The United Nations Special Representative for Iraq, Ján Kubiš, on Wednesday, welcomed the designation of a new Prime Minister, Adel Abdel-Mahdi, and urged political leaders to promote women’s meaningful representation in politics.
“As the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the United Nations family in Iraq congratulate Mr. Abdel-Mahdi on his appointment, we recognise the enormous challenges he faces,” said Mr. Kubiš, adding that “we stand side by side with him, as he leads the country in its steady march towards a future of stability, economic growth and prosperity.”
In a statement issued later, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, also congratulated Iraq's new President, Barham Salih, after his swearing-in on Tuesday, saying that he was looking forward to "working closely" with him, "on all issues of mutual concern, in accordance with the mandate of the United Nations in Iraq."
Since the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein was toppled following the 2003 invasion, the country’s three largest ethnic-sectarian groups have shared the country’s highest positions, with the Prime Minister position held by a Shia politician, the Speaker of Parliament post by a Sunni, and the Presidency by a Kurd.
Ending months of deadlock following inconclusive national elections in May, the new Prime Minister – a former Vice- President, Oil Minister and Finance Minister – has one month to form a cabinet that will be presented to parliament for approval.
In this regard, Mr. Kubiš urged political leaders to live up to their pledges on women’s meaningful representation in politics.
“Iraq needs a stable, national government that brings Iraqis together and restores hope in their country as they move forward in the post-Da’esh period,” said Mr. Kubiš. “This government should be formed well within the constitutional timeline, should be professional, competent, truly representative and inclusive of women in cabinet posts”.