The situation concerning Iraq - Security Council, 9034th meeting
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01:45:58
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Summary

 Thirty-fourth report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 4 of Security Council resolution 2107 (2013) (S/2022/366).

Description

Baghdad’s Permanent Representative Outlines Efforts to Break Political Deadlock While Condemning Shelling by Iran, Turkey

The people of Iraq continue to wait for a political class that will “roll up its sleeves” to tackle the long list of outstanding domestic priorities, the senior United Nations official in the country told the Security Council today, while underscoring the need to expeditiously form a new Government.

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), presented the Secretary-General’s latest report (document S/2022/368) on key political developments and the Organization’s activities in the country since February.

“The neglect of the population’s most basic needs has gone on for far too long,” she emphasized, pointing out that whereas political leaders subscribe to the notion of dialogue, the necessary willingness to compromise is painfully absent.

There is need for a programme of action to provide adequate delivery of services to all citizens and help end pervasive corruption, factionalism and pillaging of State institutions, she continued, stressing the need to implement desperately needed reforms and diversify the economy.  There is also need for predictable governance rather than constant crisis management, she added, underlining the importance of accountability as a key feature of the State, and the vital need to rein in non-State armed actors while asserting the authority of the State.

Injecting a civil society perspective was Hanaa Edwar of the Iraqi Al-Amal Association, who underlined the Iraqi people’s deepening mistrust in the ruling political class, as well as in public authorities and institutions.  She pointed out that the turnout in the October 2021 elections did not exceed 35 per cent, according to the most generous estimates.  “Reform and change have become an urgent need to achieve stability, security and peaceful coexistence amongst Iraqis, in accordance with a new social contract that guarantees equal citizenship and embraces diversity, social justice and peaceful transfer of power within the framework of a civil State,” she said.

In the ensuing discussion, delegates agreed on the need for the speedy formation of a new Government and also exchanged views on, among other subjects, Iraq’s counter-terrorism operations against Da’esh and other armed groups, as well as the impact of climate change.  (Da’esh is the name used by the United Nations to designate Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in line with General Assembly resolution 75/291.)

Norway’s representative urged all of Iraq’s political actors to take the steps necessary to expeditiously form a new Government and expressed hope that the historic participation of women both as candidates and voters in the elections will be reflected in the new Government.

The representative of the United Arab Emirates said that among the most prominent challenges for a new Government will be the continued activities of Da’esh remnants and their attempts to regain influence, pointing out that the extremist group carried out nearly 69 attacks during the most recent reporting period.

The Russian Federation’s representative said that despite counter-terrorism gains, the security situation remains unstable.  Citing the attacks by ISIL, he emphasized that effective counter-terrorism operations are only possible through the widest possible coordination.  He went on to stress that all involved in Iraq’s fight against terrorism must respect that country’s sovereignty.

Gabon’s representative, also speaking for Ghana and Kenya, rejected military operations by external actors, stressing that Iraq must not become a venue for non-State actors to settle disputes.  As for the climate crisis, he cautioned that water scarcity exacerbated by drought could cause food insecurity in Iraq.  He urged the Secretary-General to involve all regional actors in a dialogue on water management, warning that its scarcity is a potential cause of conflict between neighbouring countries.

The representative of the United States described UNAMI as a critical partner of the Iraqi people, calling upon the Council to equip the Mission with a strong mandate, which is scheduled for renewal later this month.

Iraq’s representative underlined the efforts by his country’s political parties to break the deadlock and reach agreement on a new Government that meets the aspirations of its people and guarantees balanced representation.  He went on to condemn Turkey’s ongoing aggression and violations in northern Iraq, urging the withdrawal of that country’s forces, while also condemning Iran’s shelling of Erbil.

He went on to highlight his country’s efforts to address the impact of climate change and water scarcity, asking UNAMI and the international community to help Iraq fight desertification and facilitate dialogue with its neighbours on fair distribution of water.

Also speaking today were representatives of China, United Kingdom, Mexico, Ireland, India, France, Brazil and Albania.

The meeting began at 3:03 p.m. and ended at 4:50 p.m.