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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Briefing on UNAMI

2021/08/25

Mr. President,

China thanks Special Representative Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for her briefing and welcomes the presence of the Representative of Iraq at today's meeting.

In May this year, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2576, renewing UNAMI's mandate for one year. It embodies the resolve and commitment of the international community to Iraq's peace, reconstruction and development. I wish to reiterate China's support for the work of the SRSG and UNAMI. In light of the Secretary-General's report and the SRSG's briefing, I have three points to make.

First, the international community should continue to support Iraq in advancing its domestic political process. The upcoming elections in October are a top priority on Iraq's current political agenda and a crucial step forward in its political transition. China supports the Iraqi people's independent choice over development path that caters to their national realities. We are happy to see positive progress in electoral preparations. We support the UN in providing electoral assistance to Iraq, and hope that UNAMI will play a constructive role in ensuring the smooth and successful conduct of the elections underpinned by the Iraqi-led and Iraqi-owned principle. Our recent two shipments of office supplies to Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission are but one example of our practical support to Iraq's electoral preparations

Greater unity and cooperation among all Iraqi parties for more inclusive reconciliation and faster integration and development serves the fundamental interests of the Iraqi people. We support the central government of Iraq and the Kurdistan regional government in improving their relationship, strengthening coordination on the enactment of the 2021 Federal Budget Law, and finding inclusive solutions to issues of common concern.

Second, the international community should continue to support Iraq in combating terrorism and maintaining national security and stability. Since the beginning of this year, there has been a marked surge in terrorist attacks on the Iraqi soil, causing extensive casualties and damage to its infrastructure. It is imperative to increase international support to help Iraq address the threat of terrorism, combat the remnants of terrorist groups and accelerate the repatriation of foreign terrorist fighters. To do so, it is necessary to give play to the role of UNITAD to support Iraq in bringing terrorists to justice in accordance with its domestic legislation.

Good neighborly relations between Iraq and regional countries can bolster their collective efforts to address cross-border challenges. China welcomes the joint work of Iraq and Kuwait on the issue of missing Kuwaitis and Kuwaiti property and the progress so achieved. Iraq has repeatedly protested against unilateral foreign military actions on its territory. We urge the parties concerned to respect Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity in good faith, and to put an end to any act that may endanger Iraq security and stability and aggravate regional tensions.

Third, the international community should continue to support Iraq in fighting COVID-19 and speeding up its recovery and development. Iraq has borne the brunt of wars since 2003. Its people have been through tremendous suffering and are eager to rebuild their homeland. The international community should translate its assistance commitments to action, effectively help Iraq rebuild its infrastructure, accelerate socioeconomic development and reverse the plight of vulnerable groups including displaced persons. Such assistance must not come with political strings attached.

Pandemic control is a pressing task facing the Iraqi Government. We commend the Iraqi Government for actively rolling out the vaccination program and call on the international community to provide more assistance to Iraq in its fight against COVID-19. After Iraq was hit by the pandemic, China was one of the first countries to come to their help by providing anti-COVID supplies, helping them set up a PCR testing lab, sending a team of health experts and providing them with vaccines. On August 12, the third shipment of vaccines from the Chinese Government arrived in Baghdad. China stands ready to continue working with the rest of the international community to support Iraq in fighting COVID-19, accelerating reconstruction, restoring economic and social development and achieving long-term peace and security.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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