Secretary General Kyrle at the International Donors' Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq
International Donors’ Conference
for the Reconstruction of Iraq
23 - 24 October 2003
REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA
Statement by the Head of Delegation
Secretary General for Foreign Affairs
Dr. Johannes Kyrle
- Let me first thank the government of Spain for their hospitality and for organizing this important conference. We also thank UNDP and the World Bank for the substantive preparation of the conference. The needs assessment presented to us is as good as it can be expected under present circumstances.
- Austria welcomes this high level exchange of information and experience as a valuable and timely step forward linking humanitarian relief with reconstruction and development of Iraq.
- I want to commend all those who are risking their lives daily to bring security and stability to Iraq and to help the Iraqi people rebuild their country. In particular, I would like to honour those who lost their lives in assisting in the reconstruction of Iraq.
- The security situation continues to be a matter of considerable concern, constituting a serious obstacle for political and economic reconstruction. Austria hopes that Security Council resolution 1511 will bring about rapid progress in all areas. The unanimous adoption of Resolution 1511 is a positive signal for the people of Iraq, for the International Community and for the prospects of rebuilding the country.
- As others countries Austria favours a strong and vital role for the UN.
- It is also important that a realistic schedule be established for the handing over of political responsibilities to the Iraqi people. This should be done as soon as possible and feasible.
- When shaping the future of Iraq the regional component should not be forgotten. The reconstruction of Iraq should be seen as a window of hope to foster peace, security and human rights in the region. Austria recognizes that basic humanitarian needs still have to be addressed for some time, but we feel, nevertheless, that time has come to begin crossing the bridge from humanitarian emergency aid to reconstruction and development.
- Political and economic reconstruction cannot be separated from each other. While an improvement in the security situation is necessary for the success of all economic reconstruction efforts, success of the political process in the medium and long terms hinges on an improvement in the economic situation. Austria stands ready to lend its support to the Iraqi people in this important undertaking. Another important element to establish credible international mechanisms to assist in the reconstruction of Iraq is transparency in several areas such as funding, procurement and oil revenues.
- With reference to Austrian assistance, I should like to state that immediately after the end of the war Austria engaged in humanitarian assistance for the most vulnerable groups. In addition I can now announce that Austria will make available funds of over 16 million Euro for the period 2004 to 2007. Most of these funds will be available in 2004. A part of the Austrian pledge is a credit guarantee conditioned on the establishment of an accepted and commercially viable trade bank in Iraq.
- Austria is ready to participate in efforts of economic rehabilitation and reconstruction of Iraq. This is only possible if and when security is re-established and a reliable and stable economic framework exists. In the present situation, only exploratory work and more detailed needs assessment is possible. Austria is examining the possibility of rehabilitating a number of water plants, constructed during the eighties.
- Austria is also prepared to participate in a programme to train Iraqi police - like the one being presently prepared in Jordan - provided that all necessary circumstances, including security, are met.
- Let me finally say that Austria is ready to join others in working with the Iraqi people and government in rebuilding their country. In this endeavour they need our wholehearted encouragement.