UN / IRAQ

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12-May-2020 00:02:39
The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, welcomed the early actions of the new government, but told the Security Council that the road ahead will be complex, with many challenges, and it is most important to manage public expectations. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / IRAQ
TRT: 02:39
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 MAY 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN Headquarters

12 MAY 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

2. Multiple screens, participants
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI):
“Iraq does not the luxury of time nor can it afford destructive petty politics. Now, while the new government entered office just a few days ago, its first decisions are promising, I have to say. But one does not need a crystal ball to understand that the road ahead will be fraught with many complex challenges.”
4. Multiple screens, participants
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI):
“I think one can hardly overstate the magnitude of the challenges facing Iraq at this moment; deep existing political, social, economic, and security crises have now been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and a dramatic drop in oil prices. Now, as the Iraqi health system was already near breaking point before the coronavirus outbreak, priority number one was and remains to prevent a rapid spread of the virus.”
6. Multiple screens, participants
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI):
“Now, I remain convinced that a more just, prosperous, and resilient Iraq can emerge from the current compounded crises, but for that to happen, political will is fundamental. As I said last time, Iraq must move away from endless crisis management towards a more productive approach, building resilience at both the state and societal level. Short-term political and private calculations do not serve Iraq’s long-term interest, on the contrary. And yes, the challenges are many but so are the opportunities.”
8. Multiple screens, participants
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Mohammed Hussein Bahr Al-Uloom, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Iraq to the United Nations:
“Members of my government are aware of the difficulties that we are facing; a pandemic that can overwhelm our health system, which suffered long years of neglect and maldevelopment, an economic crisis that has been exacerbated by our dependence on oil, and a trust gap between civil sectors of Iraqi society, especially the youth and public institutions which led to large wave of protests since October last year. We understand that taking responsibility of forming a government and leading the country in such conditions is not a privilege, but a test on our faith in our country and its people that we cannot shy away from.”
10. Multiple screens, participants

STORYLINE:

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, today (12 May) welcomed the early actions of the new government, but told the Security Council that the road ahead will be complex, with many challenges, and it is most important to manage public expectations.

Briefing the Council by video conference on the situation in the country, Hennis-Plasschaert said, “Iraq does not the luxury of time nor can it afford destructive petty politics. Now, while the new government entered office just a few days ago, its first decisions are promising, I have to say. But one does not need a crystal ball to understand that the road ahead will be fraught with many complex challenges.”

The Special Representative said, “one can hardly overstate the magnitude of the challenges facing Iraq at this moment; deep existing political, social, economic, and security crises have now been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and a dramatic drop in oil prices.”

To regain public trust, she said, the government must be able to prove itself and provide law and order and deliver basic public services. She told council members that a more just and prosperous Iraq can emerge from the current crisis and she reaffirmed the UN’s support for the Government of Iraq.

Hennis-Plasschaert said, “I remain convinced that a more just, prosperous, and resilient Iraq can emerge from the current compounded crises, but for that to happen, political will is fundamental. As I said last time, Iraq must move away from endless crisis management towards a more productive approach, building resilience at both the state and societal level. Short-term political and private calculations do not serve Iraq’s long-term interest, on the contrary. And yes, the challenges are many but so are the opportunities.”

In his address to the Council, Iraq’s Ambassador Mohammed Hussein Bahr Al-Uloom, said, “members of my government are aware of the difficulties that we are facing; a pandemic that can overwhelm our health system, which suffered long years of neglect and maldevelopment, an economic crisis that has been exacerbated by our dependence on oil, and a trust gap between civil sectors of Iraqi society, especially the youth and public institutions which led to large wave of protests since October last year.”

He said, “we understand that taking responsibility of forming a government and leading the country in such conditions is not a privilege, but a test on our faith in our country and its people that we cannot shy away from.”
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