Kurdish parties advocate for continued UNAMI presence in Iraq

Kurdish parties advocate for continued UNAMI presence in Iraq

Shafaq News / On Monday, a meeting of major Kurdish parties in Iraqi Kurdistan affirmed the importance of the presence of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in the country.

Independent Kurdish politician Serdar Abdullah stated, "A special meeting was convened today in al-Sulaymaniya with representatives from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Change (Gorran) Movement, the Kurdistan Islamic Justice Group, and the Kurdistan Islamic Union to deliberate on the continuation of UNAMI's presence."

Abdullah emphasized that "all Kurdish parties present at the meeting affirmed the necessity of UNAMI's presence in Iraq due to its significant role in supporting the Iraqi government and its positive impact on the country."

He further noted that "the parties agreed to send two letters: one to the UN Security Council and the other to Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani. They stressed the importance of UNAMI's continued presence and plan to dispatch these letters before the Security Council's meeting next Thursday to discuss the Mission's withdrawal from Iraq."

Abdullah added, "At the end of May each year, Iraq submits a memorandum to the UN Security Council outlining its position on whether to retain the Mission. A specialized committee from the Security Council visited Iraq a month ago, holding over 250 meetings with various Iraqi stakeholders and drafting a report. All Kurdish parties concurred on the necessity of UNAMI's continued presence for the upcoming phase."

Notably, Prime Minister Al-Sudani had officially requested on May 21, in a letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, that the UNAMI mandate be terminated by December 31, 2025. 

He stipulated that the Mission's remaining efforts for this year should focus solely on completing its work in economic reform, service provision, sustainable development, climate change, and other developmental areas.

Established in 2003 under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1500, at the request of the Iraqi government, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) role expanded significantly in 2007 under Resolution 1770.

At the outset of its operations in Iraq, the Mission faced a tragic incident in August 2003 when a terrorist bombing targeted its headquarters at Al-Qanat Hotel in Baghdad. 

The attack destroyed the hotel, claiming the lives of 23 staff members, including the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations, Sergio Vieira de Mello. 

The Mission, headquartered in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, is also tasked with collaborating with government partners and civil society to coordinate the humanitarian and development initiatives of UN Agencies, Funds, and Programmes. 

The UN Iraq explained that while UNAMI doesn't directly implement humanitarian and development programs, it amplifies the importance of these issues in Iraq. It facilitates connections between Iraqi partners, including the Government and civil society organizations, and the technical expertise offered by the UN entities in Iraq.

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