Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, during the Security Council Meeting on Iraq, 21 May 2019

Mr President,

We thank the Special Representative and Head of UNAMI, Ms Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for her briefing. South Africa supports the mandate renewal of UNAMI in its current format as it promotes the strengthening of the government of Iraq and its subsequent electoral processes.

South Africa further call for an inclusive government, which will bring together all diverse aspects of Iraqi society into governance structures. National reconciliation and unity in Iraq is vital in avoiding future challenges stemming from the fracturing of government policies and actions.  Peace and security is fundamental for Iraq to develop its infrastructure, grow its economy and provide basic services to all of its citizens. In this regard, South Africa supports the full consolidation of control of the Iraqi army over its territories, and continued support for the efforts of the government to eradicate the threat posed by Da’esh.  South Africa would like to suggest the use of the Peacebuilding Commission to support the inclusive efforts of the government, specifically in institution building and post conflict and reconstruction development in Iraq. Alongside the report on missing Kuwaiti nationals, South Africa would like to advocate for assistance and information on its citizens who went missing after 2003.

Mr President,

We also welcome the increased involvement of regional organizations in the political process and reaffirm their role in assisting the Government of Iraq in the reconstruction of the country.  We further welcome the renewed cooperation and talks between the Central Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, and encourage both parties to continue to seek consensus on areas of concern. We also share the views of regional actors that formation of government in Iraq is an important step towards building a stronger and more balanced relationship among the countries in the Middle East region. In this regard, we welcome the recently held Summit by Iraq, which brought together the countries of the region as part of broader efforts by Iraq in spearheading regional integration with its neighbours.

Mr President,

In conclusion, South African reiterates its support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq in line with the principles of the UN charter and will continue to support UNAMI in the implementation of its mandate. Furthermore, we continue to support the work of UNITAD as part of UNAMI’s mandate and emphasize the importance of the independence and impartiality of the mechanism, in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter, UN policies and best practices.

I thank you


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