On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) until 31st July 2014, so it can "continue to advise and support the country, which has been hit by the worst violence in years, to progress on the path to stability and development".
In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body also called on the Government of Iraq to continue to provide security and logistical support to the Mission, and on Member States to continue to provide it with sufficient resources.
UNAMI will now take responsibility for several issues relating to Kuwait, which were moved from Chapter VII to Chapter VI in a vote in late June.
But the extension of the mandate also has implications for the credibility of the forthcoming parliamentary elections, which are due to take place in the first half of next year; UNAMI will be observing the conduct of the elections, with logistical support committed by Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.
With violence on the increase, and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki unlikely to be allowed a third term in office, the election may be quite eventful -- having the UN Assistance Mission still in place will certainly aid the process.