With conscionable 46 days until Iraq goes to the polls, the UN Assistance Mission for the state (UNAMI) is stepping up its communications to pass voters astir their conduct, Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told the Security Council on Wednesday, stressing that it is up to the governmental parties themselves to refrain from attempts to distort the results.
Briefing Council members for the archetypal clip successful implicit a year, Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert, who is besides the caput of the Mission, besides called claims that UNAMI is advocating for a postponement of the elections “frankly absurd”.
She urged everyone to “stick to the facts”, absorption connected their ain roles and refrain from utilizing the United Nations arsenic a scapegoat.
“Truth, subject and, yes, courage, are required astatine this captious juncture”, said the UN official
Misinformation ‘risky business’
If misinformation overtakes reality, “it is not lone an tremendous energy-drain for those moving hard for the greater bully of Iraq,” she cautioned. “It is besides risky business.”
The UNAMI main urged media outlets to supply accurate, reliable and timely information, alternatively of fuelling “false perceptions to suit their backers”.
Stressing that Iraq “leads and owns” the 10 October elections, she reminded that their credibility would beryllium indispensable for its future.
Elections astatine hand
Detailing associated efforts, Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert said that the Independent High Electoral Commission has reached “several analyzable milestones” portion noting that UNAMI has provided method assistance wherever it can.
She outlined that campaigner lists person been finalized; a ballot lottery conducted for each 83 constituencies; ballot printing is ongoing; and each ballot papers expected successful state by mid-September.
Meanwhile, polling and results absorption systems are being reviewed by an autarkic audit firm.
In parallel, she said preparations for UN monitoring are moving rapidly, with astir members of the preparatory squad being deployed to Baghdad “as we speak” and determination teams owed connected the crushed successful aboriginal September.
The Special Representative emphasized that the October elections person “the imaginable to beryllium different” from those successful 2018, and noted that that 5 times arsenic galore UN unit are presently engaged arsenic were 3 years earlier.
To calls for a boycott, she cautioned that “a ballot not cast, is successful information a acquisition to those you whitethorn beryllium opposed to.”
“With the predetermination day rapidly approaching – Iraq volition person our enactment astatine each measurement of the way”, assured the UNAMI chief.
“These elections were hard earned. And I tin lone stress the value of credible elections for the aboriginal of Iraq’s young democracy”.
Deep reforms needed
Iraq is desperately successful request of deep, structural reforms, which necessitate unwavering determination, immense patience, and tons of time, according to the UN official, who urged authorities, officials, governmental parties and candidates not to fto the Iraqi radical down.
“Understand that accountability is cardinal to reconstruct nationalist trust”, she stressed.
Turning to the contented of missing Kuwaiti, third-country nationals and Kuwaiti property, including the nationalist archives, Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert said that Kuwait “conclusively identified” the remains of a further 10 individuals from its database of those missing since 1991.
With a full of 30 cases of missing persons formally closed since November 2020, she expressed anticipation that “this important measurement volition bring immoderate closure to the families”.