Statement delivered by Political Coordinator Fergus Eckersley at the UN Security Council briefing on Iraq

The UK commends the work of UN Mission in Iraq and welcomes the progress of the newly formed Government: UK Statement at the Security Council

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2 February 2023

Thank you, Madam President. Let me start by thanking Japan for a highly professional and effective presidency in the month of January, and let me assure you and your team of our full support for your presidency this month. Thank you to the Special Representative for her briefing and to Dr Ahmad for the messages he brought forward today.

The UK commends the vital work of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq. As the Special Representative said, we also commend the longstanding commitment of successive Iraqi governments to working closely with the UN Mission.

We welcome the formation of the new Government of Iraq and Prime Minister Sudani’s focus on the delivery of services that the people of Iraq need. The UK will continue to support the Iraqi government on the range of challenges it faces. Key amongst these challenges are securing the country’s economic stability and the need for climate action, including energy transition and green economic reform. We hope to see the Government propose and pass a sustainable budget which stimulates investment in Iraq’s future. We encourage the government’s continued focus on tackling corruption, as the Special Representative said, and we echo the Special Representative and others on the importance of human rights and accountability.

Another central challenge is Iraq’s security. We remain committed to supporting the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government in their efforts to ensure the safety of Iraqi civilians, not least in the ongoing fight against the scourge of Daesh, and to safeguard the security and sovereignty of Iraq.

We welcome Prime Minister Sudani’s work to reinforce the security of Iraq’s borders. We commend Prime Minister Sudani’s engagements throughout the region and his government’s efforts to encourage regional stability through broader bilateral relations. We encourage further regional dialogue, including on crucial transnational issues such as water security and the adverse impacts of climate change. And we welcome UNAMI’s important role in support of these efforts. Continued close cooperation between the government of Iraq and regional partners is important to reinforce both Iraqi and regional security and stability.

We welcome ongoing contact between Baghdad and Erbil to settle outstanding issues of concern. We encourage all sides to engage in dialogue to resolve differences where they exist, including on the hydrocarbon law and the budget. We also welcome and encourage dialogue between the Kurdish political parties, and we will continue to emphasise the urgent importance of passing a law facilitating elections in the Kurdistan region this year.

Finally, we would also like to thank the Special Representative for her update on missing Kuwaiti and third country nationals, and missing Kuwaiti property. We welcome and encourage the commitment of all parties to making further progress on this important issue.

Thank you.

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