General Assembly Security Council

UNSC Briefing on United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq [UNAMI]

(November 23, 2021; 1000 hrs NYT)




Mr. Sanjay Bhattacharyya



I thank you Mr. President. I also thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and Ms. Amal Kabashi, Coordinator, Iraqi Women's Network for their briefings. 


2. Let me begin by commending the people and the government of Iraq for the successful and peaceful conduct of the parliamentary elections. We hope that the successful completion of elections marks the beginning of a new phase towards a stable Iraq. The people of Iraq, despite the difficult economic and security situation and the continued threat of terrorism, have expressed their will for a safer, inclusive and prosperous Iraq. We look forward to the early formation of the government, which would fulfill their aspirations. 


3. We also appreciate the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) for their diligent and independent work towards holding these elections. We share the observations of the UN and other international election monitors that the elections were technically sound and conducted in a free and fair manner. 


4. We also acknowledge the important role of UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in supporting the IHEC and the Government of Iraq, as per the mandate provided by this Council, and contributing to a genuinely free and fair electoral process. 


5. Women candidates running for parliamentary elections have secured 97 seats out of 329, an increase of 14 seats over and above the seats reserved for women. This represents a significant development towards ensuring greater political participation of women in Iraq. We appreciate the steps taken by the Iraqi government and the IHEC to promote women’s political participation in the electoral process and to prevent and address violence against women candidates. 


6. India has strongly condemned the assassination attempt on the Prime Minister of Iraq and expressed our concerns for the casualties caused by the attack.  Terrorism and violence have no place in any civilized society. They cannot be allowed to undermine peace and stability in Iraq.


7. We reiterate our support for the democratic process in Iraq and encourage all political parties to respect the results of the elections. We note the concerns raised by some parties on the electoral process. Any concerns regarding the elections or its results should be addressed through legal and peaceful means within Iraq’s constitutional framework. Violence and intimidation should not be the tools for redressing these grievances. We urge parties to reject violence and resolve differences through a peaceful and inclusive dialogue. 


8. The menace of terrorism continues to pose a major threat to the security, stability, governance, social and economic development of Iraq. We strongly condemn all terrorist attacks by the Islamic State (IS) against the people of Iraq and extend our sincere and deep condolences to the families of victims. We wish the injured a speedy recovery. The recent attack in Diyala is yet another reminder that despite the successes of the Iraqi security forces in combating this Group, IS remains active in the country and the region, with its affiliates functioning independently at many places in the world. 


9. It is critical that the international community and Iraq’s partners continue their support and training to enable the Iraqi security forces in the fight against terrorism and build their capacity to address future threats. Such support and assistance should respect Iraq’s sovereignty and laws, while helping it preserve its territorial integrity and ensure the irreversible defeat of the IS.


10. India welcomes the outcomes of the “Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership” held in August. The conference was an expression of Iraq’s desire to develop friendly relations with its neighbours and give priority to the language of dialogue and non-interference in the affairs of other countries. I also commend Iraq's proactive role in promoting greater regional security and stability and its efforts in bridging differences between the countries of the region through diplomacy and dialogue.


11. We welcome the continuing cooperation between the Governments of Iraq and Kuwait to achieve an amicable solution to the pending issues. We also appreciate the efforts made by the members of the Tripartite Mechanism and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). We hope that the parties will continue to strengthen their cooperation until the matter is resolved to the mutual satisfaction of Iraq and Kuwait.


Mr. President


12. India’s friendship with Iraq is steeped in history. Our people-to-people ties and the multi-faceted bilateral relations are very strong. India has always responded to the urgent needs of Iraq. Our Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme has grown from strength to strength over the years and has continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


13. As a steadfast supporter of a democratic, pluralistic, federal, unified and prosperous Iraq, India will remain a willing partner of the new Government in its efforts to achieve economic recovery, peace and stability, national reconciliation and reconstruction.


I thank you.