Today.... September 27, 2012.... a date which will probably NOT live in "famous-ness".... H.E. Mr. Khudier Alkhuzae, Vice President of the Republic of Iraq,
At the General Debate of the 67th Session of the
United Nations General Assembly ....
had the following remarks:
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentleman, Salam Alaikum
I stand before you today conveying the best regards and the best of wishes of the people of Iraq who are desirous to partake in forging closer bonds of amity and cooperation between nations and countries, at a time when my country is undergoing a structural transformation on all levels, a process that will enable it to carry out self reform, accomplish achievements and consecrate present gains.
We are building a future through a conscious understanding of our history that created the civilization where writing and legislations were born. Iraqis were successful in establishing their democratic, federal and pluralistic state on the basis of an enlightened constitution drafted by our people's representatives and voted on by them.
Our constitution lays out the hopes and aspirations of our people in a free and decent life based on freedom, democracy, and peaceful transfer of authority, citizenship and human rights. Iraq has regained its security, political and economic stature in a record time and under very difficult conditions, where the forces of darkness were betting on terrorism to derail this experiment.
However, our people thanks to God were able to turn those black pages with the high patriotic vigor of the entire nation with all its elements and through its outstanding public awareness. That is all based on a cultural background that goes back to about 10,000 years and to a great human legacy created by heavenly messages and fine humanitarian experiments that flourished on our land.
Our renewed ambition in building a modern state where the Iraqi people enjoy freedom, development and prosperity requires us to move towards the establishment of friendly and equal relations with all nations the world over, within a framework of a cooperative international system governed by clear rules that prevent problems and crises which undermine its prosperity and stability.
The new Iraq has made its choice by embarking on the path of cooperation and collaboration with the International community on the political, economic and development levels.
This has been coupled with significant leaps in our economic growth that will qualify Iraq to return to the space of world economy and merge within the international economic system based on a realistic vision that achieved a number of positive developments over the past years.
According to certain indicators, our Gross Domestic Product doubled which in turn doubled the per capita share of the GDP. According to projections by the International Monterey Fund, GDP will reach about 150 Billion Dollars in 2014.
The Iraqi Government also succeeded in implementing policies to curb inflation and to control governmental spending in addition to our success in collaborating with the International community to reduce the debt accumulated by Iraq in the past decades.
We have embraced the theory of balanced growth in the national development plan for the upcoming years, in which the oil sector is used as the engine for the rest of the sectors. Iraq has oil reserves amounting to about 143 billion barrels, and potential reserves surpassing the estimated proven reserves, in addition to large reserves of natural gas amounting to 126,7 trillion cubic feet.
We expect investments to contribute in substantial development in the oil industry in Iraq through licensing rounds, establishing refineries and other oil and gas related industries. Estimates suggest that in 2017-2020 production will reach more than 10 Million Barrels of oil per day.
We have prepared legislation to promote confidence in the Iraqi economy by providing legal protection for foreign investments in Iraq through the guarantees listed in the Investment law itself and also˙ through Iraq's accession to Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) in 2007 and through bilateral treaties to guarantee and protect investments.
Ladies and Gentlemen
We were able thanks to God, to establish solid foundations for political conduct that began to mature rapidly to accept the other and live with it according to the principal of citizenship, rule of law, independence of the judiciary and freedom of expression.
We proudly announce to you that we don't have a single prisoner jailed for his belief or opinion. Despite our fight against terrorism, human rights are principals that we respect and promote as a just cause that we do not have any justification to tamper with.
It is true that confronting terrorism caused us a lot of blood, tears, and money but it rewarded our people with everlasting immunity against violence and gave us protective vaccines against the use of force and arms to deal with our differences. It also created extreme sensitivity from violence and as a means to resolve our internal problems.
Therefore, as much as we care about sparing our people the ravages of fighting, we hope that other countries especially neighboring countries evoke the Iraqi experience and spare their peoples havoc.
That could be achieved through adopting the principle of negotiations to resolve conflicts and resorting to dialogue or reason, law and peaceful transfer of power.
This is the essence of Iraq's position regarding the revolutions of the Arab Spring, which we cannot do anything about except to be on the side of the people and their legitimate aspirations, their right to self determination and to choose their own rulers.
We share with you the need to paying attention to the issues of the people and countries of our organization, which captures the thinking of the loyal and represents a moral, legal and humanitarian burden, because all of us are parts of this world that is affected by the consequences of conflicts and their aftermath.
Based on that, the Syrian issue and the humanitarian difficulties facing civilians over there occupy a great deal of our attention.
We think that the escalating violence in Syria is a reason for distress to all of us and makes it incumbent on the leaders gathered here to work in order to stop the bloodshed that claims the lives of tens and maybe hundreds of people every day in Syria.
We would like also to draw your attention to the danger of providing the fighting parties with weapons, which only leads to more violence, blood, and loss of life. This situation endangers the social fabric of the Syrian people, whom we cherish and fear for their unity and sovereignty, to fragmentation and disintegration.
We also realize, as facts proved that negative regional and international interference could adversely impact the Syrian issue and may cause unlimited chaos devastating results that may spare not even those who interfered. Therefore, we sincerely called and will continue to call for negotiations and peaceful solutions as a path to end the crisis that could draw the region in problems and exacerbate the current situation.
The events in Syria proved that solving the crisis by violence and force could double the costs incurred by the Syrians and the region as such means only increase the suffering of civilians, destroy infrastructure and augment the number of the displaced. Therefore I hope that all of the parties realize that the bet on the military solution is a dangerous move; from this rostrum we call upon Kings, Presidents and leaders in this august gathering to support the reconciliation and dialogue plan among all Syrians by supporting the International and Arab initiative promoted by Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi as the lofty efforts of Mr. Kofi Annan reached an impasse. In this regard, we don't hide our concern the consequences of the continuation of the crisis which could be exacerbated by the instigation of sectarian strife, which could lead the region into a spiral of fighting known only to God. This mater, ladies and gentlemen put the onus on us to seriously work to contain and resolve the crisis peacefully and to preserve the interests of the Syrian people and prevent further deterioration of the situation.
Iraq's initiative to solve the Syrian crisis is still standing as a beacon of peace as we strive to find an exit that all the forces of good are committed to follow and adopt.
Iraq's adoption of this initiative is based on two points:
First: Iraq's keen desire to preserve Syria and our support for the hopes and aspirations of its people and its choices of a free and dignified life.
Second: Iraq's concern at the repercussions of violence and destruction of internal war and sectarian strife that we fear their affects and spread.
Ladies and Gentleman,
Iraq's position which is constant does not deviate from the Arab unified position in the crucial issues of our nations therefore we support the establishment of the State of Palestine in the occupied Palestinian territories with Jerusalem as its capital.
Consequently, we declare our support for the membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations, we also declare our unequivocal rejection of the polices of repression, Judaization and usurpation of land practiced by Israel without regard to International calls of condemnation to its unjust practices that are based on brutal force.
All of this comes in conjunction with an Israeli disregard to the repeated international calls to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to place its nuclear installation and military arsenal under the monitoring of the IAEA, which causes us to tirelessly call to disarm our region.
In this regard Iraq support and work with the International Community to create a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and all kind of weapons of mass destruction. Therefore Iraq support the efforts to hold the UN conference in HelsinkiiFinland in December 2012 to come out with practical steps lead to establish the free zone and the failure of this conference may result in arms race in a region which needs peace and stability.
According to the spirit of the United Nations Charter, our condemnation and rejection of the discriminatory policies practiced against religious and ethnic minorities in more than one location in the world. We especially condemn the inhumane violations of the rights of the Muslims in Myanmar, who face genocide that world's conscious should not be silence visa vis its gravity. That intersects with all the principals of human rights stipulated by laws, religions and International conventions.
Our positive and good relations with our neighbors, region and the world are governed by a balanced external foreign policy system based on mutual respect, common interest and the non interference in the affairs of others.
We also uphold the principals of good-neighborliness and the principal of dialogue in our Arab and Muslim region as well as the whole world. Our positive initiative manifested by Iraq's hosting of the League of The Arab States Summit in March of this year declared Iraq's return to its active and natural roles in the joint Arab action system.
This was followed by Iraq's hosting of one of the negotiation rounds regarding the Iranian Nuclear issue in an objective, balanced and responsible spirit that affirms Iraq's clear position vis a vis this case. A position that candidly declares Iraq's support for International efforts spent to prevent the proliferation of nuclear armament while affirming the right of people and countries to benefit from peaceful nuclear energy.
Ladies and Gentlemen,I should not forget to mention the repulsive abuses directed at the great Prophet of Islam and the subsequent wave of protests because of trivial movie insulting the Prophet of Islam Mohamd ibn Abduallah ( Peace be upon him), a protest wave that almost rocked the relations between the East and West.
This requires a sincere look from us to prevent such insults from occurring through an International ban that criminalizes anyone who insults heavenly religions, disrespects religious symbols or insults the Great Prophets and Messengers, as such actions constitute a blatant aggression on everything great, holey and sacred.
The recurrence of these obscene actions will supply terrorists with excellent material to attract angry youth and use them in violent actions that threaten peace and security, in which many victims could fall similar to what happened recently.
Therefore, we need to contain such attacks and prohibit their production, marketing and publication. As nobody in the Islamic World could stop the consequences of such disregard of Islamic values and sanctities, we believe the United Nations is able to play a central and constructive role in this issue to prevent its wide and dangerous reactions.
In conclusion, we, the Iraqi s Government and people extend our hands to all of you friends, for more collaboration to achieve our common goals, that in reality are noble values and human principals with magnificent contents that regard the human being as a supreme value and an honored being that deserve to live free, safe and its rights are respected.
On the hope that when we meet again our world will be safer, our human beings enjoy better conditions and our world in a better state.