United Nations Documentation Regarding Iraq
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  1. #1

    United Nations Documentation Regarding Iraq

    11 June 2013


    Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York


    The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

    The Secretary-General has been following with concern the unfolding political and security situation in Iraq, including the escalating political tensions and the appalling upsurge of violence that has killed a high number of civilians over the last two months. He expresses his deepest sympathy to the victims and their families and calls upon the Iraqi Government to do its utmost to bring to justice the perpetrators of these atrocious acts. He underscores the pressing need for dialogue between political blocs in order to overcome the current crisis.

    The Secretary-General welcomes all recent dialogue initiatives, including the high-level meeting convened by Sayyed Ammar Al-Hakim and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s visit to the Kurdistan Region. He urges all parties to redouble their efforts to ensure that the momentum of national reconciliation is not lost to those groups that strive to reignite sectarian violence in Iraq.

    The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the United Nations, including the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), to support and assist the Government and people of Iraq in building a peaceful, democratic and prosperous country.

    * *** *

    For information media • not an official record


  2. #2
    3 May 2013
    Press Release

    Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
    Biographical Note


    (Based on information provided by the Protocol and Liaison Service)

    Mohamed Ali Alhakim, the new Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations, presented his credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today.

    Before his appointment, Mr. Alhakim was Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations Office in Geneva, representing his country at the Human Rights Council, World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), Conference on Disarmament and other bodies.

    In a political and diplomatic career that spanned many years beginning in 2003, Mr. Alhakim served in several capacities, including, from 2006 to 2010, as Ambassador and Director of several departments, such as the European and Arab Departments, in the Iraqi Foreign Affairs Ministry. As a member of Iraq’s National Assembly, he served on the Foreign Relations Subcommittee, representing his Government at several global conferences between 2005 and 2006. Those included a summit in Tokyo to train Iraqi legislators on drafting the constitution.

    Earlier, in 2003, he represented his delegation at a number of international conferences, including the Arab League Heads of State Summits. From 2004 to 2005, he was Minister of Telecommunications, and in that time, Acting Minister of Finance during Iraq’s debt relief negotiations. For several years, from 2004 to 2010, he assisted Vice-President Iraq Adel Abdel Mahdi at bilateral meetings.

    Born in July 1952, Mr. Alhakim holds a doctorate degree in management of engineering and telecommunications, a master’s degree in computer information technology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and statistics.

    * *** *


  3. #3
    Ban appoints Kobler as envoy in DR Congo

    Special Representative Martin Kobler. UN Photo/Bikem Ekberzade

    10 June 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Martin Kobler of Germany to head the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Mr. Kobler will serve as Mr. Ban’s Special Representative to the country and head the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

    He will succeed Roger Meece of the United States, who will complete his assignment in July.

    Since 2011, Mr. Kobler has been the top UN official in Iraq with the UN Assistance Mission there (UNAMI). He was previously the Deputy Special Representative with the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Prior to joining the UN, Mr. Kobler served for more than 25 years in his country’s foreign service.

    Also today, Mr. Ban appointed Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as the new Chairman of his Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB).

    In welcoming Prince Talal, Mr. Ban lauded his leadership in championing global causes and in supporting inter-cultural dialogue.

    Prince Talal has served as Chairman of the Policy Advisory Commission for the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and as a Member of the Board of the South Centre.

    The Advisory Board was established in 2004 to advise Mr. Ban and galvanize action of governments and international organizations to advance the global water and sanitation agenda and help to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets on water and sanitation.

    Water management is also an issue of central importance to Jordan, Mr. Ban said.

    Former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto was designated UNSGAB Chairman in March 2004. He served until his passing in 2006.

    He was followed in December 2006 by Willem-Alexander, the Prince of Orange of The Netherlands. The Prince of Orange remained Chairman until 30 April this year when he assumed his duties as the King of The Netherlands.

    In addition, Mr. Ban today announced the appointment of Noeleen Heyzer of Singapore, the current Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, as his Special Adviser of the Secretary General for Timor-Leste. Ms. Heyzer will carry out both functions concurrently.

    According to Mr. Ban’s office, Ms. Heyzer will work closely with the Government and with the top UN humanitarian official in the country, as well as UN agencies, funds and programmes in Timor-Lest to support the country’s continuing efforts towards peace building, state-building and inclusive and sustainable development.

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  4. #4
    UN envoy welcomes meeting in Kurdistan between senior Iraqi, Kurdish officials

    The Citadel town of Erbil, capital of Kurdistan, Iraq. UN Photo/Bikem Ekberzade

    9 June 2013 – The top United Nations envoy in Iraq has welcomed today the first visit to Erbil of Iraq's Premier for a landmark meeting with officials from the country's Kurdish region as “a positive step in the right direction.”

    The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Martin Kobler, welcomed today's visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and members of his cabinet to Erbil, and his meeting with President of the Kurdistan Region Masud Barzani, according to a press release from the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

    UNAMI said that the meeting also included Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and other Kurdish officials. The Iraqi Prime Minister also chaired the first Council of Ministers' meeting held in Erbil.

    “This visit is a positive step in the right direction, which should reflect favorably on the political process,” said Mr. Kobler, who is als0 head of UNAMI.

    “I sincerely hope that successful discussions between the two delegations will help to resolve all outstanding issues between the centre and the region, and will lead to results that will benefit the Iraqi people,” the UN envoy added.

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  5. #5
    21 March 2013
    Security Council

    Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
    Security Council
    6397th Meeting (AM)



    Mission Head Urges Iraqis to Remain Determined, Steadfast in ‘Challenging Time’;
    Iraq Describes Government’s Efforts to Meet ‘Legitimate Demands’ of Demonstrators

    An ongoing political stalemate, protracted demonstrations, terrorist attacks and strained Arab-Kurdish relations could fuel existing political and security challenges in Iraq, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative told the Security Council this morning, urging the country to remain “determined and steadfast” during a very challenging time.

    “Iraqis face a complex set of interrelated problems, among them, the very real potential for a spill-over of violence from Syria,” Martin Kobler, who is also Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), said in a briefing that was followed by a statement by Iraq’s representative, Hamid Al Bayati.

    Nothing illustrated that risk more than two recent, contrasting events, he said, noting that, on 27 February, an Iraqi Airways flight landed at Kuwait International Airport, which marked an end to a 22-year suspension in commercial air traffic and start of a new chapter Iraq’s relations with Kuwait. A few days later, on 4 March, more than 40 Syrian soldiers and 10 Iraqis were killed inside Iraqi territory, followed by a series of terrorist attacks against civilians. “Such destabilization would add to and fuel the existing political and security challenges facing Iraq, which threaten the achievements of the past decade,” he said.

    Presenting the Secretary-General’s latest report (documentS/2013/154), Mr. Kobler said that since late December, tens of thousands of demonstrators in Iraq’s western provinces had taken to the streets to voice their grievances related to human rights and access to basic services. They felt unprotected, insecure and excluded. In Ramadi, Samarra, Mosul, Falluja, Tikrit and Kirkuk, he had listened to their frustrations, which had grown more critical over time.

    The volatility on the streets was also reflected at the political level, he said, as the Sunni bloc al-Iraqiya continued its boycott of Cabinet meetings, which had lasted for almost four months. Political coalitions were weakening. “The political fabric is fraying,” he said. The Government had taken steps to address demonstrators’ demands, including with the formation of the committee, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minster, which had facilitated the release of 3,400 prisoners and reinstated pension payments for 11,000 public sector retirees who were members.

    For its part, UNAMI had sought to advance inclusive, direct political dialogue and national reconciliation, he said, offering its good offices as a means of relaying information between the demonstrators and the Government. In such work, UNAMI was an impartial actor and kept an equal distance from all sides in the mediation, convening or witnessing of any negotiated agreement. However, UNAMI was not neutral on human rights. “One case of torture is one too many,” he said, noting that UNAMI had advocated the principle of non-violence, including to the demonstrators. It had urged Iraq to respond immediately to demands that could be met in the short-term. Other demands would require more time for a response.

    The demonstrations, ongoing for three months, spoke to the deep distrust among Shia, Sunnis and Kurds, he said, threatening the social bonds that should bring Iraqis together in one united, federal country on the basis of the Constitution. Every ethnic and social group had been targeted by terrorists who sought to “turn the clock back” on Iraq’s nascent stability. From November 2012 through February 2013, terrorism had killed almost 1,300 civilians and 591 Iraqi Security Forces. He called on leaders and religious authorities to “rise as one” to stop the bleeding.

    Elsewhere, he described Iraq’s ties with the Kurdistan regional government as “strained”, saying Kirkuk was the flashpoint for Arab-Kurdish relations. To improve the situation, it was crucial to pass the revenue-sharing and hydrocarbon laws. The equitable sharing of Iraq’s immense natural resources was required for rebuilding trust. “We will continue to build trust no matter how difficult it is,” he observed.

    Turning to Provincial Council elections, less than a month away, he said he had expressed concern about the Cabinet’s decision to postpone elections in Ninewa and Anbar provinces, due to deteriorating security conditions. He called on Iraq and the Independent High Electoral Commission to ensure that elections would be held as scheduled in all 14 provinces in a secure environment. Despite his efforts, no consensus had been reached to pass the law on holding elections in Kirkuk.

    Regionally, Iraq was committed to strengthening relations with its neighbours, he continued, adding that in normalizing ties with Kuwait, a major milestone would be the removal of obstacles along the border, notably three houses in Umm Qasr, which must be done by 31 March. On his 5 March visit to Kuwait, he had sensed a “spirit of optimism”. He also sensed potential for better relations with Saudi Arabia, citing a prisoners’ exchange, the opening of a border crossing and participation of both countries in efforts to combat dust storms.

    As for UNAMI’s resettlement programme, he said the urgency of relocating residents outside Iraq was underlined on 9 February, when an attack on Camp Hurriya killed eight residents. “The only durable solution is to relocate the residents outside of Iraq”, he said, welcoming Albania’s decision to accept 210 residents next month and urging others to take similar steps. Despite additional offers, residents of Camp Hurriya continued to boycott relocation interviews with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and he urged them to fully cooperate. The 100 residents at Camp Ashraf refused to join the larger group at Camp Hurriya until the end of property negotiations.

    Larger humanitarian efforts focused on Syrian refugees, returnees from Syria and internally displaced persons, he said. Iraq currently hosted nearly 120,000 Syrian nationals. In addition, approximately 80,000 Iraqis had fled from Syria and were now included in the larger group of 1.2 million internally displaced. On the broader human rights situation, he voiced concern about the administration of justice, saying that detainees complained of abuse and torture in prisons under the authority of the Ministry of Interior. He also urged Iraq to consider a moratorium on all executions. Despite such problems, Iraq was making progress in establishing the High Commission for Human Rights, which would serve as a cornerstone of an Iraqi-owned and led system to guarantee human rights protection for all Iraqi citizens.

    In closing, he pointed to the urgent problems facing young Iraqis, who were caught amidst a soaring political crisis and largely left to fend for themselves. Youth unemployment was at 23 per cent. “With their potential and passion, they are the future of Iraq,” he said. They would carry forward the stability, security and prosperity that all Iraqis sought to build.

    In his remarks, Hamid Al Bayati (Iraq) agreed that his country was witnessing a political stalemate and continued protests in a number of cities. The protesters’ demands included the adoption of the General Amnesty Law, and the Justice and Accountability Law, as well as the release of detainees, especially women. Demonstrations had been infiltrated by terrorists, who aimed to stir sectarian tensions and civil war. Foreign and regional players had been exposed when the flags of the Free Syrian Army and portraits of foreign leaders were displayed.

    The protesters’ demands were both legitimate and illegitimate, he said, adding that efforts had been made to respond to them. The Council of Ministers, on 15 January, had approved a number of actions, among them: the extension of the time mentioned in the Justice and Accountability Law relating to the submission of requests to be returned to service or retirement; the acceptance of pension applications for all persons subject to that law; the request from the Judicial Council to permit judges to facilitate the release of female detainees on bail, except in cases where prohibited by law; and the immediate implementation of release decisions on site by the Ministry of Justice. Those procedures led to the realization of the legitimate demands of the demonstrators, including the release of approximately 5,500 detainees.

    Regarding the sectarian slogans and calls to terminate the Constitution, he said the Ministry of the Interior had raised the alarm that such language threatened national security. “This language lays the foundation for a culture of hatred, the rejection of others and promotes sectarianism under the pretext of defending the rights of this or that sect,” he said. However, the demonstrations themselves were still peaceful, as was witnessed by the United Nations mission during its visit to Al Anbar in February.

    Stressing Iraq’s rejection of violence, extremism and sectarianism, he added: “We have warned several times — including in our last report before this Council — of the effect of the continuation of the Syrian conflict on the instability of the whole region.” The recent murder of Syrian soldiers by terrorists, after they had surrendered to Iraqi authorities, was proof of the link to armed groups and the impact of the Syrian conflict on the stability of the region. Al-Qaida had announced its responsibility for that murder, in collaboration with the Al-Nussra Front terrorist group.

    Overall, violence in Iraq was lower than in 2009 to 2011, he said, and much lower than its peak in 2006-2007. Rebel groups, including Al-Qaida, were still active in parts of Iraq. Although sectarian violence was less than in previous years, it was still critical in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Ninewa, Salah Al Din, Al Anbar and Diyala. The Government had condemned the attack on Camp Liberty on 9 February, and immediately launched an investigation to uncover the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

    As for the political process, he said the Independent Electoral Commission was pressing ahead to hold the provincial council elections, slated for 20 April. In the economic arena, Iraq had curbed inflation, achieved economic growth and increased its oil exports. In 2012 the economy grew by 10 per cent for a second year in a row, and was expected to grow by 13.5 per cent in 2013. Iraq also was working to diversify and create new job opportunities. In December 2012, it ratified the framework agreement for trade and investment with the United States.

    “Iraq is making an effort to support the moderate current in the region, encourage dialogue and steer the region away from the dangers of regional interventions,” he asserted, recalling that a settlement had been reached with Kuwait over the Iraqi Airways issue, and that Iraq’s Foreign Minister had visited Kuwait in February aboard an Iraqi Airways plane to inaugurate the first such flight in 23 years. A joint technical team was working on border maintenance, which would pave the way for relations based on mutual respect and common interest, and see Iraq’s exit from the restrictions imposed under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.

    “ Iraq today is not the Iraq before 2003,” he stressed, in closing remarks. “Iraq must regain the status it enjoyed before 1990.”

    The meeting began at 10:09 a.m. and adjourned at 10:58 a.m.

    * *** *

    For information media • not an official record


  6. #6
    United NationsS/2013/154

    Security Council Distr.: General

    12 March 2013

    Original: English 13-25352 (E) 140313


    Second report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 2061 (2012)

    I. Introduction

    1. In paragraph 6 of its resolution 2061 (2012), the Security Council requested me to report to it every four months on the progress made towards the fulfilment of the responsibilities of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

    The current report is the second submitted pursuant to that resolution. It covers key political and security developments as well as regional and international events concerning Iraq and provides an update on the activities of the United Nations in Iraq since the issuance of my previous report, dated 16 November 2012

    II. Summary of key political developments pertaining to Iraq

    A. Internal developments

    2. While all members of the national partnership Government continued to stress their goodwill and commitment towards building a peaceful and non-sectarian future for Iraq, political tensions and security incidents intensified during the reporting period.

    In late November, relations between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government deteriorated over the issue of security coordination in the disputed territories, and the protests that erupted in several governorates in late December have presented major challenges for the Government of Iraq ahead of the upcoming governorate council elections.

    3. Relations between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government have been sharply strained by the decision of the Government of Iraq to establish the Dijla (Tigris) Operations Command in the areas of disputed internal boundaries.

    On 16 November, in Tuz Khurmatu, one of the disputed areas in Salah ad-Din Province, the Iraqi army’s attempt to implement an arrest warrant against a Kurdish suspect resulted in the death of 1 civilian and 18 injured. This led to the deployment of additional Iraqi army and Peshmerga forces in Tuz Khurmatu and Kirkuk.

    On 10 December, the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Massoud Barzani, visited the city of Kirkuk to inspect the Peshmerga forces.


    2 13-25352

    4. On 13 December, President Jalal Talabani announced an agreement between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to replace Peshmerga and Iraqi military forces with a local force comprising Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen, without a clear timeline for implementation.

    On 17 December, President Talabani suffered a stroke and since 20 December has been convalescing outside of Iraq. His absence has left a leadership gap in the dialogue between the central and regional governments.

    On 26 December, negotiations resumed between the Ministry of Defence and the Peshmerga ministry of the Kurdistan Regional Government. In late January, a joint committee began steps towards a mutual withdrawal of troops and implementation of a joint security agreement.

    On 27 January, the committee put on hold all military movements while negotiations continued on the future locations of combined coordination centres or modalities for the withdrawal of troops.

    5. The tense situation in the disputed areas was accompanied by an increase insecurity incidents. Two Turkmen schoolteachers were kidnapped on 17 December,and their bodies were found two days later. The investigation is ongoing.

    On 16 January, the offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Kurdistan Patriotic Union in Kirkuk were hit in a suicide attack.

    On 23 January, an attack on a mosque in Tuz Khurmatu led to renewed calls by Turkmen political parties for the establishment of a Turkmen security force.

    On 3 February, coordinated attacks on the police headquarters in Kirkuk resulted in 33 dead and 90 wounded, and on 18 February, multiple explosions in Kirkuk resulted in one death and several injuries.

    6. Kurdistan opposition parties have increasingly alleged that the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan are monopolizing power in the region.

    On 17 January, President Barzani met with a delegation of leaders of the Gorran party, the Kurdistan Islamic Union and the Kurdistan Islamic Group, which proposed to change the presidential system in the Kurdistan Region to a parliamentary system.

    On 30 January, the opposition declined a proposal by the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan to join the Regional Government.

    7. On 4 December, the State of Law Coalition suggested reducing the Kurdistan Regional Government’s share of the national budget from 17 per cent to 13 per cent.

    The demand by the Regional Government that Peshmerga salaries be paid by the Government of Iraq has yet to be accepted. In addition, Iraqiya’s demand that some allocations for the Council of Ministers secretariat be diverted into capital investments has stalled the adoption of the budget for 2013.

    There is agreement, however, among the parliamentary blocs to maintain the status quo regarding the Kurdistan Regional Government’s share of the national budget and that a census should serve as a basis for future estimates.

    8. On 20 December, several members of the security detail of Iraqiya Finance Minister Rafi al-Issawi were arrested on terrorism charges.

    In response, protests broke out on 23 December in Anbar Province, blocking the main highway to the Syrian Arab Republic and Jordan.

    By 4 January, demonstrations spread to Anbar, Salah ad-Din, Ninewa and Diyala Provinces and in northern Baghdad, while several counter demonstrations were held in the capital and southern governorates, including Karbala, Muthanna, Qadissiyah and Basra Provinces. Those events have increased concern across the political spectrum about the risk of the radicalization of politics along sectarian lines.

    Last edited by RED LILY; 06-12-2013 at 09:43 AM.

  7. #7
    9. On 6 January, the demonstrators issued a list of demands, focusing largely on the implementation of the rule of law and governance, including the suspension or abolition of article 4 of the Anti-Terrorism Law, parliamentary adoption of the General Amnesty Law and abolition or review of the Justice and Accountability Law.

    They denounced structural problems within the overburdened judiciary and alleged corruption in law enforcement.

    The demonstrators demanded the immediate release of all prisoners who had already been released by the court or had yet to be charged, and women who were in custody in lieu of their kin.

    They also called for the transfer of women detained on criminal charges to their respective provinces as well as investigations into human rights violations, specifically alleged torture, confessions obtained under duress and abuse of female detainees.

    The protests led to the temporary closure of crossing points on the border with Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic (Al-Walid, Trebil and Rabia) between 9 and 18 January.

    10. In an effort to defuse the crisis, the Government of Iraq on 8 January appointed a ministerial committee, headed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Hussainal-Shahristani, and including the Justice Minister, Hasan al-Shammari, and the Human Rights Minister, Mohammed al-Sudani, to address those demands of the demonstrators that did not contradict the Constitution.

    On 3 and 17 February,Mr. Al-Shahristani announced the release of 3,000 and 2,475 detainees, respectively. He stated on 17 February that the ministerial committee was processing 81,000 claims from political martyrs, prisoners and victims of terrorism of the previous regime and those facing “de-Baathification”.

    According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the committee processed 2,400 of the 3,300 claims of persons whose houses were ordered to be seized following de-Baathification in order to return properties to their owners. The committee continues to meet on a regular basis to discuss the human rights issues raised by the demonstrators.

    11. Parallel to the Government’s efforts to respond to the protests, an inter-coalition committee headed by the leader of the National Alliance, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, met for the first time on 16 January.

    Composed of representatives of the National Alliance, Iraqiya and the Kurdish Alliance, the committee was to put forward recommendations for revising the contested laws and their application. In addition, a “council of wise men”, comprising mainly pro-government Sunni Islamic scholars, was created on 31 December to facilitate dialogue between demonstrators and the Government.

    12. Since late December, Iraqiya ministers have boycotted the sessions of the Cabinet and attended only sessions of the Council of Representatives relating to the budget.

    The Iraqiya ministers were placed on special leave by the Prime Minister, who requested, effective 29 January, that other ministers run the ministries on an interim basis.

    On 13 January, the office of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called upon all political parties to end sectarian rhetoric and enter into negotiations,including to consider the demands of the protestors.

    Iraqiya continues to boycott cabinet meetings.

    13. On 15 January, one of the founding members of the Sahwa Council in Iraq andparliamentarian, Ifan al-Issawi, was killed in a suicide bombing in Fallujah. TheIslamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility for the attack.

    On 25 January, four people were killed and several injured in Fallujah in clashes between security forces and demonstrators. On 25 February, the Governor of Diyala Province was injured in an assassination attempt. No one claimed responsibility for the attack.

    14. On 19 January, a parliamentary board approved a request to summon the Prime Minister on the grounds of violating the Constitution.

    On 26 January, the Council of Representatives passed a law with a majority of 170 votes to limit the President, Prime Minister and Speaker of the Council of Representatives to two terms of office.

    The State of Law coalition, which voted against the law, said that it would refer the law to the Federal Supreme Court for a review of its validity.

    15. On 15 February, the Justice and Accountability Commission dismissed Medhatal-Mahmoud as the head of the Federal Supreme Court for his alleged Baathist connections, prompting disputes between the executive and legislative branches
    over their respective competencies in relation to the appointment of members of different independent bodies.

    On 17 February, the Prime Minister replaced the newly appointed head of the Justice and Accountability Commission, Hasan Shanshal, with another member of the Commission, Basim Badri.

    On 18 February, the Speaker of the Council of Representatives reappointed Mr. Shanshal.

    On 19 February, the Appeals Board of the Justice and Accountability Commission overturned the removal of Mr. Al-Mahmoud.


  8. #8
    B. Regional and international developments

    16. The normalization of relations between Iraq and Kuwait continued to progress.

    On 20 November, the Iraq Council of Ministers agreed to pay $500 million to Kuwait Airways in a compensation settlement.

    Following the subsequent withdrawal of Kuwaiti lawsuits against Iraqi Airways, Iraqi Airways began to operate flights to Kuwait on 27 February, for the first time in 22 years.

    In a similarly welcome development, the Parliament of Kuwait ratified an agreement on the navigation of the Khor Abdallah waterway, reached during the last meeting of the countries’ Joint Ministerial Committee.

    17. On 5 December, I visited Kuwait to meet with its leadership, including the Emir and the Prime Minister, on the normalization of Iraq-Kuwait relations.

    My Special Representative visited Kuwait on 5 March, where he met with Kuwaiti officials and discussed the outstanding issues between the two countries, including the Iraq-Kuwait boundary maintenance project.

    18. On 6 December, I traveled to Baghdad, where I met with President Talabani, the Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, and the Speaker of the Council of Representatives, Usama al-Nujaifi.

    I also addressed the heads of blocs in the Council of Representatives and discussed with President Barzani the general situation in the country, including Baghdad-Erbil relations.

    I also met the Chair of the Independent High Electoral Commission, Sarbast Mustafa.

    My discussions in Baghdad focused on the internal political situation, the stalemate between major political blocs, the forthcoming governorate council elections and human rights issues in Iraq; the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic; and relations between Iraq and Kuwait.

    I welcomed the progress made in building State institutions and urged leaders to engage in an inclusive political dialogue without any further delay to achieve necessary reforms and enact constitutionally mandated legislation.

    I also assured the Government of Iraq of the support of the United Nations for its fulfilment of obligations under Chapter VII of the Charter in relation to Kuwait.

    19. On 10 December,
    Iraq nominated its technical observers to participate in the field maintenance work of the Iraq-Kuwait boundary maintenance project pursuant to Security Council resolution 833 (1993).

    On 17 December, the Iraqi technical observers arrived in Kuwait.

    On 14 January, my Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs formally launched the field maintenance work in the presence of representatives from both countries. Both sides committed to take the steps necessary to ensure that the work is completed by the deadline of 31 March.

    At the time of reporting, the work is on schedule, and the Government of Iraq has started to remove the obstacles between boundary pillars, with the notable exception of the residential constructions in the Umm-Qasr area.

    With regard to the implementation of Security Council resolution 899 (1994), the Government of Iraq announced on 29 November that it would update the list of those eligible for compensation.

    The Government has yet to respond, however, to the proposal by the United Nations to transfer the funds for that purpose without delay.

    20. On 24 December, Prime Minister Al-Maliki met in Jordan with King Abdullah II.

    The countries concluded several bilateral agreements, including on building an oil pipeline through Jordan. The pipeline would carry a million barrels a day and provide Jordan with all its crude oil requirements.

    21. The political, humanitarian and security ramifications of the ongoing civil war in the Syrian Arab Republic continue to be a source of serious concern for Iraq, which hosts thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict. The Government of Iraq continues to emphasize a Syrian-led solution to the crisis, including dialogue towards a political transition comprising all Syrian constituents.

    22. During the reporting period, the Turkish armed forces carried out military operations, including aerial bombing and artillery shelling in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, against the Kurdistan Workers Party in response to its cross-border terrorist attacks.

    III. Activities of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq and the United Nations country team

    A. Political activities

    23. My Special Representative, Martin Kobler, visited Kirkuk on 22 January and 27 February to discuss the current political crisis with governorate officials and the potential modalities for holding governorate council elections in Kirkuk.

    Despite continued facilitation by UNAMI and the agreement between the components on the importance of the elections in Kirkuk, negotiations between the parties are at a stalemate, and the prospect for elections in the Kirkuk Governorate remains limited.The current political crisis has also overshadowed this issue on the national political agenda.

    24. On 20 and 21 November, my Special Representative visited Kuwait to meet the Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Sabah Khalid al-Sabah, and the Minister of Communications, Salim Alozainah, in preparation for my forthcoming visit.

    25. During the reporting period, my Special Representative held regular meetings with key government officials, among them Prime Minister Al-Maliki, the Vice-President, Khudhair al-Khuza'e, Deputy Prime Ministers Saleh al-Mutlaq and Hussain al-Shahristani, and the Speaker of Parliament, Osama al-Nujaifi, in order to discuss how to defuse the ongoing political crisis.

    My Special Representative encouraged all Iraqi political and religious leaders to engage constructively in direct dialogue to defuse the crisis. He reiterated to his interlocutors the importance of respecting human rights and addressing the demands of the demonstrators seriously,in accordance with the law and Constitution of Iraq.

    He urged the Government of Iraq to exercise the utmost restraint in dealing with the demonstrators. At the same time, he pressed the representatives of the demonstrators to keep their actions peaceful and within the bounds of the law.

    26. On 12 January, my Special Representative met in Erbil with President Barzani.

    In 13 January, he met in Najaf with Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani and the Governor.

    On 21 January, he met in Baghdad with religious leaders, including Ayatollah Sayed Hussein al-Sadr.

    On 22, 27 and 29 January, UNAMI representatives visited Al-Anbar, Salah ad-Din and Ninewa Provinces, respectively, where they met with the representatives of the protestors and local government.

    On 29 January, my Special Representative met in Mosul with local authorities and demonstrators. On 30 and 31 January, my Special Representative met tribal leaders and the President ofthe Awakening Council, who expressed concern about the current situation.

    My Special Representative reiterated the importance of the demonstrations remaining peaceful and of all parties exercising restraint and engaging in dialogue, andemphasized the readiness of the United Nations to assist.

    On 19 February, he visited Erbil, where he met with Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and other leaders.

    On 20 and 26 February, UNAMI representatives visited Fallujah and Tirkrit and met with local authorities and demonstrators.

    On 24 February, my Special Representative met separately with Speaker Al-Nujaifi and the Minister of Finance, Rafi al-Issawi.

    On 27 February, my Special Representative met in Kirkuk with key stakeholders.

    27. My Special Representative continued to use his good offices to engage all parties, including the committees headed by Deputy Prime Minister Al-Shahristani and Mr. Al-Jaafari, to assist in defusing the crisis.

    On 17 February, in response to the request by UNAMI for the Government of Iraq to follow up on the human rights situation, Mr. Al-Shahristani appointed a focal point within his office to work on individual human rights cases submitted to UNAMI.

    28. UNAMI continued to provide advice and technical assistance to the Council of Representatives on a draft law to establish the Federation Council and engaged with parliamentarians and provincial governors on the political framework for the Federation Council, including its composition, power and procedures.

    A draft law to establish the Federation Council is under deliberation by the Council of Representatives, which is receiving advice and technical assistance from UNAMI.

    29. In February UNAMI marked World Interfaith Harmony Week.

    My Special Representative led a delegation of 40 Iraqi youth to a number of holy places in Iraq and convened discussions on the aspirations of youth for the country’s future.

    B. Electoral assistance activities

    30. Preparations for the governorate council elections on 20 April intensified under the leadership of the new Board of Commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission. Significant progress was made, including the finalization of a legal and regulatory framework, completion of the voter registry update, registration of entities and candidates and external relations.

    31. On 13 December, the Council of Representatives voted to adopt the Sainte-Laguëformula for allocating seats in the governorate councils following negotiations among political blocs and consultations between the Legal Committee of the Council of Representatives, the Independent High Electoral Commission and UNAMI, during which the Mission provided a draft of the amendment to the Legal Committee. This formula replaces a provision in the electoral law that was ruled unconstitutional by the Federal Supreme Court.

    32. Concerned that the new formula may lead to fewer women being elected in governorate councils, UNAMI proposed to the Independent High Electoral Commission, on 23 December, a number of potential measures, including a provision guaranteeing that no fewer than 25 per cent of a governorate council’s seats would be awarded to women and a legal provision ensuring that there would be one woman for every two winners in an entity list.

    33. On 17 January, an integrated gender task force on elections was established.Bringing together UNAMI, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), the task force coordinates efforts for gender mainstreaming and women’s participation as voters and candidates in elections.

    The task force workswith the Independent High Electoral Commission gender team, headed by the only female commissioner, to promote gender awareness, including advocacy within the Board of Commissioners and the management of the Commission, the production of outreach materials and a review of the procedures and policies of the Commission.Those initiatives have led the Commission to incorporate gender-disaggregated data in reporting on the polling process. For the first time, the Commission will be able to announce the number of male and female voters

    34. During the voter registration update period of 9 December to 8 January, almost a million individuals checked their registration data in 893 voter registration centres, including 28 centres for internally displaced persons in Kirkuk and the governoratesin the Kurdistan Region.

    More than 300,000 registration forms were issued foradditions or changes of entries in the preliminary voters’ lists. The voter registry was updated. With advice from UNAMI, the Independent High Electoral Commission is allocating the voters to polling places and updating the voting records for the army and police, with a view to generating the final voter lists.

    35. The processes of registering and nominating political entities and coalitionstook place as scheduled on 10 January. The Independent High Electoral Commission announced that 265 political entities and 50 coalitions were participating in the April elections. Nomination papers were submitted for 8,302 candidates, of whom 2,205 (26 per cent) are women. On 13 January, the Commission submitted thecandidate lists for vetting by the Justice and Accountability Commission.

    While 446 candidates were initially excluded, 315 were reinstated following appeals.Pursuant to the justice and accountability law, 135 candidates remain excluded. Most excluded candidates are from the governorates of Baghdad, Salah ad-Din, Ninewa and Diyala.

    Submissions of substitute candidates are being processed.

    On 18 February, the Commission announced that the start of the campaign would be brought from 25 March to 1 March. Since January, UNAMI has advocated that the Commission cannot shorten the campaign period, as the law stipulates that election campaigns must start once the candidate is officially approved by the Commission.

    36. In a letter dated 3 December, the Office of the Prime Minister of Iraq notified the Independent High Electoral Commission of its approval to transfer the Commission staff from contractual to permanent (civil servant) status.

    On 10 February, the Chief Electoral Officer of the Commission announced that roughly4,000 staff were henceforth considered civil servants. Advocated by UNAMI since 2006, civil servant status will contribute to the professionalization of the workforce and the retention of experienced electoral staff.

    37. The United Nations integrated electoral assistance team continues to provide advice and assistance to the Independent High Electoral Commission on operational and external relations activities, including through the participation of UNAMI in the meetings of the Board of Commissioners. The rehabilitation of the Commission’s data-entry centre was completed, with the support of the United Nations Office for Project Services.

    United Nations advisers provide regular advice to the Commission’s software developers on software for tabulating election results. A number of mechanisms for polling and counting, special voting, and complaint management have been finalized. United Nations military advisers take part in meetings of the high committee on electoral security. Aside from providing advice in the planning and design of public outreach campaigns, the United Nations team, through UNDP, supports the production of outreach materials to enhance the profile of the Commission in the elections.

    38. In meetings with the diplomatic community in Iraq, facilitated by my Special Representative, the Board of Commissioners has underlined its goals of building confidence and enhancing the credibility of the elections. Invitation letters for election observation have been sent to international and regional organizations and diplomatic missions in Iraq through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Domestic observation is also planned. The Independent High Electoral Commission has thus far accredited 6,053 domestic observers and 8,305 political entity agents.

    39. In November, a needs assessment mission was deployed to Iraq to evaluateongoing needs and gaps in electoral assistance, given the prospect of severalelections over the next two years. In the mission report, it was highlighted that electoral assistance will remain a priority for UNAMI and the integrated electoral assistance team in 2013-2014, with assistance focusing on the areas of information and communications technology, the voter registry, legal advice, gender mainstreaming, external relations and strategic planning. As the remaining technical gaps with respect to the Integrated Electoral Assistance Team are addressed, the nature and extent of United Nations electoral assistance beyond 2014 would be subject to a new request and needs assessment.


    Last edited by RED LILY; 06-12-2013 at 11:31 AM.

  9. #9
    IV. Security and operational issues

    77. The security environment in Iraq remained volatile and unpredictable throughout the reporting period, fuel led by political and sectarian tensions, with armed opposition groups and terrorist organizations selecting targets and adapting their procedure and techniques. From 16 November to 31 January, 741 Iraqi civilians across the country were killed and 2,285 wounded. In the same period,

    311 members of the Iraqi security forces were killed and 532 injured. There was anincrease in the number of suicide attacks and indirect fire (mortars and surface-tosurfaceartillery rockets attacks). While the deliberate targeting of the Iraqi security
    forces and individuals continues, there appears to be a recurrence of mass casualty attacks in densely populated areas, exploiting sectarian tensions.

    78. The former United States Forces-Iraq Provincial Reconstruction Team compound, housing the UNAMI office in Basra, was vacated in December and handed over to the Government of Iraq. A new integrated office was established in Basra under a cost-sharing agreement between UNAMI and the United Nations country team. In addition, the provision of integrated support services at the Kuwait Joint Support Office for UNAMI and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan was initiated in December. In line with its budget for 2013, UNAMI enhanced its air capacity with the acquisition of longer-range helicopters.

    79. UNICEF and UNHCR opened an office in Basra to expand support to the most deprived and vulnerable populations, namely children, internally displaced persons and refugees in Basra, Missan, Muthanna, Najaf, Qadissiya and Thi-Qar Provinces.

    V. Observations

    80. I am concerned by increased tensions in Iraq, in particular since the emergence of protests in the western parts of the country. I urge the Government to continue to exercise maximum restraint in dealing with the demonstrators, who in turn should continue to express their demands peacefully. I strongly encourage the Government of Iraq to promptly investigate allegations of human rights violations in a transparent manner. In this regard, I welcome the formation of an inter ministerial committee and hope that it can quickly complete its review of the demands of the demonstrators in accordance with the Constitution and the rule of law. I also appeal to all parties to intensify their efforts to find solutions to long-standing political, legislative and legal issues through serious dialogue and in a spirit of compromise and flexibility. UNAMI stands ready to assist the Government and its institutions with its good offices in this regard.

    81. I remain concerned about continued volatility in relations between the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government. I urge them to resume dialogue on solutions that are informed by principles of mutual respect and federalism based on the Constitution. Transparent and accountable sharing of powerand resources is essential for ensuring further political stability, economic growthand prosperity for all. There is no alternative to peaceful coexistence in a united
    federal Iraq.

    82. I commend the new Board of Commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission for its professional and timely preparations for the forthcoming governorate council elections of 20 April. I urge the relevant authorities to ensure the fair representation of women and minorities in elected bodies,including by adopting the UNAMI recommendation that a 25 per cent quota for women be enshrined in the electoral laws, applicable to all elections. Similarly, I encourage all stakeholders to ensure that the elections be held in accordance with the current timeline, in a peaceful and orderly manner and free from violence. I reiterate the continuing commitment of the United Nations to support ongoing electoral preparations and to build the Iraqi technical and institutional electoral capacity.

    83. I welcome the continuing progress towards the full normalization of relations between Iraq and Kuwait. I continue to believe that a historic opportunity is at hand in this regard. I call upon the Government of Iraq to fulfil all its outstanding obligations under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations without further delay. In this connection, it is important that the Government of Iraq immediately finalize the removal of all obstacles between boundary pillars in order to enable the timely completion of the Iraq-Kuwait boundary maintenance project. I strongly encourage the Governments of Iraq and Kuwait to quickly establish a bilateral boundary maintenance mechanism to take over United Nations responsibilities under Security Council resolution 833 (1993).

    With regard to the compensation of Iraqi private citizens pursuant to Council resolution 899 (1994), I urge the Government of Iraq to concur with the United Nations proposal to transfer the funds for that purpose as soon as possible. I hope that the positive developments in relations between Iraq and Kuwait will enable the timely resolution of the issue of the return of Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and property and consideration by the Security Council of the exit by Iraq from its obligations under Chapter VII of the Charter.

    84. The crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic continues to have a serious political,security and humanitarian impact on Iraq. I thank the Government of Iraq for its generosity and hospitality towards Syrian civilians seeking refuge and protection. I call upon Member States to extend their financial commitment for an adequate response to the crisis.

    85. I continue to have serious concerns about some aspects of the administration of justice in Iraq, including reports of abuse and mistreatment of prisoners and detainees, failure to respect due process and shortcomings in meeting fair trial standards. I am also concerned by the particular difficulties faced by women who come in contact with the criminal justice system. I urge the Government of Iraq to ensure that due process is fully respected in line with the Constitution, as well as international human rights law obligations, while at the same time ensuring that alleged cases of abuse and mistreatment are thoroughly investigated and that those responsible are held to full account.

    86. I welcome the ongoing expansion of programme delivery by the United Nations country team in Iraq, including the assistance provided to the most vulnerable population. I commend the support provided to Syrian refugees in the north (Domiz camp) and encourage the Government of Iraq to continue to guarantee free entry to all Syrians seeking protection. I recognize the efforts of the Government to co-finance United Nations reconstruction and development programmes and recommend moving forward on suitable operational modalities.

    87. I condemn the attack on Camp Hurriya of 9 February and reiterate my call upon the Government of Iraq to promptly and fully investigate the incident and bring its perpetrators to justice. I call upon Iraq to ensure the safety and security of all residents, in line with the memorandum of understanding of 25 December 2011. I also urge Iraq to show flexibility in finding a constructive solution for the resolution of the property issue in Camp New Iraq. I urge the residents and their representatives to engage on this issue in a responsible and constructive manner without further delay. I also implore the residents to engage positively with the UNHCR resettlement process. The refusal of some residents to do so is a significant impediment to the successful completion of the process.

    88. I reiterate the strong commitment of the United Nations to facilitating apeaceful and durable solution for the residents of Camp Hurriya and Camp NewIraq, I would like to express my gratitude to those Member States that have offeredresettlement opportunities to residents, and I appeal for others to follow suit. Theonly sustainable solution to this issue depends on the willingness of Member Statesto offer such opportunities to the former residents of Camp New Iraq. I also appealto Member States to provide additional financial contributions to sustain the effortsof the United Nations in Camp Hurriya.

    89. I am deeply concerned about the unwarranted focus on my SpecialRepresentative by those who express support for the residents of Camp Hurriya andthe remaining residents of Camp New Iraq. I would urge them to cease spreadinginsults and falsehoods about the Special Representative and instead help to promotea durable solution. This could include urging residents to accept offers of relocationin third countries and encouraging Member States to accept more residents fromCamp Hurriya. Similarly, the significant funds evidently spent on high-profilelobbying could be more usefully utilized to improve aspects of the humanitarianconditions often cited in media and lobbying campaigns. I unequivocally support theefforts of my Special Representative in courageously and creatively doing hisutmost to resolve the situation in exceptionally difficult circumstances. I urge otherparties to play a constructive role in contributing to his untiring efforts.

    90. UNAMI and the United Nations country team continue to be adversely affected in their ability to undertake mandated activities by the continuing absence of a status-of-mission agreement. I wish once again to appeal to the Government to take the steps necessary to ensure that the status-of-mission agreement can be brought into force without further delay.

    91. Finally, I wish to thank my Special Representative, Martin Kobler, as well as all United Nations staff serving in Iraq for their hard work and dedicated commitment to support the people and the Government of Iraq.

    Last edited by RED LILY; 06-12-2013 at 11:56 AM.

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