India at the UN: Fully support Iraq’s demand for UN elections to observe

India has strongly supported Iraq’s request for the UN to observe the country’s parliamentary elections in October, saying it supports any process that respects the sovereignty of the Gulf nation and strengthens democratic exercise.

India’s Permanent Representative to United Nations Ambassador TS Tirumurti, speaking at the UN Security Council briefing on the situation in Iraq on Tuesday, said the parliamentary elections in Iraq in October 2021 will be a precious opportunity to strengthen the roots of democracy in the country. .

A transparent, free, fair and inclusive election, conducted in an environment free of violence and with a high turnout, will allow the new government to implement reforms, improve accountability, meet the real aspirations of the Iraqi people, especially women and youth, and promote inclusion and reconciliation, he said.

Tirumurti said that international assistance to the Iraqi High Independent Electoral Commission and UN observation of the electoral process would enhance the credibility of these elections and build confidence in the integrity of the results among the Iraqi people.

In this regard, India fully supports the Iraqi government’s request to observe the UN of the upcoming elections in the country. We will support any process that respects Iraq’s sovereignty, strengthens democratic exercise and makes it credible, and therefore acceptable to the Iraqi people, he said, adding that in accordance with its own strong democratic traditions, the India has contributed to democracy and the electoral process in Iraq by training officials of the Independent High Electoral Commission and sending election observers.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, told the Council that for credible elections to take place in Iraq, it is imperative that parties and candidates operate in a free and secure environment.

She called on all parties, stakeholders and authorities to come together, agree on a code of conduct and allow all Iraqi candidates to operate freely, regardless of ethnicity, gender, language, religion, belief or origin.

Hennis-Plasschaert pointed out that an Iraqi government request for election observation is currently before the Security Council.

In addressing this Council, I would also like to stress that, whatever your answer, the elections will at all times be run and held by the Iraqis. And I sincerely hope that all Iraqi political leaders really take this to heart. Equally important, but not always fully understood: the UN does not take sides. Our independence and impartiality define us, she said.

Tirumurti noted the positive progress in preparing for the next elections and said that the adoption of the electoral law and the allocation of funds to the Independent High Electoral Commission are important steps.

He said it was important that the remaining conditions for a smooth election, such as the completion of the biometric voter registration and the agreement on the composition of the Federal Supreme Court, are also fulfilled in a timely manner.

As Tirumurti expressed his condolences to those killed in the January 21 terrorist attacks in Baghdad, he said the international community must continue to support the Iraqi security forces and the government so that they can credibly face the crisis. threat of terrorism and provide an environment free from terror and fear.

Referring to the report of the 1267 Committee’s Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, which stated that the majority of the 10,000 ISIS fighters active in the region are in Iraq, Tirumurti expressed his concern over the situation and said the Security Council should focus on eliminating all threats posed by ISIS and other terrorist groups in Iraq and elsewhere in the world.

He said the continued attacks on diplomatic establishments and convoys, including Erbil’s by non-state armed groups, pose a serious challenge to maintaining the fragile peace that prevails in Iraq.

While appreciating the efforts of the government to provide protection to all diplomatic missions, Tirumurti expressed hope that a long-term solution can be found to this problem.

Further, India commended the concerted efforts of the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to resolve all outstanding issues, and encouraged both sides to continue constructive dialogue for a mutually satisfactory long-term sustainable agreement on these. questions, including revenue sharing and budget allocations. .

Welcoming the determined efforts of the Iraqi government to maintain friendly and cordial relations with its neighbors and other countries in the region, the Indian envoy stressed that the stability of Iraq should be of paramount importance to the region.

The country must not become the scene of regional or global conflicts, he said, reaffirming India’s unwavering support for Iraq’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

Tirumurti told the Council that India is the preferred destination for medical treatment for many Iraqi friends and that this cooperation has continued during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the air bubble deal between the countries, more than 10,000 Iraqi nationals have traveled to India in the past four months alone for medical treatment.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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