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The Iraqi Governing Council has sworn in a cabinet. Like the council itself, the cabinet has twenty-five members. And like the members of the council, the cabinet members come from all parts of Iraq and all of the country’s major religious and ethnic groups.

Recently, the United Nations Security Council endorsed the Iraqi Governing Council. In a resolution, the U-N Security Council said it welcomed the establishment of the “broadly representative” council “as an important first step towards the formation by the people of Iraq of an internationally recognized, representative government that will exercise the sovereignty of Iraq.” As U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte said, U-N support for the council “hastens the day when the people of Iraq are in full command of their own affairs”:

"This resolution helps pave the way towards the peace, stability, and democracy that the long-afflicted Iraqi people so richly deserve. It also sends a clear signal to those who oppose the political transformation under way in Iraq that they are out of step with world opinion."

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said the Iraqi Governing Council represents the dreams and aspirations of the Iraqi people:

"The twenty-five person council includes Sunni, Shia, Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmen, men, and women. It is broadly representative of the Iraqi population. Indeed, I would suspect that it is very likely the most representative body that Iraq has ever had."

The council will help launch a constitutional process in Iraq -- a constitution written by Iraqis for Iraqis. After the Iraqi people approve the constitution, they will elect a sovereign, democratic government. Every day, in the words of President George W. Bush, “Iraq draws closer to the free and functioning society they have been long denied”:

"We're keeping our word to the Iraqi people by helping them to make their country an example of democracy and prosperity throughout the region."

"The U.S.-led coalition and the people of Iraq," said Mr. Bush, "have made remarkable progress in a short time, and we will complete the great work we have begun."