Iraq Donor Conference in Madrid
Declaration by the Head of the Austrian Delegation, Johannes Kyrle
Madrid, 24 October 2003 - At the Iraq Donor Conference in Madrid, the Head of the Austrian Delegation, Secretary-General of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Johannes Kyrle, today emphasised Austria’s commitment in Iraq which had already commenced after the fighting had ended. He welcomed that after the assistance needed to address the immediate humanitarian crisis, the international community was now proposing measures designed to contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq. As Kyrle said, the basis for this approach had been created by Resolution 1511, which, having been unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council, represented an important signal for the people in Iraq. According to Kyrle, a factor of central importance now is that a realistic time schedule for the transfer of political responsibility to the Iraqi people is drawn up as soon as possible. The reconstruction of Iraq must be understood as a "signal of hope, security and freedom for the entire region."
The economic reconstruction of Iraq is of utmost importance. However, as Kyrle pointed out, the precondition for this was a marked improvement of the safety situation, but also of transparency, for instance with regard to tendering procedures, or the use of the proceeds from Iraqi oil sales.
According to Kyrle, Austria plans to contribute a total of about EUR 16 million to the improvement of the situation in Iraq up to the year 2007, the major part of these funds will be disbursed by 2004. Besides humanitarian relief measures, this total also comprises loan guaranties for Austrian enterprises. As Kyrle pointed out by way of conclusion, Austria was in this context also examining the "possibility of repairing water treatment plants that had been built in the 1980s."