Thank you President. Let me begin by extending the UK’s condolences to the families of all of those killed and injured in the tragic fire at Qaraqosh on the 27th of September.
I’d also like to express thanks to SRSG Plasschaert and Ms Al-Jarahi for their briefings today, and in particular to Ms Al-Jahari for highlighting the vital issues of women’s rights and meaningful participation. I’d also like to express thanks to all the staff at the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq for the important work. The positive partnership between UNAMI and the Iraqi Government, and the Iraqi people and civil society, on issues from regional stability to women’s rights and participation, is playing a vital role in its success.
The UK remains committed to supporting the Iraqi Government and the implementation of its ambitious reform agenda. In particular, we welcome the passing of the budget in June, a crucial step in delivering the Government’s priorities including on economic reform and energy diversification.
President, we share the SRSG’s concerns about the Kurdistan region, and we urge the Kurdistan Regional Government to take all necessary steps to ensure that the planned elections take place on 25 February 2024 next year without further postponement. It is incumbent on all political parties to exercise unity, compromise and engage in constructive dialogue to ensure an electoral process which adheres to international standards and upholds the rights of all citizens, including women and minorities, to participate in the democratic process.
President, we also welcome Iraq’s commitment to tackling climate change, including through ending gas flaring by 2030. Iraq’s exposure to multiple climate hazards, including floods, droughts and sandstorms, climate-related epidemics, and earthquakes makes this an important shared priority. Progress here will bolster Iraq’s security and we stand ready to support.
We welcome the SRSG’s update on missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and missing Kuwaiti property. Regarding Khor Abdullah, we would like to strongly echo the point made by the SRSG. We welcome Prime Minister Sudani’s recommitment at High Level Week to international law and to the Resolutions of this Council, and like others we would like to recall in particular the importance of SCR 833. We look forward to the resolution of our standing issues through dialogue between Iraq and the Kuwaiti government.
Finally, President, following the extension of UNITAD’s mandate last month, we are committed to ensuring that UNITAD’s legacy is preserved and that international efforts to deliver justice for Da’esh atrocities continue. Noting Iraq’s recent request, we will work closely with the Government of Iraq, the UN and this Council to improve evidence sharing arrangements in accordance with UNITAD’s Terms of Reference, as well as options for the future of UNITAD’s work.
Once again, I’d like to renew the UK’s commitment to the stability and security of Iraq and to the essential role the Mission plays in support. Thank you.