Martin Kobler to head UN mission in Iraq

01.10.2011 - Press release

There are a great many tasks awaiting the German diplomat. The numerous areas in which the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq supports the Iraqi Government include implementing political and economic reforms, resolving conflicts over internal borders, re integrating former members of illegal armed groups and helping returning refugees.

A Federal Foreign Office spokesperson issued the following statement in Berlin today (1 October):

In Martin Kobler, there will be a German diplomat heading the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) from today.

Foreign Minister Westerwelle congratulates Kobler on his assumption of this responsible post. His appointment underscores Germany’s commitment to reconstruction and internal conflict resolution in Iraq. The Federal Foreign Minister wishes Martin Kobler every success in his new office.

Heading UNAMI is Martin Kobler’s second senior posting with the UN. Before this, he was deputy head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). As an Ambassador, he has represented Germany in Egypt and Iraq.

Background information on the UN mission

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) was established by UN Security Council Resolution 1500 (2003) on 14 August 2003. Under the leadership of the Special Representative, UNAMI carries out extensive support and coordinating measures in cooperation with the Iraqi Government. These include implementing political and economic reforms, resolving conflicts over the demarcation of internal borders, maintaining regional dialogue, re-integrating former members of illegal armed groups, facilitating the return of refugees and encouraging national reconciliation.

The Special Representative is also responsible for coordinating the activities of the 16 UN bodies, programmes and funds in Iraq. Approximately 1000 people are currently working for UNAMI, about 800 of them civilian staff and roughly 230 military personnel.

Background information on German-Iraqi relations:

The close bilateral ties between Germany and Iraq go back a long way beyond the foundation of the modern Iraqi state, and full diplomatic relations were resumed as early as August 2004.

Germany has since been providing Iraq with comprehensive assistance. Since 2003, Germany has made available roughly 400 million euro for bilateral projects as well as for EU and UN programmes. Germany’s work in Iraq focuses on helping to establish the rule of law, particularly in the justice and penal systems, protect human rights, foster vocational training and university partnerships, and re-integrate refugees through economic and reconstruction measures. In addition, the Federal Government makes a substantial contribution to the EU’s Integrated Rule of Law Mission for Iraq (EUJUST LEX).

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