New York

15 June 2014

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Iraq

The Secretary-General reiterates his condemnation of the recent upsurge of violence in Iraq at the hands of terrorist groups including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Reports of mass summary executions by ISIL are deeply disturbing and underscore the urgency of bringing the perpetrators of such crimes to justice.

The Secretary-General warns against sectarian rhetoric that could further exacerbate the conflict and carry grave implications for the entire region. In this regard, he welcomes the important clarification statement on the need for Iraqi unity of His Eminence Sayed Ali Al-Sistani, who represents a deeply influential voice of wisdom and reason. 

The Secretary-General calls on all Iraqi leaders - political, military, religious and community - to ensure that their followers avoid acts of reprisal. 

The Secretary-General urges Iraqi leaders to coalesce behind an inclusive national security plan as well as political and social measures aimed at addressing, on the basis of the Constitution, the substantial threat to the country.

The Secretary-General once again urges the international community to unite in showing solidarity with Iraq as it confronts this serious security challenge. He calls for full respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law in efforts to counter terrorism and violence in Iraq.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) stands ready to assist the Government and people of Iraq in overcoming the crisis.