Baghdad, The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, briefed today in Baghdad representatives of the diplomatic missions accredited to Iraq, on the latest Security Council resolution concerning Iraq and the correspondingly enhanced mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
In its resolution 2576 (2021) adopted on 27 May, the Security Council commended the Government of Iraq’s efforts to plan and execute genuinely free and fair early elections that are credible, participatory and inclusive, with the full, equal and meaningful participation of women. The resolution also welcomed the government’s request for further UN electoral advice, support, and technical assistance in this regard.
UNAMI already provides comprehensive technical assistance and advice to IHEC on election management, legal and regulatory frameworks, training and procedures, Covid preparedness, procurement, logistics, information and communication technology, field-level coordination, communications and outreach, gender policies, and election security planning at the HQ and governorate levels. “With more than 70 UN electoral staff currently deployed throughout the country, the aim is to strengthen Iraq’s electoral capacities and promote transparency, thereby rebuilding trust in Iraq’s electoral institutions and processes”, SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert clarified.
Pursuant to the recently adopted Security Council resolution, UNAMI is now in the process of preparing for the phased deployment of additional UN teams on the ground in the lead up to, and on election day. The SRSG invited the international community to support this initiative so as to ensure that sufficient UN electoral staff can indeed be deployed.
“Positively responding to the request of the Government of Iraq, the Security Council decided to endorse a strengthened, robust and visible UN team, with additional staff, in advance of Iraq’s forthcoming election, to monitor Iraq’s election day with as broad a geographic coverage as possible, and to continue to assist with the election, in a manner that respects Iraqi sovereignty”, SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert stated.
The SRSG emphasized the importance of all Iraqis using their democratic right by casting their votes in high numbers, thus making these elections a true democratic milestone in the history of Iraq. “The people of Iraq have spoken loudly and clearly to demand these elections: now is the time to make these voices heard through the ballot box. This is your country, and your vote can shape the future of Iraq”.
“The United Nations fully supports the Iraqi people’s desire for a political system that truly represents them and meets their needs. The October early elections can help realize that desire, hopefully strengthening the foundations of a strong, stable and sustainable Iraq”, SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert said.
In line with the Security Council resolution, she also made it clear that the elections are at all times Iraqi-led and Iraqi-owned: “it is first and foremost the responsibility of the Iraqi institutions and political leadership to ensure transparency and accountability in the electoral process. The elections must be conducted in a conducive environment where candidates conduct their campaigns, and voters cast their ballots, freely and safely”.
Source: United Nations Iraq