Statement by Mr Sven Jürgenson, Permanent Representative of Estonia
Thank you, Mr President
I would like to thank Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for her informative briefing. I would also like to extend my appreciation for UNAMI’s continued work under challenging circumstances.
Iraq is facing significant challenges on its way towards peace, stability and prosperity. In the context of increasing regional tensions, the continued support of the international community to Iraq’s security and reconstruction remains crucial. All actors have to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. At the same time, I call on the Government of Iraq to continue engaging with international stakeholders. In this context we also condemn the numerous rocket attacks on the military bases hosting foreign troops as well as the United States embassy in Baghdad.
Another challenge Iraq is facing is the continued political crisis. I urge all political parties and factions in Iraq to urgently resolve their differences and to agree on a consensus candidate for prime minister. It is the highest time to put the national interests first and overcome the prolonged political crisis. Hopefully a new government will be formed promptly which would allow responding to the legitimate aspirations of the Iraqi people. It is vital to the government to continue with credible economic reforms, to create jobs, provide basic services, improve governance and take effective measures to counter corruption and implement rule of law. A greater presence of women and youth should also be secured when appointing new ministers. I also call on Iraq to complete the electoral reform process and to continue engaging with the United Nations in this regard, in order to ensure free, credible and fair elections.
It is deeply worrying to hear continued reports of human rights violations in the context of public demonstrations which have now entered their sixth month. The use of live ammunition against unarmed protesters, threats against activists and journalists and detainments without due process have not stopped. I call on all actors to exercise maximum restraint and I stress the responsibility of the government to protect peaceful protestors and also to conduct thorough investigations in case of violations.
Taking note of the latest report by the Secretary General on children and armed conflict in Iraq, I commend the important steps taken by the Government of Iraq in preventing the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts and look forward to further efforts in this regard. There is also a need to find a sustainable solution to the situation of internally displaced persons, as their voluntary, safe and dignified return is not secured. I encourage the Government of Iraq to engage with the United Nations and respective NGOs in efforts of reconciliation and social cohesion.
In conclusion, it is crucial that all Iraqi political actors put aside their differences and engage, with the support of the United Nations and international partners, to overcome these multiple challenges they are facing, and respond to the legitimate aspirations of their people for stability, security, prosperity and peace.
I Thank you!