Delivered by: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
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At the outset, I would like to thank Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for her valuable briefing, and we are grateful for the intervention delivered by Ms. Dhefaf Al-Jarahi. I also welcome the representative of Iraq in our meeting today, and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the government and people of Iraq on the occasion of its National Day, wishing Iraq continued progress and prosperity.
As we heard, the government of Iraq has achieved remarkable progress since its formation last year, particularly in reforming public services, the economy, and the private sector. It has also adopted the three-year federal budget law.
Nevertheless, the coming period requires taking firm measures to complete these reforms and strengthen long-term security and stability, especially in light of the challenges facing Iraq.
On the political front, we look forward to the provincial council elections in Iraq at the end of this year and the parliamentary elections in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, which were postponed until next February. We urge to convene these elections according to their planned schedules. In this context, we appreciate the support provided by UNAMI to support the organisation of these elections, in accordance with its mandate. We also urge concerted efforts to promote the meaningful participation of Iraqi women in the upcoming elections, and to ensure their effective and equal representation in government and decision-making processes.
In the same vein, we continue to stress the need to empower Iraqi youth and provide them with more opportunities to play active roles in the development of the country’s future, as this group represents more than half of Iraq’s population.
We believe that the decision to form the Higher Council for Youth in Iraq is a positive step in this direction. It also reflects the important efforts made in our region towards integrating youth in government processes.
On the economic front, we hope that internal consensus can be achieved in order for the adoption of the new Federal oil and gas law to support Iraq’s economy. We also encourage the resolution of all other outstanding issues between Baghdad and Erbil.
With regard to efforts aimed to address the repercussions of climate change in Iraq, we believe that this issue must remain a top priority, with a focus on building Iraq’s capabilities in the field. We look forward to UNAMI playing a greater role in support of government efforts in this regard, especially since Iraq is one of the countries most impacted by climate change. As the water crisis in Iraq continues, my country urges all concerned regional parties to engage in constructive efforts to reach agreements that will allow for the optimal and equitable use of shared water resources.
The security situation in Iraq continues to face several challenges that require a comprehensive approach. Despite the gradual decline in the frequency of Da’esh attacks, developments in recent months have highlighted the urgent need to limit weapons to the government, strengthen law enforcement, and consolidate government control over all Iraqi territory, which would contribute to security in Iraq and the region.
We also stress the importance of resolving existing issues between Iraq and neighboring countries. The persistence of these issues and the absence of any prospects for their resolution undermine trust between the countries of the region and threaten to exacerbate tensions. We continue to call for building bridges and reducing escalation in the region, especially during this period, which is witnessing acute crisis. We stress that any regional dialogue must be built on respect for the principles of good neighborliness, and the importance of refraining from any steps that may undermine these efforts.
We are concerned about the recent growing hostilities between Türkiye and Iraq. We reaffirm the need to adhere to the principles of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States and non-interference in their internal affairs.
The UAE reaffirms the Gulf Cooperation Council’s position calling on Iraq to address the implications of the recent decision of its Federal Supreme Court regarding the agreement with Kuwait on the regulation of navigation in Khor Abdullah. We stress the importance of completing the demarcation of the maritime borders between these two countries beyond point 162, and the importance of adhering to Security Council resolutions, especially resolution 833, and to bilateral agreements, in a way that supports the two countries in moving forward towards the consolidation of bilateral relations and opening new horizons.
Regarding the issue of the missing Kuwaitis and nationals of third countries, and missing Kuwaiti property, we call for further progress in this file. We commend the efforts of the tripartite committee led by the International Committee of the Red Cross, to determine the fate of the remaining missing persons, the efforts of which recently resulted in determiningthe fate of one of the missing persons from Kuwait, and we express our sincere condolences to his family.
In conclusion, the UAE reaffirms its support for the Iraqi people in their endeavors to turn the page on the past and live in prosperity. We look forward to the outcomes of the strategic assessment of the UNAMI Mission, which should be underway, and we hope it will contribute to shaping the features of the support required by Iraq from UNAMI in the coming years, in accordance with current needs, leading to the complete handover of the Mission’s tasks to the government of Iraq in due course.