It is essential that Iraq remain free from regional tensions. [fr]
Statement by Ms. Anne Gueguen
Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
at the Security Council
New York, 26 August 2020
I, too, would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert, for her intervention. You know that you have the full support of France. I would like to briefly address five points.
First of all, I would like to reaffirm France’s support for Iraq, which is a country at the heart of the challenges of the Middle East. The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, visited the country last month, and the Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, is going there today to mark this support, at a time when there are many challenges, as the Special Representative has just reminded us.
Iraqi Prime Minister al-Kadhimi has announced and launched a number of reforms to respond to the COVID pandemic, to strengthen the capacity of the Iraqi State, to fight corruption and to diversify the Iraqi economy. It is essential that these measures are effectively implemented. The Iraqi people have expressed clear and legitimate demands, it is crucial that they be heard. And the international community must mobilize to support the Iraqi authorities in this task.
The announcement of early parliamentary elections in June 2021 is a positive development. It is essential that all stakeholders mobilize to enable an inclusive, free and transparent ballot in which Iraqis will participate in large numbers to choose their representatives. The full, active and effective participation of women in this election is also essential.
UNAMI has a strong electoral assistance mandate. We look forward to UNAMI continuing to carry out this crucial task in the coming months.
We are attentive to the situation in Basra and in the South of the country. It is essential that freedom to demonstrate is guaranteed throughout the country. It is also imperative that the alleged perpetrators of violence against demonstrators are brought to justice.
Secondly, I want to reiterate France’s commitment in favor of Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is essential that the country remain free from regional tensions. The Secretary-General’s report mentions Turkish incursions into Iraq. France shares Iraq’s serious concerns about this and calls for de-escalation.
Thirdly, I would like to recall that the threat from Daech has not disappeared, as we were able to see at Monday’s briefing on the state of this threat. It is therefore essential that the international coalition’s action alongside the Iraqi authorities continue by adapting its modalities of action to the evolution of the threat. And I welcome the operations recently conducted by the Iraqi authorities to fight Daech. UNITAD’s support for the fight against impunity must also help prevent a resurgence of terrorist violence.
Fourthly, the humanitarian situation is a long-standing cause for concern that the COVID-19 pandemic only reinforces. With 1.77 million vulnerable people in the country, it is unfortunate that restrictions on humanitarian access persist. And France joins the Secretary-General’s call for these restrictions to be lifted.
Finally, I would like to say a word about developments concerning missing Kuwaitis and third-country nationals and missing Kuwaiti property, including national archives. The health situation has not allowed much progress to be made on this issue, but we know that the Iraqi authorities are determined to move forward, and we will remain attentive to this matter.
I thank you.