Iraq Requests UN to End Political Mission by 2025 Amid Progress and Concerns

Iraq's government has formally requested the UN to terminate its political mission in the country by December 31, 2025, citing significant progress in stability and development. The UN Security Council is set to debate the renewal of the mission's mandate next week, with a resolution expected by the end of May.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Iraq Requests UN to End Political Mission by 2025 Amid Progress and Concerns

Iraq Requests UN to End Political Mission by 2025 Amid Progress and Concerns

The Iraqi government has formally issues the United Nations to terminate its political mission in the country by December 31, 2025, citing significant progress in stability and development. In a letter to the UN Security Council, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani stated that the grounds for having a political mission in Iraq no longer exist.

Why this matters: The termination of the UN's political mission in Iraq could have far-reaching implications for the country's stability and security, particularly if it is not accompanied by sufficient support for the Iraqi government. The success or failure of this transition could also serve as a model for other countries emerging from conflict and seeking to rebuild.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) was established in 2003 by a UN Security Council resolution at the request of the Iraqi government. Its mandate, which is renewed annually, includes advising the government on political dialogue and reconciliation, elections, and security sector reform. In his letter, Al-Sudani specified that until its termination in 2025, the mission should focus on issues related to "economic reform, service provision, sustainable development, climate change, and other development sectors."

The Iraqi government's request follows a strategic review of UNAMI launched by the Security Council in May 2023. The review, overseen by German diplomat Volker Perthes, concluded in March that a two-year period would be sufficient to make further progress and reassure Iraqis that the transition would not lead to a reversal of democratic gains or threaten peace and security. Perthes stated, "The two-year period identified by the government for the mission's drawdown can be a sufficient time frame to make further progress."

Government Spokesman Bassem Al-Awadi emphasized that the circumstances necessitating UNAMI's establishment 21 years ago no longer persist, with significant progress and achievements made across various sectors in Iraq. He stated, "The government, in alignment with these findings, has urged the termination of UNAMI's presence by 2025 in a responsible manner." Al-Awadi also expressed gratitude to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, and all UNAMI staff for their support over the past years.

However, concerns have been raised by former Iraqi deputy Mithal Al-Alusi and others about increased terrorism and human rights violations in Iraq, which may undermine the country's stability and contradict the government's claims of progress. The Security Council is set to debate the renewal of UNAMI's mandate next week, with the current mandate expiring at the end of the month.

The Iraqi government expects a UN Security Council resolution by the end of May in response to its request and the Independent Strategic Review Team's recommendations. The resolution is anticipated to outline a mechanism for continuing oversight of certain issues in coordination with international agencies active in Iraq. As the debate over UNAMI's future unfolds, the international community will closely monitor the situation in Iraq, balancing the government's assertions of progress with concerns about ongoing challenges to stability and human rights.

Key Takeaways

  • Iraqi government requests UN to terminate its political mission by December 31, 2025.
  • UNAMI's mandate to focus on economic reform, service provision, and development sectors until termination.
  • Iraqi government cites significant progress in stability and development as reason for termination.
  • Concerns raised about increased terrorism and human rights violations in Iraq.
  • UN Security Council to debate and decide on UNAMI's future by the end of May.