1 March 2023
SG: Shukran, Honourable Minister.
It is for me an enormous pleasure to be back in Baghdad, a city I have visited already as Secretary-General of the United Nations and a city where I came many times as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
But this is a visit of solidarity. A solidarity with the people and the democratic institutions of Iraq and a solidarity that means that the United Nations is totally committed to support the consolidation of the institutions in this country and to express my confidence that Iraqis will be able to overcome the difficulties and challenges they still face through an open and inclusive dialogue.
On the other hand, I have enormous admiration for the Iraqi people. I had the opportunity to meet the Iraqis displaced inside the country several times and to witness their courage. I also had the opportunity to visit Iraqi refugees in Jordan and in Syria, before conditions [inaudible] for them to come back to the country. And you could see also how they were able to live in solidarity with each other, to help each other in the spirit that, in my opinion, is the best hope for the future of the country.
I want to praise the efforts the Government is making to allow the Iraqis outside the country to come back and we will be fully supporting those efforts and I want to, once again, express my deep solidarity with the Iraqi people and my hope that Iraq will face a future of peace and prosperity and with consolidated democratic institutions.