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Statement on the Situation concerning Iraq

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at the briefing on the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI)

Thank you very much Madam President,

I would also like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq Jeanine Hennis Plasschaert for her comprehensive and very informative briefing that we heard today. I also want to thank her for her dedicated work and for helping United Nations help Iraq to its better future. I think that your words today, your briefing today, showed that you care. For me, this is the most important quality of a foreign representative in a country.

We also welcome the presence of Representatives of Iraq and of Kuwait among us today.

I would like to reaffirm Slovenia’s support for a stable, sovereign, prosperous, and democratic Iraq. The country and its people have come a long way and we are looking forward to consolidating a prosperous and democratic future in which human rights are respected and upheld. Today’s briefing and the Secretary–General latest report are a testament to Iraq’s progress.

I want to make four points.

First, on the political front, we welcome the commitment of the Government of Iraq to reforms that include protecting human rights, providing basic social services, fighting corruption, building accountable institutions and sustainable economic reforms. Regional and transboundary cooperation on climate and water security, in particular on desertification and droughts, is of crucial importance for stability and resilience. We encourage the Government of Iraq to pursue further implementation of the reforms to meet the aspirations of the Iraqi people.  

The recent regional elections, conducted in an orderly and peaceful manner, mark another important milestone in Iraq’s progress. At the same time we echo Secretary General’s call on all stakeholders for an orderly, peaceful and credible conduct of parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq that have been once more postponed.

Efforts to strengthen the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in all aspects and at all levels of political, electoral and peace and security processes must continue.

Second, I listened with great attention to SRSG’s message of concern when it comes to the impact of climate change on peace and security in Iraq.

Slovenia is particularly concerned about the impact of water scarcity on the agriculture and food security.

But as SRSG said – climate action is also a proactive opportunity that can complement and strengthen the peace process. Iraqi government can engage with its regional and international partners to strengthen the early warning systems.

National Adaptation Plan preparation offers a chance for stronger resilience, as well as inclusion of marginalized community in environmental peacebuilding.

Third, Slovenia appreciates the UNAMI’s support to Iraqi institutions. We are looking forward to the Independent Strategic Review of UNAMI and to its recommendations.

Forth, regrettably, the security situation in Iraq remains volatile and to use the SRSG’s words, we are at a critical juncture for Iraq. Da’esh has been contained; but not eliminated. The increased attacks by militias against Coalition presence in Iraq represent an alarming trend. So we joined a call for restraint by all from within and from outside Iraq.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate our commitment to Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and to thank for its efforts to bring greater stability to the region by facilitating dialogue with its neighbors. Today dialogue, cooperation and respect for international law are more important than ever. This Council has a duty to support Iraq as it continues its journey towards a stable and prosperous future. Slovenia will engage in the deliberations on the future of UNAMI’s mandate with this aim.

Thank you.

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