The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Mansour Ayyad Sh. A. Alotaibi (Kuwait):
From 28 to 29 June, the members of the Security Council visited the State of Kuwait and for the first time, the Republic of Iraq, in a mission co-led by the State of Kuwait and the United States of America. The members of the Security Council were grateful to the Governments of Kuwait and Iraq, as well as the United Nations, for facilitating the visit.
The members of the Security Council noted that the visit underscored their support for Iraq’s continued post-conflict recovery, stabilization, reconstruction and reconciliation efforts to meet the needs of all Iraqis, and emphasized the importance of the sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and security of Iraq.
In Kuwait on 28 June, the members of the Security Council met Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Khalid al-Hamad al-Sabah. The members of the Security Council welcomed the strong bilateral relations between Iraq and Kuwait and commended the Government of Kuwait’s continued support for Iraq in its efforts to achieve stability and prosperity.
The members of the Security Council also met Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs for [the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq] (UNAMI) Alice Walpole and the head of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Delegation in Kuwait in his capacity as Chair of the Tripartite Mechanism, Omar Odeh. The members of the Security Council commended both organizations for their role in the implementation of resolution 2107 (2013) to resolve outstanding issues related to missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and the return of Kuwaiti property, including the national archives, and urged continued engagement on these issues.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the 19 June joint statement by the Tripartite Mechanism on the recent recovery of remains in Al-Muthanna Governorate, Iraq, believed to be of Kuwaiti citizens, including civilians and prisoners of war, as a result of joint efforts between the Governments of Iraq and Kuwait and the ICRC.
The members of the Security Council met World Bank representative Ghassan Khoja and encouraged active regional and international donor coordination and effective follow-up of international pledges to Iraq, including from the 2018 Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq co-chaired by Kuwait, Iraq, the UN, [European Union] and World Bank, and commended their efforts towards recovery and reconstruction to meet the needs of all Iraqis.
In Iraq on 29 June, the members of the Security Council met President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali al-Hakim, Speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi of the Council of Representatives, Kurdistan Regional Government President Nechirvan Barzani, representatives of political blocs in the Council of Representatives, and members of civil society and non-governmental organizations.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the positive recent progress towards the full formation of the Government of Iraq, with the confirmation of Ministers for Justice, Defence and Interior, which will further strengthen and reaffirm Iraq’s national unity, sovereignty and independence. The members of the Security Council recognized the importance of the Government of Iraq upholding the values set forth in the Iraqi Constitution and responding to the needs of all Iraqis, including women, youth, children, displaced persons and persons belonging to all ethnic and religious groups.
The members of the Security Council discussed efforts towards implementing the 2018-2022 National Government programme, to include addressing corruption and strengthening viable and responsive State institutions. They welcomed the Government of Iraq’s sustained and active outreach to promote the development of good neighbourly relations and further support regional stability.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the continued engagement of the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to resolve all outstanding issues, in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution. They also welcomed progress towards the full formation of a new Kurdistan Regional Government.
The members of the Security Council recognized the challenges facing Iraq in transitioning into a post-conflict environment, including the delivery of basic services. They stressed the need for economic reform, attracting greater inward investment and regional economic integration to better address the aspirations and concerns of the Iraqi people. The members of the Security Council also commended the Government of Iraq’s efforts, in association with local and regional authorities, to counter terrorism and encouraged them to further their coordination.
The members of the Security Council discussed the humanitarian situation in Iraq and underscored the importance of the safe, dignified and voluntary return of all internally displaced persons affected by conflict, including in areas liberated from Da’esh/ISIL.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their support for [the] UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, and Special Representative for Iraq and Head of UNAMI Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert to continue, in accordance with the mandate in resolution 2470 (2019), to support and assist the Government of Iraq to inter alia promote inclusive political dialogue, national- and community-level reconciliation, regional cooperation, security sector reform and judicial and legal reforms.
The members of the Security Council underscored the importance of, and their support for, the efforts of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) established in resolution 2379 (2017) led by Special Adviser Karim Khan to hold ISIL accountable by collecting, preserving, and storing evidence of acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and they underscored that UNITAD shall operate with full respect for the sovereignty of Iraq and its jurisdiction over crimes committed in its territory. They also stressed the importance of UNITAD’s independence and impartiality in carrying out its mandate and underlined that UNITAD should ensure its Iraqi members benefit from international expertise on the Team and make every effort to share knowledge and technical assistance with Iraq.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their support to the work being undertaken by the United Nations country team in support of Iraq and its people.