Swedish statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on Iraq/ UNAMI
National statement delivered by Minister Counsellor Joakim Vaverka on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), 13 November 2018, New York.
Thank you, Mr. President,
And thank you SRSG Kubis for your briefing. Let me join others in expressing our sincere gratitude for all the work you have done in support for Iraq during your time as SRSG. We very much appreciate your tireless efforts, including your firm commitment on Women, Peace and Security and - under your leadership - UNAMI’s advocacy efforts to promote women in political and decision-making processes in Iraq.
Let me start by welcoming the confirmation of President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi. The partial formation of the Council of Ministers is encouraging. At the same time, we are disappointed by the lack of women among the ministers so far appointed. As inclusiveness and representation is key in the government formation process, I join others in calling for the consideration of women candidates for the remaining Cabinet posts.
Iraq needs a stable, national government that brings Iraqis together and restores hope going forward. In the aftermath of the defeat of Daesh, it is particularly important for the Iraqi people to feel that their voices matter and that they have an accountable government. As has been underlined throughout this briefing this morning, the resurgence of Daesh must be avoided.
As the new government now gets to work and starts addressing the many challenges that lay ahead, intensified efforts are needed for advancing political and economic reforms, addressing basic service delivery, fighting corruption and strengthening the Rule of law. The economic prospects for all Iraqis, not least youth, must be improved. Success will require strong national leadership, but also international support, including by a united Security Council. A long-term perspective is needed for the continued and coordinated international efforts in support of Iraq.
To ensure long-term peace and development, the root causes of conflict must be addressed. This includes the distribution of resources and influence between different groups in society. Reconciliation is critical to building a stable country and preventing future conflicts, and accountability is in turn crucial for reconciliation.
Sweden supports initiatives to strengthen accountability for violations of international law. We welcome resolution 2379 on the United Nations Investigative Team for Accountability of Daesh. This is an important first step in holding those responsible for the atrocities carried out by Daesh to account. We are pleased that Special Advisor Karim Khan has started his important mission and look forward to his first briefing to the Council.
Like others, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Nadia Murad for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to end sexual violence against women in conflict. We also welcome that Iraq has adopted a national action plan on resolution 1325. We encourage UNAMI to assist the government in the implementation of the plan, including protecting internally displaced people from sexual violence.
We welcome progress made in the Baghdad-Erbil dialogue. With the new government in place, the dialogue should be fully resumed, with both sides showing good faith and a constructive approach. We encourage the UN using its good offices to facilitate dialogue between Iraqi stakeholders.
UNAMI’s role remains crucial and its political mission must be fully utilized. We welcome the mission’s strengthened mandate, in particular with regards to the role of women and the situation for children. Rehabilitation and reintegration must also be prioritized.
The inclusion – for the first time – of an operational Women, Peace and Security component in the mandate will allow the mission to further focus on these issues. Implementation is now key, and adequate financial resources is needed. How the mission will be mainstreaming gender as a cross-cutting issue must be followed up and reported upon. We appreciate the advocacy efforts that have already been made to promote the effective participation of women in political and decision-making processes.
Finally, Mr. President,
Iraq must be able to pursue its own national interests and not become a proxy for confrontation by regional interests. We strongly emphasize the need for continued respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Iraq, and we welcome Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi’s approach in this regard.
As Iraq moves forward on its path towards reconciliation, stability and sustained peace, it can continue to count on Sweden’s support. Strong national leadership and the unity of this Council will be critical for sustainable peace in Iraq.
I thank you.