|Remarks by Acting DPR Mr Yao Shaojun at the Security Council VTC on Iraq|
I thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for the informative briefing.We appreciate the work of UNAMI in line with its mandate. I also welcome Ambassador of Iraq to participate in this meeting.
We welcome the formation of a new Government of Iraq led by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. The Iraqi people has demonstrated once again that they have the will, wisdom and capability to find solutions of the challenges they face. The international community should fully respect and support the Iraqi people in pursuing peace and development of their country. In this connection, I would like to emphasize the following three points:
First, fully respect Iraq’s sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity. At this critical time, we should endeavor to create an enabling environment for the government and people of Iraq, to move forward the Iraq-led and Iraq-owned reconstruction process. When giving a helping hand, the international community must listen to the views of Iraq first, refrain from imposing solution, and never interfere into Iraq's internal affairs.
China is concerned about the negative impact of regional tensions on the peace and security of Iraq. We call on relevant parties on the ground to follow the Secretary-General’s Appeal of a global ceasefire, to exercise restraint and pursue immediate de-escalation. As the Secretary-General and the Special Representative have emphasized, Iraq should not become an arena for external conflicts. Any military actions on the Iraqi territory must be subject to the consent of the Iraqi government.
We welcome the continued efforts of Iraq to strengthen relations with its neighbors, and commend the collaboration between Iraq and Kuwait in resolving the issue of missing Kuwaiti persons and property.
Second, support Iraq in consolidating counter-terrorism achievements. In his recent report, the Secretary-General has noted that increased activities of terrorist group in Iraq, which claims 370 incidents since January 2020 compared to 187 incidents during the same period last year. This is a worrisome and clear reminder that immediate threat of terrorism still exists.
The international community has to continue its support to Iraq in the fight against remnant forces of terrorism, and help Iraq in addressing the problem of foreign terrorist fighters.
We should also support Iraq to bring terrorists to justice, in accordance with relevant domestic laws, with its sovereignty and jurisdiction being fully respected. China recognizes the important work done by UNITAD in accordance with its mandate, and encourage it to closely engage with the Iraqi government.
Third, support Iraq’s efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and foster economic and social development. The threat of the pandemic compounds with economic and security difficulties in Iraq . We call on international partners, including relevant UN bodies and agencies, to provide more assistance to Iraq so as to enhance its preparedness and response to COVID-19.
China values the strategic partnership and friendly cooperation with Iraq. We stands with Iraq in this public health crisis. Last month, a team of Chinese medical experts have just finished their mission in Iraq on combating COVID-19. They spent 50 days in Iraq, visited 9 provinces, conducted 27 training courses for over 1,000 medical staff, and assisted to launch a testing laboratory.
Measures to mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic should go in parallel with the efforts on sustainable development, which is key to sustain peace and stability. China therefore welcomes the commitment of the new government of Iraq to boost economy, reduce unemployment and improve public services.
China believes that the international community has an important role to play, in helping Iraq to rebuild its critical infrastructure, eradicate poverty, ensure better access of health care and quality education, and improve livelihoods of the ordinary people. We have been doing our part actively and constructively during the past years, including through the Belt and Road Initiative.
It is our sincere hope that, with the strong support of the international community, the government and people of Iraq will succeed in building a peaceful and prosperous nation.