On 25 November 2013, the Security Council met to hear the report of Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNAMI, on UNAMI, the latest developments in Iraq and the relations between Iraq and Kuwait. Noting the deterioration of the security situation, Mr. Mladenov encouraged the international community to oppose all forms of violence against civilians. Action needed to be taken to redress human rights violations. The Special Representative also recalled that the current Syrian conflict fed sectarian tensions and constituted a major security and humanitarian threat, with more than 250 000 Syrian refugees in Iraq. Finally, he stressed the importance of promoting socio-economic development to combat terrorism.
During the closed consultations that followed, the representative of France expressed concerns about the political and security situation in the country, bearing in mind the fact that violence rose considerably in the last few months. If he welcomed the adoption of the new electoral law in view of the April 2014 parliamentary elections, none of the main political challenges had been resolved. In this regard, he called for a more inclusive political system in view of working towards national reconciliation. The human rights situation was also a major source of concern, especially the death penalty and the widespread practice of torture in detention facilities. On Iraq and Kuwait, the permanent representative welcomed the ongoing improvement of their relations. Iraq must remain engaged, especially with regard to the issue of missing Kuwaiti persons and property. Finally, UNAMI should continue to play its role as an intermediate among political actors and to involve itself on the “political reconciliation” front of its mandate.
After the consultations, the President of the Security Council made a press statement on violence in Iraq
4 September 2013. Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, presented to the Security Council his “Monthly Horizon Scanning” entirely dedicated to the Middle-East. During these private consultations, he mentioned Ashraf, the Iraqi camp for Iranian refugees (in the north-east of Bagdad) where more than fifty people were savagely assassinated on September 1st.
During this meeting, France strongly condemned the violence perpetrated against the refugees of the Ashraf camp, while expressing its condolences to the victims’ families. Moreover, the representative of France recalled that it is the Iraqi authorities’ responsibility to ensure the security of this camp and to provide the necessary medical assistance to the injured. Finally, France encouraged the Iraqi authorities to launch an independent and in-depth to ensure perpetrators will be prosecuted.
On 24 July 2013, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2110 extending the mandate of UNAMI, the UN mission in Iraq.
On 15 July 2013, the Security Council held a debate and heard Mr. Kobler, Special Representative of the United Nations for Iraq and Head of UNAMI, on the recent developments of the Iraqi political and security transition.
After this presentation, the Security Council met in closed consultations. Its members welcomed the improvements registered these past few months, especially in the relations between Iraq / Kuwait and Iraq / Kurdistan. However, the representative of France expressed serious concerns about the growing destabilization of Iraq by the Syrian conflict and called for the establishment of an inclusive political dialogue to work effectively for a national reconciliation.
On 27 June 2013, the Security Council adopted resolution 2107, placing the issue of missing goods and persons during the conflict with Kuwait under chapter VI of the Charter (non-binding measures), marking the progress made by Iraq in the normalization of its relations with its neighbor.
On 21 March 2013, the Security Council met to hear the report of Mr. Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNAMI. Mr. Kobler noted recent positive developments between Iraq and Koweit and welcomed the resumption of flights between Baghdad and Kuwait City.
During the private consultations that followed, the representative of France expressed concerns about the political and security situation in the country. He also stressed that the work of UNAMI was more necessary than ever to encourage the Iraqi authorities to reinforce institutions and the rule of law.
The complete timeline of events here.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), created on 14 August 2003 by Security Council resolution 1500, fosters the national reconciliation and reconstruction processes. It is also responsible for facilitating regional dialogue on security, refugees and energy as part of the process involving Iraq’s neighboring states.
UNAMI’s mandate was renewed for one year, until 31 July 2013, by Security Council resolution 2061.
The Head of UNAMI and UNSG’s Special Representative for Iraq is Mr. Martin Kobler (Germany). He was appointed in August 2011 to replace Mr Ad Melkert.
France is an active participant in EUJUST LEX, the European mission to train Iraqi civil servants to help strengthen the Iraqi state.
B/ Listing of restrictions imposed on Iraq under Chapter VII
France wants Iraq to regain its rightful place in the international community as soon as possible. In order for it to regain that position, the Security Council must examine the legally binding provisions applied to Iraq under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which have been implemented since 1990.
Resolution 1859, adopted on 22 December 2008, supports the complete restoration of Iraqi sovereignty. It notably requested the Secretary-General to submit proposals to the Security Council with a view towards “allowing Iraq to regain the international status” that it had before 1990 and provides to this end for a review of the resolutions adopted by the Security Council since 1990 under Chapter VII.
A report by the Secretary-General on this issue issued on 27 July 2009 (S/2009/385) listed the seven issues targeted by the resolutions adopted under Chapter VII since 1990: disarmament and non-proliferation, Oil-for-Food, the Development Fund for Iraq, the 1518 Committee, missing persons, Iraqi-Kuwait border, and compensation. Three resolutions were adopted on 15 December 2010 concerning the first three issues.
- Disarmament and non-proliferation
Resolutions 687 (1991) and 707 (1991) established a specific embargo, destruction and inspection regime with respect to weapons of mass destruction, missiles and the development of civilian nuclear energy. In a presidential statement on 26 February 2010, the UNSC paid tribute to the measures taken by Iraq in accordance with the Council’s resolutions regarding non-proliferation and disarmament and indicated the readiness of the Council to lift the restrictions once all the necessary measures have been effectively taken by Iraq. A Security Council resolution was adopted on 15 December 2010 (resolution 1957) lifting the restrictions imposed on Iraq with respect to disarmament and non-proliferation.
- The “Oil-for-Food” program
This program was established by resolution 986 (1995). It allowed Iraq to sell oil in exchange for food, medicine and services under the supervision of the UN. It was suspended following the military intervention by the United States and its allies in Iraq in 2003. Several letters of credit were however still outstanding at the end of 2010. A resolution (Resolution 1858) was adopted on 15 December 2010 to close the activities under this program. The resolution was adopted by 14 votes with one abstention from France. While France fully supported the objective of the resolution, it considered that the discussion had not resulted in a text that included all the guarantees it deemed necessary for the satisfactory closure of the program.
- The Development Fund for Iraq
The DFI is the depository for Iraq’s oil revenue and is tasked with helping the Iraqi government to manage its resources in a transparent and responsible way to the benefit of the Iraqi people. It was established in accordance with Security Council resolution 1483. The International Advisory and Monitoring Board is the DFI’s monitoring body. Resolution 1905 of 21 December 2009 provided for its expiration on 31 December 2010. The Security Council adopted a resolution on 15 December 2010 (resolution 1956) terminating the arrangements of the DFI on 30 June 2011.
- 1518 Committee
The Sanctions committee established by resolution 1518 is responsible for establishing a list of the senior officials of the former Iraqi regime, their family members, as well as the entities owned or controlled by these persons. They are subject to a targeted sanctions regime: arms embargo, freezing of assets. The committee submits an annual report to the Security Council. It did not however meet in 2009 and 2010.
- Issues relating to relations between Iraq and Kuwait
The Iraqi and Kuwaiti authorities have begun bilateral discussions under the auspices of the UN in order to make progress on several sensitive issues regarding:
— Those who disappeared during the Gulf War, and State assets and archives seized during this war. Under resolution 686 (1991), Iraq must return the remains of those who disappeared, as well as the Kuwaiti property seized during the war. Resolution 687 (1991) requests the Secretary-General to report on the return of property and the ICRC to inform the Secretary-General of any activity relating to the repatriation of Kuwaitis or their remains. Resolution 1284 (1999) establishes the mandate of the high-level Coordinator tasked with facilitating this process.
— The demarcation of maritime and land borders. Security Council resolutions 773 (1992) and 833 (1993) endorse the demarcation resulting from the 1963 Iraqi-Kuwaiti agreement and makes provision for the demarcation of the land and maritime borders with the technical support of the Secretary-General. The recognition of these borders is still a bone of contention between the two countries.
— Compensation. The principle of compensation for war damage and the creation of a fund for this purpose are specified under resolution 687 (1991). Resolution 1483 redefined the arrangements relating to this (5% of revenue is paid to the compensation fund). The total amount established by the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) is $52 billion. Iraq would like the levy rate and the total amount to be reduced.
France supports all progress that can be made in the bilateral Iraqi-Kuwaiti relationship.
15 December 2010 - Security Council - High-level session on Iraq - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
10 November 2010 - Situation in Iraq - Remarks to the press by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
All French Statements here
25 November 2013 - Security Council press statement on violence in Iraq
24 July 2013 - Security Council - Resolution 2110 extending the mandate of UNAMI, the UN mission in Iraq
27 June 2013 - Iraq - Security Council - Resolution 2107
11 September 2012 - Security Council press statement on terrorist attack in Iraq
25 July 2012 - Iraq - Security Council - Resolution 2061 renewing for one year the mandate of UNAMI
28 July 2011 - Iraq - Security Council - Resolution 2001 renewing the mandate of UNAMI until 31 July 2012
10 November 2010 - Security Council Press Statement
31 March 2010 - Security Council Press Statement
26 February 2010 - Statement by the President of the Security Council
21 December 2009 - Resolution 1905 (2009)
16 November 2009 - Statement by the President of the Security Council
7 August 2009 - Resolution 1883 (2009)
18 June 2009 - Statement by the President of the Security Council
22 December 2008 - Resolution 1859 (2008)
7 August 2008 - Resolution 1830 (2008)
10 August 2007 - Resolution 1770 (2007)
8 June 2004 - Resolution 1546 (2004) - On formation of a sovereign interim government of Iraq
14 August 2003 - Resolution 1500 (2003)
22 May 2003 Resolution 1483 (2003) - On lifting the economic sanctions on Iraq imposed in 1990, and on the creation of the Development Fund for Iraq