Reconciliation critical to defeating terrorism in Iraq

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Iraq’s Council of Representatives. Photo: UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

The fight against terrorism in Iraq cannot be won through military means alone, the UN Secretary-General has said.

Ban Ki-moon's comments came in an address to the country's Council of Representatives meeting in Baghdad on Saturday.

Iraq has been battling the terrorist group ISIL, also known as Daesh, which has committed countless murders, rapes and other atrocities.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN Secretary-General praised Parliamentarians for their work in stabilizing Iraq and building peace.

But while significant areas of the country have been liberated from ISIL, also known as Daesh, terrorism continues to be a challenge.

The terrorist group, he said, gained strength by exploiting divisions and grievances and by appealing to people who felt marginalized and disenfranchised.

Mr Ban said addressing the root causes of these issues is part of the solution to defeating the terrorists.

The UN chief called for political leaders to continue efforts aimed at national reconciliation.

This "unified vision" should include women leaders, youth, minority groups and representatives from all communities, he stated.

Mr Ban also stressed that the terrorism response should be firmly based on international human rights and humanitarian law.

He also spoke of the need to address education, healthcare and other services which are also essential to peace and security.

Conflict has displaced millions of Iraqis, and Mr Ban said the quick restoration of state and local authority in areas liberated from Daesh would help facilitate returns.

The UN chief also urged the representatives to continue their dialogue and partnership with counterparts nationwide, particularly those in the Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1:29″

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