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18 June 2009 - Security Council: Iraq - Statement by Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 1830 (2008)

(translation of statement made in French)

First of all I would like to welcome the President and to thank him for his presence and for chairing the meeting today. I also thank Mr. De Mistura, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and a very old friend, for his briefing to the Council. I take the opportunity to welcome his courageous and effective action with his entire team and his commitment to implement the mandate given to him by the Security Council. I thank him for — as he stated — contributing to giving hope to the population of Iraq. At every step of the way he has been a worthy successor of Sergio Vieira de Mello and I thank Mr. De Mistura for mentioning his name today. We think of him, as we think of all of those who lost their lives with him in Baghdad. Finally and on a more personal note, I can only say how much I and the Council wish him great success in his next mission in the city he loves. The international community still needs him, and the Council still needs him. For all that he has done, I give him my personal thanks.

The briefing of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General was very complete. We support its analyses and share its conclusions. I will raise only three points.

Today, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) plays an essential role in several areas: first in the area of elections, it has acted effectively in supporting the Independent High Electoral Commission to ensure the smooth operation of elections, which is the best sign of democratic life in Iraq. After the successful holding of the governorate council elections on 31 January last, we support the actions of the mission to organize the parliamentary and regional elections in Kurdistan on 25 July and the elections for the Council of Representatives planned for January 2010. Under its mandate and the recommendations made by the Secretary-General, the Mission must also continue to provide its expertise to the Iraqi Government so as to make progress on the question of disputed internal borders, especially in the Kirkuk area. We welcome the analytical reports given to Iraqi federal authorities and to the regional Kurdistan Government in order to promote an agreement among the political actors within Iraq on this critical issue. It is a difficult problem, but it must be resolved. We call on all Iraqis involved to display courage in working toward a solution acceptable to all.

My second point, Mr. President, is to emphasize that in the last few months in Iraq we have seen substantial progress in establishing a safe, stable, democratic, unified and prosperous country, where human rights and the rule of law are increasingly respected. France congratulates the Government of Iraq on its efforts in this area, efforts that the Permanent Representative of Iraq has just confirmed. We thank the Permanent Representative for his contribution, which emphasizes his readiness to work toward the stability and prosperity of his country. Regardless, from now on, as was emphasized by the Special Representative, we must take advantage of this momentum in order to achieve new progress in improving both the living conditions of the people of Iraq and the national reconciliation process. Besides the question of Kirkuk, this will require the completion of the constitutional review process, as well as tangible improvement in everyday life.

My third and final point, Mr. President, beyond the primary responsibility of the Government of Iraq and the important role played by the Mission, is that we believe that neighbouring States must participate fully in this effort. So it is in this spirit that we support the action of the Mission to strengthen a regional dialogue. We would hope especially that the regional dialogue conducted by Iraq with its neighbours will allow it to tackle essential issues such as border control and the conditions for voluntary, safe and dignified return for refugees, for which the progress alluded to just now by the Special Representative is an encouraging first sign. It is in the interest of States in the region to get involved in making Iraq permanently stable. That is why we wish to welcome the Minister today to the Security Council. The fact that he is chairing this debate and the agreement that he has managed to reach the presidential statement of the Council is a sign of the positive and constructive role that can be played by a country as important as Turkey.

I will conclude by emphasizing how important it is that the current positive cycle be able to allow Iraq to fully recover its sovereignty. Here we would note resolution 1859 (2008), in which we asked the Secretary-General to prepare a report in consultation with Iraq on the action necessary to allow them international status equal to what they had before resolution 661 (1990). We await this report and are ready to act on that basis and in the framework of Iraq’s international obligations, in particular resolutions 773 (1992) and 833 (1993) on the question of the borders with Kuwait, together with all States concerned. And, as was indicated by President Sarkozy in Baghdad last February, Iraq can count on the friendship of France to work with it on Iraq’s full reintegration into the international community.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU