Delivered By H. E. Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative

Thank you, Madam President.

At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on your presidency of the Council this month and wish you all the best. I also express my sincere appreciation to our Japanese colleagues for their outstanding efforts and professionalism during their successful presidency of the Council in January. Additionally, I thank the Special Representative, Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, for her important briefing, as well as Mr. Ahmed for his intervention. I also welcome the participation of Iraq’s Representative in this meeting.

Madam President,

In light of Iraq’s long-awaited formation of a new government last October, we would like to emphasize the importance of building on this welcome step and prioritizing Iraq’s national interest and unity. This will enable the country to address its challenges and strengthen its security and stability.

Going forward, it is critical for Iraq  to continue working diligently at reforming various sectors, particularly through promoting the rule of law, strengthening state institutions, and accelerating development and economic progress. We look forward to Iraq’s adoption of this year’s annual budget, which will support vital projects in the country.

We welcome the appointment of three women in the new government and the ongoing efforts to empower Iraqi women economically. We stress the importance of continuing to promote the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in various fields, especially in the public and private sectors. Women have an essential role in building prosperous, stable, and sustainable societies. We also commend the United Nations’ efforts to support Iraqi women, including through raising awareness of the critical psychosocial needs of the survivors of Da’esh.

While Iraq recently commemorated the fifth anniversary of the declaration of victory over Da’esh, we must not lose sight of the continuous threats posed by this terrorist group to the security and stability of Iraq and the region. Da’esh continues its activities across several areas in Iraq. Just recently, several terrorist attacks have taken place. These included the attack near Kirkuk and the village of Al-Bubali on 18 December 2022, which claimed the lives of eight civilians and nine police officers. We reiterate our support for all measures taken by Iraq to protect its hard-won gains in the fight against terrorism and to eliminate it completely.

The UAE condemns any interference in the internal affairs of Iraq and any actions that may undermine its security and stability. Such actions have no justification. Considering the increase in attacks against Iraq in recent months, we stress the need for the international community to reject, in one voice, such acts that not only violate the sovereignty of Iraq, but also constitute a flagrant violation of international law and threaten the stability of the region.

Madam President,

Our region has witnessed two recent events that  reflect positively on the engagement between Iraq and its region. Last December, Iraq, Jordan, and France jointly organized the second session of the Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership. The Conference demonstrated the willingness of the countries in the region to strengthen cooperation with Iraq, support its stability. The second example was the Arabian Gulf Cup tournament hosted by Iraq. The Iraqi people’s warm reception of Arab visitors during this event reflected the broad desire of the Iraqi people to build bridges with their Arab neighbors.

With regard to the missing Kuwaitis and third-country nationals – as well as lost Kuwaiti property including national archives – we hope that progress will be made on this matter during the coming period. We commend the efforts of both Kuwait and Iraq in this regard.

In conclusion, we commend the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for the efforts it is making within its mandate to assist Iraq in overcoming the difficulties the country is currently facing. This includes supporting the Government’s efforts to address emerging challenges, such as climate change, which impacts the lives of  Iraqis in a myriad of ways. We hope that Iraq will continue its trajectory towards peace and stability and that its people will achieve their aspirations for security and prosperity.

Thank you, Madam President.