“I’m right here in a go to of solidarity to underscore the dedication of the United Nations to help Iraq within the consolidation of its democratic establishments and advancing peace, sustainable growth and human rights for all Iraqis,” Mr. Guterres instructed journalists in Baghdad, after touching down late on Tuesday.
After “many years of oppression, warfare, terrorism, sectarianism and international interference” in Iraq’s affairs – simply days forward of the 20th anniversary of the 2003 invasion – Mr. Guterres acknowledged that the challenges the nation faces couldn’t be brushed apart.
And amid experiences that Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani continues to face potential political obstacles in reviving nationwide fortunes, the UN chief, in a joint press encounter with Mr. Al-Sudani, expressed his hope that Iraq “can break cycles of instability and fragility”.
He added: “I applaud the Prime Minister for his dedication to deal with essentially the most urgent challenges dealing with the nation head on – together with combatting corruption, bettering public providers, and diversifying the economic system to cut back unemployment and create alternatives, particularly for younger folks.
“Such structural change requires systemic reform, stronger establishments, better accountability and higher governance in any respect ranges – and the United Nations stands able to help these necessary efforts.”
Referencing reported divisions over the sharing of Iraqi oil revenues between central authorities within the capital and provincial authorities within the north, Mr. Guterres inspired all events to construct on “latest optimistic steps” between Baghdad and Erbil. “Sustainable agreements” and dialogue must be the long-term goal the UN Secretary-Basic mentioned.
Dignity of Iraq’s displaced
In earlier feedback simply after touching down, Mr. Guterres additionally spoke of his “monumental admiration” for the Iraqi folks, highlighting how he had witnessed the braveness of these displaced contained in the nation a number of instances, on earlier visits.
The UN Secretary-Basic additionally highlighted how Iraqi refugees in Jordan and in Syria had proven that they have been in a position “to reside in solidarity with one another, to assist one another within the spirit that, in my view, is the very best hope for the way forward for the nation”.
Iraq’s efforts to repatriate its residents from northeast Syria – together with from the notorious Al Hol camp – had been “exemplary”, Mr. Guterres mentioned, earlier than noting Prime Minister Al-Sudani’s dedication to permitting the secure and dignified return of ethnic Yazidis to their houses in northern Iraq, after struggling genocide by the hands of Daesh in 2014.
Addressing one other key problem for Iraq, particularly water shortage, Mr. Guterres famous that the difficulty required worldwide consideration, earlier than flagging the UN 2023 Water Convention from 22-24 March in New York.
The mighty Tigris and the Euphrates rivers have been now working dry and the impression on agriculture has been dramatic, the UN chief mentioned, including that “it breaks my coronary heart” to see farmers who’ve been pressured to desert lands the place crops have been grown for hundreds of years.
Iraq is among the international locations worst hit by local weather change, which has pushed displacement, threatened meals safety, destroyed livelihoods, fuelled battle and undermined human rights, Mr. Guterres maintained.
When coupled with a unstable safety scenario and governance challenges, “it might put stability in danger… so now could be the time for the worldwide group to help Iraq in tackling its environmental challenges, diversifying its economic system, and harnessing its potential for sustainable development,” the Secretary-Basic insisted.