Mr. Ban, who has repeatedly called for a broad-based government since elections in March, “congratulates Iraq’s political leaders for their concerted efforts to ensure that the new government is inclusive, broadly participatory and has the support of the people of Iraq,” a statement issued by his spokesman said. The Security Council said the parliament’s ratification of the new government reflects the will of the Iraqi people as displayed by the parliamentary elections. “We encourage its leaders to continue to pursue a federal, democratic, pluralistic and unified Iraq based on the rule of law and respect for human rights,” the Council said in a press statement. The Secretary-General urged the leaders “to continue working in the spirit of national unity to swiftly conclude the government formation process, and address the major challenges that face the country, including national reconciliation, reconstruction and long-term stability.” He pledged continued support from the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for the people and Government “in building a prosperous and peaceful Iraq.” On the eve of the Government’s formation last week, the Council ended UN mandates stemming from Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the United States-led war that ousted him in 2003, including those on weapons of mass destruction, in a move Mr. Ban called a “milestone” on the country’s path to normality. 21 December 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council today welcomed the announcement of a new government in Baghdad, with the United Nations chief describing the move as “a major step forward in Iraq’s democratic progress,” while calling for prompt attention to national reconciliation, reconstruction and long-term stability.