SHAFAQNA- The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq has stressed that the organization supports the sovereignty of the country and the current government’s efforts to establish balanced international relations.
“Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert”, the representative of the UN Secretary General and the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), in a detailed interview with the official news agency of this country (INA) published before noon today (Friday), Emphasizing the delegation’s support for the efforts of the government of current Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi to establish balanced international relations, she noted that early parliamentary elections should be held under the leadership of Iraqi institutions.
Plasschaert said in the interview: “The United Nations in Iraq, in line with its authority, supports the sovereignty of Iraq and the government’s efforts to establish balanced relations with neighboring countries and other countries in the world; The international community, through the United Nations’ institutions, has supported Iraq on a number of issues, including the fight against terrorism, assistance to refugees and displaced people, stabilization, reconstruction, refugee return, development projects, strengthening democracy, and also supporting the country’s institutions, defense of human rights, strengthening of social solidarity and the provision of electoral assistance, and the facilitation of dialogue between Baghdad and Irbil.
The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq stated: “The International Security Council, in response to the Iraqi government’s request of last May, extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) to assist and support Iraq, and this is an evidence of the international community’s commitment to witnessing a strong, sovereign, prosperous and stable Iraq, and there is a support and it will be continued.
Regarding the early parliamentary elections in Iraq, Plasschaert also said that the United Nations is obliged to provide technical advice and support to Iraqi national institutions and will continue to provide any necessary advice and support; The organization’s mission in Iraq has begun issuing detailed monthly reports on election preparations and processes to provide some support for the efforts.
She added: “The Iraqi government is committed to hold credible early elections, and this is a major popular ideal; The government needs the support of political currents in the House of Representatives as well as those outside parliament to hold elections, and the United Nations hopes for the cooperation of the government and political currents to achieve this goal.
Plasschaert also noted that the election must be led by Iraq and that it is important to hold it properly, because a credible election is essential to building public trust; Finally, democracy can not be strengthened except through the active participation of the nation, and for the elections to be credible and acceptable to all Iraqis, the independence of the Independent High Electoral Commission must be protected from any political interference.
“Corruption is one of the biggest problems the government and Iraq is facing to, because its economic costs are high, it is related to the needs of Iraqis, and it undermines the confidence of investors, Corruption exacerbates many security problems in Iraq, and the government understands these challenges,” she said.
“The government has made economic and financial reforms as one of its priorities because it is necessary to open a brighter future for all Iraqis; The fight against corruption is also a national issue in the first place; The United Nations reaffirms its readiness to assist the Iraqi government in providing technical assistance in the fight against corruption,” Plasschaert added.
Concerning the protests in the southern and central provinces of Iraq, the UNAMI chief said: The UN delegation is pleased with the statements and some of the government’s early steps to protect the demonstrators, which are signs of hope, but more measures will be needed to bring about real justice and accountability; The international community has always called for the protection of peaceful demonstrators and the defense of freedom of expression and the guarantee of justice through the prosecution and punishment of the perpetrators of the killings of protesters, and issued several reports on the protests and provided recommendations.
Plasschaert also stressed the UN position on Turkey’s repeated attacks on Iraqi territory, airspace and sovereignty, as well as the country’s problems in importing water from other countries and said: The United Nations continues to urge Iraq and its neighbors to resolve their differences through diplomatic means and dialogue with full respect for national sovereignty, and this applies to any military operation as well as the water resources case.
The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq concluded by noting that the United Nations continues to participate in the development of a long-term strategy to address the water issue and to assist the government in facilitating regional dialogue and cooperation, including water issues and it is also committed to support Iraq in improving its water management.
This news is originally published by Shafaqna Persian and translated by Shafaqna English