Thank you, SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert. I also thank Amal Kabashi for your very timely briefing on the election, and post electoral participation of women; it is such an important issue, and it deserves our greater attention. I also recognise, and welcome the Representative of Iraq to this meeting.
Norway commends the Iraqi government for the elections that were held on the 10th of October. Free, fair, and transparent elections are a pillar of democratic governance. And indeed they are vital for transparency, and fostering confidence, and dialogue. As well as for ensuring effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions.
We commend the Independent High Electoral Commission for their significant technical and procedural improvements to the election process. And we also commend UNAMI’s efforts to advise, support, and assist the Government of Iraq and the Independent High Electoral Commission- including with monitoring on election day. While the final election results are not yet ratified. We urge those who have complaints and concerns to address these through established, legal channels.
Last week, this Council came together to condemn the assassination attempt against Prime Minister al-Kadhimi. It is regrettable that spoilers seek to de-stabilise Iraq at this crucial juncture. We now look forward to the formation of a new government; one that will meet the needs and aspirations of the Iraqi people- in particular women, youth, and marginalised communities. As we have heard this morning, an inclusive government, with the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women, is needed to address the underlying causes of conflict and instability; as well as to usher in much needed economic, social, and political reforms. We are also happy to note that the elections may have led to an increase in women’s participation in parliament. We hope this will enhance their role in political decision-making and participation in the coming parliamentary period.
We also welcome UNAMI’s efforts to promote human rights and build capacity on the issues of accountability, justice, and rule of law. We are concerned about the reported lack of progress on accountability, and redress for crimes perpetrated against demonstrators. In particular, attacks against political and civic activists by unidentified armed elements. As well as a concerning pattern of intimidation against those publicly advocating for accountability in such cases. We encourage the Government to increase its efforts in this regard.
We remain concerned about conflict related sexual violence in Iraq. Momentum should be maintained on the Yezidi Female Survivor Law, and we encourage an update to the 2016 UN-Iraq Joint Communique on conflict-related sexual violence.
We also commend Iraq’s participation during COP26. The effects of climate change are a significant issue in Iraq and the region, and we encourage sustained diplomacy to advance regional dialogue and cooperation. Particularly- with support from UNAMI- on the use and distribution of water resources.
On Iraq and Kuwait, and resolution 2107- let me commend the important work by: the Tripartite Commission members, Technical Subcommittee, and ICRC.
It is encouraging to see the continued and close cooperation between Iraq and Kuwait in bringing this humanitarian file to a close.