Annans envoy to Iraq holds first talks at UN Headquarters in New

The envoy was briefed by UN staff as he transfers from serving as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States to the new assignment, a UN spokesperson said, confirming also that Mr. Qazi will be shuttling between New York and Washington, D.C., for the next couple of weeks.Responding to press questions, spokesperson Marie Okabe said the Secretary-General intended to send Mr. Qazi to Iraq as quickly as possible, circumstances permitting, and predicted that he should be able to deploy with a small team by late July or early August.She said that the exact timetable for the new envoy’s deployment will depend on the overall security environment in Iraq and on the necessary arrangements for appropriate facilities and security arrangements with the multinational force, which still need to be finalized.Mr. Qazi’s predecessor, Sergio Vieira de Mello, was killed along with 21 others when terrorists attacked the UN headquarters in Baghdad last August.Once the team is on the ground, Ms. Okabe said, its work would include “supporting the Iraqis in their political process, and one of the first steps in that would be the holding of the national conference.”In a separate development, the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) for Iraq, an audit oversight body dealing with the country’s oil revenues, opened a meeting today in Washington at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).The members of the Board expect to receive a finalized audit of the coalition-managed Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) from the accounting firm of KPMG covering the period from its inception to 31 December 2003.The IAMB is expected to release that audit when its meeting concludes on Thursday. read more