Guterres highlights the UN’s commitment to Iraq during his first visit in six years

Date:

Guterres highlights the UN's commitment to Iraq during his first visit in six years.

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Wednesday, March 01, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • “After “decades of oppression, conflict, terrorism, sectarianism, and foreign involvement” in Iraq’s affairs, Mr. Guterres said the country’s problems could not be ignored.

  • This was just a few days before the 20th anniversary of the 2003 invasion.

  • Guterres said Iraq’s efforts to bring its people back from northeast Syria, including the notorious Al Hol camp, were “exemplary.”

  • He then praised Prime Minister Al-Sudani for his commitment to enabling the safe and honourable return of ethnic Yazidis to their homes in northern Iraq after they were subjected to genocide by Daesh in 2014. A water crisisSpeaking of water scarcity, another significant issue for Iraq, Mr. Guterres said it needed international attention and announced the UN 2023 Water Conference, which will take place from March 22–24 in New York.

  • According to Mr. Guterres, Iraq is among the nations most severely affected by climate change, which has led to emigration, jeopardised food security, damaged livelihoods, stoked violence, and weakened human rights.

After landing late Tuesday, Mr. Guterres told reporters in Baghdad, “I am here on a solidarity visit to show how committed the United Nations is to helping Iraq build up its democratic institutions and promoting peace, sustainable development, and human rights for all Iraqis.”

After “decades of oppression, conflict, terrorism, sectarianism, and foreign involvement” in Iraq’s affairs, Mr. Guterres said that the country’s problems could not be ignored. This was just a few days before the 20th anniversary of the 2003 invasion.

Appropriate time

“I applaud the Prime Minister for being so determined to take on the most important problems the country is facing head-on, like fighting corruption, improving public services, and diversifying the economy to reduce unemployment and create more opportunities, especially for young people,” he said.

The UN is prepared to support these crucial initiatives. “Such a big change needs systemic reform, stronger institutions, more accountability, and better governance at every level.”

Guterres asked everyone to build on what he called “recent encouraging advances” between Baghdad and Erbil over how the federal government in the capital and the provincial government in the north should split oil profits. The UN Secretary-General stated that the long-term goal should be “sustainable agreements” and dialogue.

The dignity of displaced Iraqis

In earlier comments he made soon after landing, Mr. Guterres also talked about his “enormous love” for the Iraqi people. He emphasized that he had been to the country before and had seen the bravery of people forced to leave their homes.

The UN Secretary-General also emphasized how Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Syria have shown that they can “live in solidarity with one another, to aid each other in the spirit that, in my opinion, represents the best hope for the country’s future”.

Mr. Guterres said Iraq’s efforts to bring its people back from northeast Syria, including the notorious Al Hol camp, were “exemplary.” He then praised Prime Minister Al-Sudani for his commitment to enabling the safe and honorable return of ethnic Yazidis to their homes in northern Iraq after they were subjected to genocide by Daesh in 2014.

A water crisis

Speaking of water scarcity, another significant issue for Iraq, Mr. Guterres said it needed international attention and announced the UN 2023 Water Conference, which will take place from March 22–24 in New York.

The great rivers Tigris and Euphrates are drying up, which has a big effect on agriculture, according to the head of the UN. He also said that it “breaks my heart” to see farmers being forced to leave areas where they have grown crops for thousands of years.

According to Mr. Guterres, Iraq is among the nations most severely affected by climate change, which has led to emigration, jeopardized food security, damaged livelihoods, stoked violence, and weakened human rights.

Combined with unstable security conditions and governance issues, “it can jeopardize stability…

Hence, the Secretary-General maintained, “Now is the time for the international community to support Iraq in confronting its environmental difficulties, diversifying its economy, and utilizing its potential for sustainable growth.

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