Delivered by Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative Mohamed Abushahab
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I would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, for her valuable briefing and for her efforts. I also thank Ms. Hanaa Edwar for briefing the Council and welcome the participation of the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Iraq, Ambassador Muhammad Bahr Al-Ulum, in today’s meeting.
Seven months after successful parliamentary elections, the UAE stresses the need for the completion of the process of forming the new government in compliance with the Iraqi constitution. This is an important step for Iraq to fulfill its duties to its citizens and manage the state’s affairs. Necessary reforms should also be conducted in all vital sectors upon which the Iraqi people depend, as the interests of the Iraqi people must transcend all other considerations.
Once the new government in Iraq is formed, my country looks forward to its building on the achievements made by Iraq in the past few years in the fields of development, security, and reconstruction, and in strengthening regional cooperation and dialogue. We also urge the new government to build on Iraq’s recent and effective engagement with its Arab neighbors, including Iraq’s participation in the Aqaba summit held in March with the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which discussed several regional matters of high importance, including the mitigation of the impact of the global economic crisis on the region, especially on energy and food security.
Among the most prominent challenges the new government will face is the continued activities by the remnants of Daesh and their attempts to regain influence. Daesh carried out nearly 69 attacks during the most recent reporting period. The United Arab Emirates strongly condemns these terrorist acts, and commends the achievements of the Iraqi forces in combating terrorism. We affirm our continued support for these efforts to establish security and enforce the rule of law in all areas.
The UAE also condemns the Iranian attacks on Erbil in the Kurdistan region in March and most recently on 11 May, and we reiterate our categorical rejection of regional interference in Iraq’s internal affairs under any pretext. We stress the importance of other countries respecting Iraq’s sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations. We warn that the recurrence of these attacks would threaten to inflame the situation and undermine regional and international peace and security.
Achieving long-term stability in Iraq requires increasing efforts towards economic development and the rebuilding of vital sectors, including health, education, and energy. Despite the relative improvement of the humanitarian situation since 2017, Iraq still needs international support to meet the needs of the Iraqi people. The UAE has supported Iraq in various fields, including through assisting displaced persons to return to Mosul, providing medical equipment to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and the reconstruction of areas liberated from Daesh. In March, construction began on the rebuilding of a mosque and two churches in Mosul as part of a joint project between the UAE and UNESCO as part of the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” initiative.
Regarding the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals, we support further progress on this important file, as well as on the issue of missing Kuwaiti property, including the national archives.
In conclusion, my delegation looks forward to working with colleagues on the Council in the coming days on the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), so that it can continue to perform its important duties in close coordination with the Iraqi government. I would also like to express our appreciation for the efforts of the Deputy Special Representative, Ms. Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, wishing her every success in her future assignments. We also affirm our continued support for the Iraqi government and people, and our solidarity with the Iraqi government in the measures it takes to maintain the security and stability of this country.
Thank you, Mr. President.