SA welcomes progress in formation of Iraqi government

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The South African government has commended Iraqi authorities on the progress achieved in forming the national government.

“We encourage all stakeholders to work together to finalise the cabinet,” said Ambassador Jerry Matjila, South Africa’s permanent representative to the United Nations, during his address at the Security Council meeting on Iraq on Thursday.

In his speech, Matjila highlighted the political and security situation, and the role of the region as areas that require intervention.

“All political forces should work together to reach agreement on the cabinet posts so that the government can be able to start delivering on its promises to the public for better security, the dignified return of internally displaced persons, rehabilitated public services, a revitalised economy and implementation of reconstruction and development projects,” he said.

Matjila said it would be important for the government of Iraq to promote the meaningful inclusion of women in the political process and their representation at all levels of political structures.

Regarding the security situation, he said South Africa noted with concern a report that ISIL activity remains a threat in Iraq, as “continued presence has ramifications not only for the instability of Iraq, but the entire region”.

“We support Iraqi efforts to hold those accountable for crimes committed in the country in line with Security Council Resolution 2379, which established an investigative team to support Iraqi domestic efforts for accountability for the crimes committed,” Matjila said.

The Ambassador said South Africa reaffirmed its support for the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

“We encourage all stakeholders to continue to support and engage on the efforts initiated by UNAMI in an effort to achieve effective post conflict reconstruction and sustainable peace.

“We are particularly concerned about the increase of violence against women and children, as the Secretary-General’s report has highlighted. In this regard, we support the efforts of UNAMI and UNICEF to address this scourge.”

Matjila welcomed the increased involvement of regional organisations in the political process, reaffirming their role in assisting the government of Iraq in the reconstruction of that country.  

Matjila said South Africa welcomed the renewed cooperation and talks between the Central Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, and encouraged both parties to continue to reach consensus on areas of concern.

“We also share the views of regional actors that the government formation in Iraq is an important step towards building a stronger and more balanced relationship among the countries in the Middle East region.”

Matjila reiterated Pretoria’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq in line with the principles of the UN Charter and said South Africa will continue to support UNAMI in the implementation of its mandate. –