UN authorities urged Iraq’s government to move ahead with political and economic changes, as well as to continue talks with Kuwait about reparations for Kuwaitis who disappeared during the Iraqi invasion in 1990.
They also highlighted the country’s human rights situation, particularly the rights of Iraqi women, and urged other nations in the region to refrain from violating Iraq’s territories and sovereignty.
During a Security Council meeting to discuss Iraq, Jeanine Antoinette Plasschaert, the secretary-general’s special representative for Iraq and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, discussed the conclusions of her UN report on the implementation of Resolution 2631. Adopted by the council in 2022, it states that “the provision of advice, support, and assistance to the government and people of Iraq on advancing inclusive, political dialogue and national and community-level reconciliation, taking into account civil society input, with the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women” is a priority.
Prevalence of Violence against women
Khanim Latif, founder and director of Asuda, an Iraqi Kurdish women’s rights organization, warned council members that gender-based violence is common in Iraq, and that individuals who seek to safeguard and preserve women’s rights are frequently targeted.
“In recent months we have witnessed a campaign against women’s rights defenders in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, simply for using the term ‘gender,’” she said.
The prevalence of violence against women, committed by family members or others in the community, must be addressed on a national level, she added, with the assistance of the international community, including pressure on Iraqi authorities when required.
Government working on addressing these issues
A number of speakers encouraged authorities in Iraq and Kuwait to continue their discussions about the issue of Kuwaiti citizens who disappeared after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and possible reparations.
France’s representative at the meeting condemned violations of Iraq’s sovereignty by some other countries in the region and called for an end to such interference.
Iraq’s representative at the meeting said that his government is working to address all of the issues speakers had raised. The program includes a wide range of measures designed to strengthen the Iraqi state and society. They include “the diversification of the economy, building more robust democratic and security institutions, combating unchecked weapons, strengthening accountability, and consolidating the stability of Iraq.