Iraq has now entered a new phase of stabilization
The situation in Irak
Statement by Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations Security Council
Security Council- 21 may 2019
France welcomes the unanimous renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for one year through resolution 2470 (2019). I would like to assure Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert our full support and thank her for her very informative briefing.
I would like to focus on three points : first, the importance of building on the progress made by Iraq in recent months ; secondly, the many challenges the country continues to face, which should not be underestimated ; and, lastly, the importance of the ongoing and united support of international community.
Iraq has now entered a new phase of stabilization, which the Council must encourage in order to enable it to build on those gains. I would like to commend the progress made by Iraqi authorities more than a year after the announcement of the military victory against Da’esh. The elections have deepened the democratic process and ushered a new Government into power. That Government has developed an ambitious work programme to meet the needs of the Iraqi population, in particular as it pertains to public services and the fight against corruption. The Government is also focused on improving Baghdad’s relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government. We again call for the continuation of dialogue within the framework of a united, federal and democratic Iraq. That positive momentum must be maintained. That is why we hope that an agreement can be quickly reached regarding the ministerial portfolios that remain vacant. Finalizing the Government is essential if it is to be able to fully meet the high expectations of its population in the post-Da’esh period. In view of the many challenges faced by Iraq, we believe that three priorities are essential.
The first priority is the fight against the terrorist threat, as the battle is not yet over despite the end of the so-called Da’esh caliphate. The continuing terrorist threat in Iraq and on the Syrian border should encourage us to be extremely vigilant.
The second priority is the humanitarian response, stabilization and reconstruction of the country, in particular in the areas regained from Da’esh. Stabilization and reconciliation efforts are essential to ensuring a lasting victory against the terrorist group and to promoting reconciliation among the various components of the Iraqi population. I welcome the fact that that point is underscored in resolution 2470 (2019), which we just adopted, in particular at the request of the Iraqi authorities. Special attention should be paid to the plight of children — an issue on which an action plan between the United Nations and the Iraqi Government is being finalized. Equal importance must also be given to the meaningful participation at all levels of women and persons belonging to minority groups. The return of internally displaced persons, the continuation of the socioeconomic reforms announced by the Government and the fight against impunity, as well as holding the perpetrators of sexual violence to account, are also important areas on which progress is needed in order to promote reconciliation.
Lastly, the third priority concerns the regional agenda, which is essential to Iraq’s stability. Recent developments in the region are of particular concern. France will continue to monitor developments closely and call for de-escalation. We hope that a regional dialogue will be established to address all of the many legitimate concerns in a peaceful manner. In that regard, I, too, welcome the balanced regional diplomacy by Iraqi authorities and their renewed commitment to dialogue.
To meet those challenges, the mobilization of the international community in support of Iraq is more necessary than ever. UNAMI’s work in support of the Iraqi authorities at this critical juncture is essential. The Special Representative has our full support in the implementation of the three priorities set. We also support her ongoing work on the people and property reporting missing.
France will continue to give its full support to the Iraqi authorities, as President Macron reminded Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi in Paris at the beginning of the month. France will continue its support in the area of security to combat the common threat posed by Da’esh. We will also continue to provide support in areas related to humanitarian, stabilization and reconstruction efforts, as shown by our commitment to the rehabilitation of Mosul. We will continue to support not only the reconstruction of Iraq — the purpose of the €1 billion reconstruction loan announced by the Minister for Foreign Affairs in February in Baghdad — but also the strengthening of its State institutions. We also call on the Iraqi authorities and all our partners to fully implement the commitments they made at the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq, held in February 2018.Lastly, in keeping with a principle that can be found in all of our support activities, France will continue to work towards the inclusive and lasting reconciliation of all Iraqis. As such, we will be organizing another conference in the fall as a follow-up to the Paris Action Plan on the Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence in the Middle East, which was launched in 2015.