Limited Support for End of UN Mission to Iraq

Fri May 17 2024
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

UNITED NATIONS: Several members of the UN Security Council, including Russia and China, on Thursday, supported Iraq’s request for the global body’s political mission in the country to shut down by next year — but Washington did not immediately lend its support.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia Al-Sudani, in a letter to the council last week called for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), which has been operational since 2003, to end by December 31, 2025.

Iraq’s deputy UN envoy Abbas Kadhom Obaid Al-Fatlawi addressing the council on Thursday reiterating the request, said the mission had already achieved its goals.

Russian envoy Vasily Nebenzia in his remarks said Iraqis are ready to take responsibility for the political future of their own country.

He added the remaining issues should not become an excuse for UNAMI to stay indefinitely in the country.

China’s deputy UN envoy Geng Shuang expressing his views said within the framework of the mission’s annual renewal, due at the end of May, the council should propose a plan to ensure its gradual drawdown and smooth transition toward a complete withdrawal.

UK and France also expressed support for a transition in the partnership between Iraq and the UN.

The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield said UNAMI still had important work to do.

She stressed the mission’s key role in several important political issues, such as support for organizing elections and promoting human rights.

Without commenting on Baghdad’s request, mission chief Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said that Iraq looks different from the country to which UNAMI was first deployed about 20 years ago.

She said today Iraq is on the rise, noting multiple challenges yet unresolved, such as corruption and armed groups operating outside the control of the state.

But she added it is high time to judge the country on progress made and to turn the page on the darker images of the past of Iraq.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp