UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- The U.N. envoy for Iraq will travel to Baghdad for talks on a broader role for the United Nations in the violence-torn country, a U.N. official said Friday.
The level for international civilian staff in Baghdad has been raised from 65 to 85, and the number of staff in the northern city of Erbil went from 29 to 35, Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe said in a release. In addition, the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq has “adopted an area-based approach that expands activities" where it is permitted, he said.
Pascoe told the Security Council that "there is an opportunity today that should not be missed" for turning positive developments, such as a Sunni insurgent alliance against al-Qaida, into a platform for achieving reconciliation.
Challenges facing Iraq call for an international response, which the United Nations is suited to meet, Pascoe said.
“It is our belief that the new U.N. mandate, matched by strong international support, provides the necessary framework to move toward building a more stable Iraq,” he said.