination group (BCG), which includes all participants in the Iraq compact based in country. There will also be regular meetings with donors as part of sector working group discussions.