|Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at the UN Security Council Briefing on Iraq|
At the outset, I wish to congratulate Japan on the successful completion of its presidency last month, and look forward to positive results in the work of the Council in February under the leadership of Malta.
Just now, Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert gave us an in-depth briefing. I wish to thank her for that. I welcome the presence of the Permanent Representative of Iraq at today’s meeting. I have also listened carefully to Dr. Ahmed’s statement.
Last October, Iraq completed the formation of a new government, laying a political foundation for the reform and development of the country. China welcomes this achievement, and supports the new Iraqi Government in delivering effective governance and independently exploring the development path that corresponds to its national conditions. It is in the fundamental interests of the Iraqi people for all parties in Iraq to enhance unity, achieve reconciliation, and accelerate development.
The current security situation in Iraq remains dire, and terrorist remnants are still conducting asymmetric attacks, resulting in casualties including among civilians. The international community should continue to support Iraq in combating terrorism, eliminating terrorist extremist forces such as Da’esh, preventing their return and spread, and consolidating the hard-won achievements in counter-terrorism. UNITAD should hand over the collected evidence to Iraq as soon as possible to help Iraq bring the terrorists to justice in accordance with its national laws. We welcome Iraq’s continued efforts to advance the repatriation and resettlement of Iraqi nationals from Al-Hol camp in Syria, and urge relevant countries to assume responsibilities as Iraq did and move forward as soon as possible with the identification and repatriation of foreign terrorist fighters and their families in Iraq.
According to the report of the Secretary-General, explosive remnants of war and IEDs continue to cause civilian casualties and are the leading cause of child casualties in Iraq. Many of these explosives were left behind by the war 20 years ago. The countries that launched the war at that time should step up to the plate and take concrete actions to help Iraq with mine clearance and victim assistance, among other aspects. Peace in Iraq hinges on a stable regional environment. China has repeatedly stressed that Iraq is not an arena of geopolitical competition. China supports Iraq in developing good neighborly friendship with countries in the region to jointly respond to cross-border challenges. We call on all parties concerned to respect Iraq’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, and resolve their security concerns by cooperation with the Iraqi Government.
Over the past few decades, Iraq has been hit hard by wars, and its people have suffered a lot. The international community should actively help Iraq rebuild its infrastructure, accelerate economic and social development, and improve people’s livelihood and well-being. UNAMI and other UN entities in Iraq should devote more resources and efforts to the priority areas most needed by the Iraqi people, carry out work in accordance with their mandates and division of labor, and fully leverage the role of the UN country team. This year marks the 20th anniversary of UNAMI. It is necessary to take this opportunity to seek the opinions of Iraq, and on that basis to systematically examine and evaluate the work and performance of UNAMI and carefully study the medium- and long-term prospects of the Mission.
China is a sincere friend of Iraq. Last December, President Xi Jinping met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Sabbar al-Sudani and reiterated that China would continue to firmly support Iraq in safeguarding its national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and continue to support Iraq in rebuilding its economy, restoring its industry, improving people’s livelihood, and achieving sustainable development. We are ready to work with international community to make positive contributions to the long-term peace and stability in Iraq as well as peace and development in the region.
Thank you, Madam President.