In Iraq, UN envoy urges expansion of development programmes in Basra region

Special Representative Martin Kobler. UN Photo/Bikem Ekberzade

6 November 2012 – The United Nations top envoy in Iraq has welcomed the expansion of UN programmes in the country’s southern Basra region following a two-day visit which included meetings with local officials.

“This has been a very fruitful visit,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler, said in a news release, adding that he had had “excellent discussions” with the Governor of Basra, Dr. Khalaf Abdul-Samad, over the UN’s ongoing role in the development of the province.

According to a news release from the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) – which Mr. Kobler also heads – the UN envoy also visited a UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) accelerated learning programme for juvenile detainees at Basra Central Prison, which aims to deliver education and training to young prisoners for their lives after release.

In addition, Mr. Kobler reaffirmed the world body’s role in working for minority rights across the country following his visit to a local non-governmental organization that works for the rights of black Iraqis.

“UNAMI will continue to advocate for the political participation and right to development for Iraqis from all backgrounds,” he stated.


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