Baghdad, October 19: The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on Tuesday called on the Iraqi people to unite in support of their country’s armed forces and is urging “that every step be taken to avoid civilian casualties.” The Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs, Gyorgy Busztin, said that “at this fateful juncture in Iraq’s history,” all Iraqis should support their armed forces to free their fellow citizens from the Da’esh terrorists.
“This liberation is an Iraqi operation backed by the entire international community, and the United Nations fully supports the Government of Iraq’s efforts to free its land from the terrorists and restore the rule of law over its territory,” he furthermore added. The liberation must be followed by genuine dialogue leading to an historic compromise among all components of Iraqi society in order to consolidate victory and ensure sustainable peace for the future.
Busztin emphasized that every effort be made to ensure the protection of the civilian population from the effects of armed conflict and violence in accordance with the relevant principles of international human rights and humanitarian law.
He said, “The people of Mosul and Ninewa have already suffered tremendously. We are confident that the suffering and the humiliation of the millions who were forced to live under Da’esh’s reign of terror in the country will soon end.”
UNAMI is a political mission established by the UN Security Council at the request of the Iraqi Government. It has been on the ground ever since, with its role greatly expanded in 2007 and is headed by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq. The mission is mandated to advise and assist the Government and people of Iraq on a number of fronts, including advancing inclusive, political dialogue and national reconciliation, assisting in the electoral process and in the planning for a national census, facilitating regional dialogue between Iraq and its neighbours, and promoting the protection of human rights and judicial and legal reform.
The mandate also tasks UNAMI with working with government partners and civil society to coordinate the humanitarian and development efforts of the UN agencies, funds and programmes. While UNAMI itself does not implement or deliver humanitarian and development programmes, it recognizes the critical importance of supporting the partnership and technical cooperation between the Government and the 20 UN agencies, funds and programmes operating in the country