Consolidate the positive dynamic in Iraq [fr]
Statement by Ms. Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, Chargée d’Affaires a.i.
Security Council - 28 August 2019
I too would like to thank Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, for her insightful briefing, which provided a comprehensive update on developments in Iraq, as well as on the work of all the teams of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), which I particularly commend.
1/ I would first like to stress the importance of working to consolidate the current positive momentum in Iraq. That is one of the main conclusions of the Council’s visit to Baghdad at the end of June.
The continued efforts of the Iraqi authorities to open a new chapter in their country’s history should be welcomed and encouraged. That is why, following the elections, which strengthened the democratic process in Iraq, appointments to three of four vacant federal Government ministerial posts is another positive step. We also welcome the latest appointments to head the Kurdistan Regional Government.
The Prime Minister’s issuance of Executive Order 237, which aims to strengthen State control over the popular mobilization forces, also supports the stabilization process. The order’s provisions must now be implemented to be effective.
The positive political momentum must continue in order to meet the expectations of the Iraqi population, particularly with regard to public services, and to improve the investment climate, within the framework of a united, federal and democratic Iraq that respects all its constituents. In that regard, we encourage Baghdad and Erbil to continue their discussions with a view to sustainably resolving the remaining points of disagreement.
2/ Consolidating those gains is essential now that Iraq is at a crossroads, which means that Iraq must be vigilant and take action with regard to at least four points, which are challenges that Iraq must overcome but for which it can also count on our assistance.
My first point concerns the challenge that the current regional tensions represent for stability in Iraq. Priority must therefore be accorded to de-escalation through dialogue. We must spare no effort to ensure that Iraq does not revert to becoming another theatre of a broader regional confrontation and risk jeopardizing all the progress made in recent months. In that regard, France fully supports the efforts of the Iraqi authorities to facilitate regional dialogue and strengthen balanced diplomacy. France recalls its commitment to respecting the sovereignty and integrity of Iraq.
My second point concerns the threat that Da’esh continues to pose to the stability of Iraq at a time when it is reorganizing through clandestine cells. In particular, there is an urgent need to reach security and governance agreements in disputed territories where the terrorist group is taking advantage of the political and security vacuum to re-establish itself.
Thirdly, the stabilization and reconstruction of the country, as well as genuine national reconciliation, remain crucial to the long-term stabilization of the country. In that regard, France welcomes the signing of an agreement between the Government of Iraq and the United Nations on the establishment of a fund to disburse contributions towards the reconstruction of Iraq announced at the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq in February 2018, and we call on the Iraqi authorities and all our partners to honour the commitments they made at the Conference. The reconstruction process stalled in 2019; we must work to revive that momentum.
Lastly, particular attention must be accorded to the areas liberated from Da’esh, as well as to creating the necessary conditions for the voluntary, safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons to their places of origin. The Iraqi-led stabilization and reconstruction process for the benefit of the Iraqi people is necessary to ensure a lasting victory against terrorism and foster reconciliation among the various sectors of the Iraqi population. Finally, I welcome the attention that the Government of Iraq is willing to devote to the fight against corruption and call on it to redouble its efforts to that end.
3/ In that context, international partners must stand alongside the Iraqi authorities more than ever.
The Security Council’s unanimous support for the Iraqi authorities is key to supporting Iraq at this critical juncture. The Council’s first visit to Iraq in June was an important milestone in that regard. The international community must also continue its support, in particular to meet the country’s humanitarian, stabilization and reconstruction needs.
I also wish to reiterate France’s support for the work of UNAMI and the Special Representative in supporting the Iraqi authorities, in particular the Mission’s efforts to promote the active participation of women in the public arena, human rights and dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil. We fully endorse the priorities set out by the Special Representative. The announcement of the opening of the Mosul office next month is also encouraging news.
In conclusion, for its part, France will continue to fully support the Iraqi authorities, first, in the area of security, given the threat posed by Da’esh, and, secondly, in the area of humanitarian concerns and stabilization. That is the purpose of our nearly €1-billion loan for reconstruction and our work to strengthen Iraqi State institutions.France will also continue to work towards achieving lasting and inclusive reconciliation. The fight against impunity is a crucial factor in that regard, and that is the purpose of our support for the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, whose mandate will be renewed in September. It is also important to shed light on the fate of missing persons, including during the Gulf War, in accordance with resolution 2107 (2013).Lastly, I recall that, in the autumn, France will hold another follow-up conference on the Paris Action Plan, which was adopted at the 2015 International Conference on the Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence in the Middle East.