Thank you President,
And thank you SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert for your clear and important briefing, and for all your efforts and the efforts of your team during very challenging times.
Almost a year has gone by since Iraq conducted Parliamentary elections. Yet, still no government has been formed. Norway joins the Secretary-General and others in expressing concern over this absence, and the risks it may pose for Iraq’s political stability.
The formation of a government is vital to address the many challenges Iraq is facing. It is time for Iraqi political leaders to unite. It is time to find compromises. Iraq must have a government which can work in the best interest of the Iraqi people. And we encourage all political leaders to ensure the meaningful participation of women, youth, and civil society.
Norway is deeply concerned by the increase in political tensions and violence. We call for calm and restraint. All parties must take steps to de-escalate and violence must be avoided. As this Council has stated on several occasions, the unity, serenity, and territorial integrity of Iraq must be respected.
2022 is the last year of the humanitarian response plan. We commend the Iraqi authorities for taking over responsibility for fulfilling humanitarian needs. The children are especially vulnerable. In the current efforts to reintegrate displaced families in their home communities, special care should be made to protect the children and treat them as victims of war. This includes children formerly associated with ISIS. Norway will continue our humanitarian assistance and cooperation with Iraqi authorities.
The challenges Iraq is facing are also exacerbated by climate change, and severe environmental problems. Norway commends the joint efforts of UNAMI and the Iraqi authorities on climate action; improving regional cooperation on water management; and investing in a renewable future. For this work to succeed, it must include working with private partners, and civil society.