Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on the situation in Iraq
We thank the delegation of Japan for the stewardship of the Security Council in January. We also wish you and your team a successful and seamless (whenever possible) tenure this month.
We would like to thank SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert for the briefing on the situation in the Republic of Iraq and reiterate our unstopping support for the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), which turns 20 years in 2023. We closely followed the assessments of Dr.Ahmed. And we welcome the representatives of Iraq to this meeting.
We note the diversified efforts of the United Nations in Iraq, aimed at improving socio-political aspects and the state-functioning process. At the same time, we must admit that our friendly Iraqi nation continues to encounter complex political and socio-economic challenges that arise from the remaining terrorist threat posed by ISIL’s clandestine criminal network.
This being said, we welcome that Iraq’s Council of Representatives has elected a new President, Mr. Abdul Latif Rashid; and that a new government has been formed under the leadership of Prime Minister Al-Sudani. We reconfirm our comprehensive support for the efforts of the new cabinet aimed at improving the situation in the country, ensuring stability, security and legality. We hope that all Iraqi politicians will adopt a responsible approach and seek to settle the outstanding disputes only through talks and in the interests of all ethnic and confessional communes and population groups.
We do realize that the Iraqi authorities are faced with multiple problems that have been piling up for years and that cannot be resolved overnight.
Socio-economic and humanitarian sectors that were devastated by the 2003 events and the war on ISIL that followed require the attention and assistance of the global community. In this context, adoption of a program of the new government, which regards reform of the financial system as its main task, appears especially well-timed. Hopefully, this will allow to unlock paths towards resolving such urgent issues as unemployment and support for the most vulnerable populations.
We understand that it will be far not easy for the Iraqi leadership to take into account opinions from all over the political, social and ethno-confessional landscape of the country. Definitely, it is an inclusive dialogue that can help Iraqis overcome their internal controversies.
We commend the continuation of targeted dialogue between the federal center of Iraq and the Kurdish autonomous region aimed at settling disputes, first of all in the oil and gas area. Undoubtedly, further improvement of these relations will help Iraq strengthen its security. It will also be beneficial for the entire Iraqi nation.
We regret to say it, but Iraq’s progress at the counter-terrorist track remains very unsteady, i.a. due to the revitalization of terrorist cells that, as we take it from the latest UNSG’s report, carry out regular raids in various provinces of the country.
This scourge can be opposed effectively only once there is broad coordination of counter-terrorism efforts under full respect for the Iraqi state and proper coordination of all steps with Baghdad. Iraq’s neighbors must not solve their national security tasks at the expense of Iraq’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.
Some external forces try to benefit from the internal Iraqi contradictions, which impedes normalization process in that country. We emphasize that it is unacceptable for Iraq to be turned into an arena for confrontation and settling scores among third countries. We appreciate the efforts that Baghdad takes to build friendly relations with the neighbors, and we welcome that the Republic plays an increasingly meaningful role in the regional, including pan-Arabic ties. We do count on Iraq and other states of the region to explore their diplomatic potential to promote peace and stability in the Middle East collectively, i.a. on the basis of UNSC resolution 598 and the regional concept of collective security that was put forward by Russia.