Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations during the Security Council Meeting on Iraq, 13 February 2019

Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations during the Security Council Meeting on Iraq, 13 February 2019


Mr President,


We thank the new Special Representative and Head of UNAMI, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for her briefing and we are looking forward to working together with her in future.


South Africa would like to highlight the following three areas in our intervention today, namely: the political situation, the security situation and the role of the region.


Firstly on the political situation, South Africa commends the Iraqi authorities on the progress achieved in forming the national government. We encourage all stakeholders to work together to finalise the cabinet.


All political forces should work together to reach agreement on the cabinet posts so that the Government could 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 revitalized economy and implementation of reconstruction and development projects.


Additionally, 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.


Secondly regarding the security situation, we note with concern the report of the Secretary-General that ISIL remains a threat in Iraq. This threat must be addressed as the continued presence of ISIL has ramifications for not only the instability of Iraq, but also for 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.


Furthermore, South Africa reaffirms 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.


Thirdly on the role of the region, we 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 also welcome the renewed cooperation and talks between the Central Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, and encourage 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.


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 the UN Investigative Team for Accountability of Da’esh (UNITAD) as part of UNAMI’s mandate and emphasize the importance of the independence and impartiality of the mechanism, while working in line with the principles of the UN Charter, UN policies and best practices.

I thank you


Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation