UN / IRAQ

26-Aug-2020 00:02:00
“One third of Iraqis now live below the poverty line, and two out of five suffer multiple deprivations in accessing basic social services and rights, the top UN official in the country told the Security Council on Wednesday. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / IRAQ
TRT: 2:00
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 26 AUGUST 2020, NEW YORK CITY /FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1.Exterior shot, UN Headquarters

26 AUGUST 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2.Split screen, Security Council in virtual session
3.SOUNDBITE (English) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq:
“Poverty has increased by over ten percent in recent months. One third of Iraqis now live below the poverty line, and two out of five suffer multiple deprivations in accessing basic social services and rights. Food consumption is now insufficient for over three million Iraqis,
due to reduced purchasing power rather than food scarcity.”
4.Split screen, Security Council in virtual session
5.SOUNDBITE (English) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq:
“Of great concern is another spike in the killings and targeting of activists and human rights defenders. The silencing of peaceful voices - by exerting pressure on activists and media, by confusing the scene or even worse, by shedding blood – is an affront against basic rights and dignity.”
6.Split screen, Security Council in virtual session
7.SOUNDBITE (English) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq:
“We are witnessing a move towards greater accountability, more robust support to freedom of expression and assembly, and a tangible commitment to justice. These are certainly hopeful signs, but further action is urgently needed to deliver true justice and accountability. Condemning the violence and announcing investigations are only a first step.”
8.SOUNDBITE (English) Ambassador Mohammed Hussein Bahr Aluloom, Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations:
“The Turkish violations are not only threatening Iraq’s sovereignty, but also its security and stability. The Iraqi government finds the Turkish violations of its territory as irresponsible measures which don’t take into account the promotion and development of a peaceful situation in international relations.”
9.Split screen, Security Council in virtual session
STORYLINE
“One third of Iraqis now live below the poverty line, and two out of five suffer multiple deprivations in accessing basic social services and rights," the top UN official in the country told the Security Council on Wednesday (26 Aug).

Briefing the members of the UN Security Council via videolink from Baghdad, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq said the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated deep existing economic, social and political challenges in Iraq and increased the poverty “by over ten percent in recent months.”

“Food consumption is now insufficient for over three million Iraqis, due to reduced purchasing power rather than food scarcity,” the Special Representative added.

According to Hennis-Plasschaert, Iraq is expected to experience a 9.7 percent decline in GDP. Meanwhile, the oil revenues, severely affected by a steep crash in oil prices, have nearly halved, while the private sector has been particularly impacted by job losses and
income reduction.

She also warned about other important issues facing the government.

“Of great concern is another spike in the killings and targeting of activists and human rights defenders,” Hennis-Plasschaert said. “The silencing of peaceful voices - by exerting pressure on activists and media, by confusing the scene or even worse, by shedding blood – is an affront against basic rights and dignity.”

There are however some positive developments, the Special Representative said.

“We are witnessing a move towards greater accountability, more robust support to freedom of expression and assembly, and a tangible commitment to justice. These are certainly hopeful signs, but further action is urgently needed to deliver true justice and accountability. Condemning the violence and announcing investigations are only a first step,” she said.

Also speaking at the meeting, the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations Ambassador Mohammed Hussein Bahr Aluloom reacted to the recent escalation in Iraqi-Turkish border areas.

“The Turkish violations are not only threatening Iraq’s sovereignty, but also its security and stability. The Iraqi government finds the Turkish violations of its territory as irresponsible measures which don’t take into account the promotion and development of a peaceful situation in international relations,” he said.
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