UN envoy urges Iraqi politicians to ‘roll up their sleeves’ and respond to people’s aspirations

“National elections took place more than seven months ago and several deadlines for the formation of a government have been missed,” Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told the Security Council.

Include necessary

She pointed out that while political leaders subscribe to the notion of dialogue, the necessary willingness to compromise is painfully absent.

Noting that notorious aspects of Iraqi political life repeat themselves in “a seemingly endless loop of zero-sum politics”, Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert – who also heads the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) – said said Iraqis continue to expect “a political class that will roll up its sleeves to advance the country’s long list of top domestic priorities”.

These include the provision of adequate services to all citizens and an end to widespread corruption, factionalism and the looting of state institutions.

Accountability is key

The UNAMI chief also stressed the importance of diversifying the economy and implementing desperately needed reforms.

Furthermore, she said predictable governance rather than constant crisis management is needed, emphasizing that accountability must be a key feature of the state.

While affirming the authority of the state, Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert noted that it was vital to rein in non-state armed actors.

The neglect of the most basic needs of the population has gone on for too long“, she pointed out.

Sinjar deal still pending

Turning to the Sinjar Agreement, signed in October 2020 by the Federal Government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil, she described it as seen by many as a “ray of hope: a very first but important not in the right direction”. .

Although the deal could open a new chapter for Sinjar, it needs stable governance and security structures first, she stressed.

Although he called for rapid implementation, the UN official said that “clearly the opposite is true”.

“To date, there is no agreement on the selection of a new independent mayor, and funds for a new local security force remain blocked, possibly due to interference in recruitment procedures unclear”.

Clashes have erupted again in recent weeks, forcing Sinjari families to repack their belongings and return to Kurdistan to seek shelter, she noted.

m/s. Hennis-Plasschaert pointed out that the safety and security of the Sinjari families must always be at the forefront, as “they deserve peace under the authority of the state”.

Push for political resolution

The head of UNAMI concluded by re-emphasizing the importance of breaking the political deadlock.

“Significant national vulnerabilities are compounded by the continued effects of the pandemic and global geopolitical tensions,” she said.

A sincere, collective and urgent will to resolve political differences must now prevail – it must prevail for the country to move forward and meet the needs of its citizens”.

Click here to watch the meeting in its entirety.

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