Press Release

Note to Correspondents: United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča completes visit to Iraq

24 January 2018

Baghdad, 24 January 2018 – United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča completed a three-day visit to Iraq during which he met Iraqi leaders and other interlocutors in Baghdad and toured liberated Mosul where he met officials and inspected critical UN demining, stabilization and rehabilitation activities. He praised Iraqis for triumphing over Daesh terrorists and urged them to seize the opportunity of peace and press ahead with efforts toward building a prosperous future for their country.

In Baghdad, Mr. Jenča met with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jubouri, Vice-Presidents Osama al-Nujaifi, Ayad Allawi and Nouri al-Maliki, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, political leader Ammar al-Hakim, Chairman of the Iraqi National Reconciliation Commission, Mohammad Salman, the recently appointed electoral board of commissioners, women civil society, minority leaders as well as diplomatic community.

Mr. Jenča discussed the scheduled parliamentary elections and encouraged the Iraqi authorities to create a safe and conducive environment to ensure credible elections. He welcomed that the national elections would take place in accordance with the constitutional timeline, on 12 May 2018. He confirmed the continued strong commitment of the United Nations to support the Independent High Electoral Commission’s work to enhance the inclusiveness, transparency and acceptability of the elections.

During his visit, Mr. Jenča discussed the prospects for a genuine national reconciliation process, and explored opportunities for ensuring the full inclusion of all ethnic and religious groups, including Christians, Yezidis, Shabaks, Sabeans and Fayli Kurds. “In my meetings, I highlighted to interlocutors that Iraq’s demographic diversity is a vital part of its history and its richness. Protecting minority communities’ rights is crucial, and people must look after each other like brother and sister”, he said.

Mr. Jenča stressed in meetings with Iraqi authorities the importance of women’s full and effective participation in decision-making, spanning the entire spectrum of political issues, from reconstruction to national reconciliation. He called on the Government of Iraq to fully implement Iraq’s National Action Plan on Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) as well as the recently signed Joint Communiqué on prevention of and response to conflict-related sexual violence in Iraq.

Mr. Jenča further underscored the Organization’s determination to continue support for all Iraqis, including for those who have suffered under ISIL’s terrorist regime for more than three years. “The people of Iraq now have the opportunity to open a new chapter, blessed with peace, dignity and prosperity. I visited Mosul and witnessed the enormous levels of destruction, but also hope. I saw life coming back to Mosul. We stand with all Iraqis in their endeavors to rebuild their country”, he said.

He appealed to the international community to actively participate in the Conference to support the Government of Iraq in its reforms and rehabilitation efforts that would enable it to deliver services as well as to ensure a better and dignified future for all Iraqis. Mr. Jenča finally highlighted the Conference as a clear sign of Iraq’s prospering relations with regional and international partners, which are vital for promoting stability in Iraq and the region.

24 January 2018

Note to Correspondents: United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča completes visit to Iraq

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