UN Gears for Bigger Role in Iraq

New Baghdad office to open
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2007 6:22 AM CDT
Ban Ki-moon, left, Secretary General of United Nations and Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq, right, during a press conference after attending High-level meeting on Iraq at U.N. Headquarters...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The United Nations plans to increase its presence in Iraq, but has serious concerns about the "unstable" security situation, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at a meeting in New York yesterday with Iraq's prime minister. The expanded UN mission would seek to stabilize Iraq by mediating sect rivalries, bolstering humanitarian aid, and encouraging cooperation with neighbors, the Guardian reports.

The UN dramatically reduced staff after a 2003 suicide bombing that killed 22 at its Baghdad headquarters. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki yesterday promised that Iraqi forces would ensure the safety of a new UN office, saying: "Baghdad of today is different from Baghdad of yesterday."