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From 1 June 2005, Mr. Wolfensohn was charged by the Quartet with coordinating the international community’s efforts in support of the disengagement initiative; to promote coordination and cooperation between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority on implementation of Israel’s disengagement initiative from Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank; and to work with the Palestinian Authority on specific reforms and steps to promote economic recovery and growth, democracy, good governance and transparency, job creation and improved living standards.
Mr. Wolfensohn’s mandate as the Quartet’s Special Envoy was initially planned to end on 31 December 2005. The Quartet has decided, however, to extend his mandate for a further three-month period, to the end of March 2006. Mr. Wolfensohn and his office will continue to work on issues related to disengagement, and to coordinate the international community’s efforts to ensure recovery of the economy in Gaza, in preparation for a Consultative Group meeting of donors currently scheduled for 21 March 2006. That meeting will be the basis of support for the Palestinian Authority’s medium-term development plan and eventual economic recovery in Gaza.
The members of the Quartet, comprising the United Nations, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United States of America, have agreed that Mr. Wolfensohn and his team should continue to be provided with the support necessary to operate an office in Jerusalem and fulfil his mission. In the context of Security Council resolution 1515 (2003), in which the Council endorsed the Quartet’s road map and encouraged the diplomatic efforts of the Quartet and others, I should be grateful if you could confirm the Council’s continued support for the proposed arrangements. It would then be my intention to maintain the provision of logistical, technical and financial assistance in support of Mr. Wolfensohn’s office for the period of his extended mandate.