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Statement by Ambassador Günter Sautter in the Security Council VTC Meeting on UNAMI, November 24

19.11.2020 - Speech

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Germany reiterates its support for the government of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi. Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi and his government have the right intentions and are seeking to address the legitimate demands of the Iraqi people. We acknowledge the measures that have been undertaken so far, and we call upon the Iraqi government to continue the path of substantial reforms. Together with the European Union, Germany stands ready to support the Iraqi-led economic reform process as co-chair of the “Iraq Economic Contact Group” over the course of the next six months. 

We have taken note of the request of the Iraqi government to strengthen the role of UNAMI with regard to the upcoming early elections. We welcome UNAMI's support, advice and technical assistance to Iraq in the field of electoral preparations. Germany will contribute a total of six million euros to UNAMI's effort, including to strengthen the capacity of the Independent Higher Electoral Commission. In addition, we would welcome UNAMI or a UN engagement to conduct electoral observation. It is essential that elections be held in a free, fair, inclusive and transparent manner in order to ensure their integrity, credibility and legitimacy. 

We remain deeply concerned by reports of ongoing arrests, forced disappearances and acts of violence and intimidation against protesters, civil society activists, human rights defenders and journalists. We urge the Iraqi government to ensure the protection of all peaceful protesters, civil society activists and human rights defenders and their fundamental rights and reiterate the importance of concrete steps to provide accountability for any violence, crime or human rights violation. 

We are concerned about the short-notice consolidation and clothes and closure of IDP camps, which precluded necessary consultations with key stakeholders and which risks leading to secondary displacement. We are committed to working with the government of Iraq on ensuring durable solutions for IDPs and we stand ready to work with the government of Iraq and the United Nations towards facilitating returns and ensuring safe, dignified, voluntary, informed and sustainable movement of all IDPs.

We second the call of the Secretary-General on Baghdad and Erbil to step up mutual dialogue efforts in order to reach a long term sustainable agreement on all outstanding issues, including natural resources, revenue sharing and security arrangements. 

We remain concerned by the impact of regional tensions on Iraq, and we call for continued de-escalation and restraint by all regional and international actors. All differences must be resolved through diplomatic means. Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected by all its neighbors as well as regional and international partners. Iraq should neither be dragged into nor become an area of regional confrontation. 

At the same time, it is essential that the continued attacks against diplomatic missions and personnel cease immediately and that the state strengthens its control over all weapons in the country.

As the fight against terrorism, namely the so-called Islamic State, is not over, cooperation between the government of Iraq and its international partners must continue. Otherwise, both Iraq and the international community will face a higher risk of a resurgence of the so-called Islamic State.

In this context, we are alarmed at reports of renewed mass executions of individuals convicted of terrorism-related crimes. Whilst we condemn in the strongest terms the criminal actions for which these individuals were sentenced, and whilst we express our sincere condolences to all victims and their families, we oppose the use of capital punishment under any circumstances. We call on Iraqi authorities to refrain from any future executions, to declare a de facto moratorium on the use of capital punishment, and to pursue a consistent policy towards the abolition of the death penalty.

Madam President, to conclude, I would like to say that we welcome the ongoing cooperation between Iraq and Kuwait in the search for missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals, which enabled the most recent progress and encourage the government of Iraq to continue its efforts to resolve all outstanding issues.

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