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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on UNAMI

2024-05-16 15:50

President,


I thank Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for her briefing. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her contributions over the past few years as the SRSG for Iraq and head of UNAMI. I would also like to welcome the presence of the representatives of Iraq and Kuwait at today’s meeting. 


The current situation in Iraq is generally stable. The government’s efforts to enhance governance, promote economic reform, improve public services, create jobs, and fight corruption have produced remarkable results, which China applauds. Stronger unity among all Iraqi actors and the achievement of reconciliation for national development is in the fundamental interests of the people of Iraq. We support the continued engagement between the central government and the Kurdistan region of Iraq to address outstanding issues and seek sustainable solutions. 


Iraq finds itself at the forefront of the global fight against terrorism and still faces security threats. The international community should continue to support the build-up of Iraq’s counter-terrorism capacity and eliminate the remnants of terrorist forces. We welcome Iraq’s continued efforts for the repatriation and resettlement of Iraqi citizens from the Al-Hol camp in Syria, and call on all parties concerned to collectively expedite the screening and repatriation of ITFs and their families in Iraq. 


China supports Iraq and regional countries in developing good neighborly and friendly relations and jointly safeguarding regional peace and stability. We call on all parties concerned to respect the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Iraq, resolve concerns through cooperation with the Iraqi government, and refrain from taking any unilateral actions that may aggravate tensions. 


President, 


Since its inception in 2003, UNAMI has made important contributions to support the reconstruction and development of Iraq. In light of the steadily improving situation in the country and the continuous progress in institution building and governance, it is high time to streamline the Mission’s mandate and implement a gradual drawdown. The independent strategic review team appointed by the SG pursuant to Security Council Resolution 2682 has submitted its report, clearly stating that UNAMI should not be deployed forever and that the Mission’s mandate should be gradually streamlined and its responsibilities transferred. In his letter to the SG dated May 8, the prime minister of Iraq requested that the mandate of UNAMI be closed in December 2025 and proposed a detailed plan for mandate streamlining. 


Respecting the sovereignty of the host countries and taking on board their views are a prerequisite for the creation and mandate performance of UN political missions. Based on the request expressed by the Iraqi government and drawing on the report of the independent strategic review, The Security Council should, in conjunction with the mandate renewal of UNAMI at the end of this month, propose a plan and make arrangements for the Mission’s work going forward in order to ensure its gradual drawdown and smooth transition toward an ultimate withdrawal. During this process, it is important to sustain our attention to the issue of missing Kuwaiti personnel and property. The international community and the UN should support both Iraq and Kuwait in strengthening their cooperation and promoting the proper settlement on relevant issues. 


Thank you, President.


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