United Nations, Aug 29 : Although Iraq is “hard at work building on progress made to date”, a top United Nations official told the Security Council that decades of trouble continue to impact the present, but cautioned “we have not seen the end of it yet”.
Briefing the Council via video conference on Wednesday, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), told the Council that while “not to sugar-coat the current circumstances, we can all agree on Iraq’s great potential”, adding “but perseverance is key” to make the most of it.
The Special Representative stressed that Government cannot “recreate overnight miracles” in dealing with its past legacy or future challenges, driving home the point that “it needs time to deliver”.
Drilling down to specifics, she pointed out that even though “not a single woman has been appointed yet”, the Federal cabinet is nearly fully formed, which is creating “positive momentum”. She acknowledged that “expectations are high”, particularly on review sharing Kirkukk and Sinjar, where she reported “great devastation and slow progress on the ground”.
“Rival security actors and the lack of a unified administration remain the main obstacles for progress” she updated on the northwestern area of Sinjar. Noting great restrictions on humanitarian action, she urged those involved to “put aside partisan interests to bridge difference and to place – without further delay – the needs of the people first”.
Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert also made clear that “free, fair and credible elections [expected in April 2020] are key to the revival of public trust”, saying the UNAMI would continue to “highlight the importance of the right of universal suffrage and the need for transparency and accountability of electoral institutions and processes”.
In terms of regional politics, she maintained that although “we continue to operate in a perilous context”, Iraqi leadership must be “commended for its unwavering commitment to multilateral diplomacy” and for its determination “to bring all armed actors under State control”. (UNI)