Iraqi Prime Minister highlights national priorities focused on people
A spirit of consensus prevails in Iraq, with a broad political coalition now governing the nation, encompassing all aspects of society, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al Sudani said on Friday.
Addressing the annual high-level general debate of the UN General Assembly, the Prime Minister empahasized that the coalition has adopted a programme with crucial priorities aimed at immediate implementation for the benefit of the Iraqis.
These priorities include the creation of employment opportunities, the eradication of poverty, the fight against corruption, and the enactment of economic reforms, he said.
On the holding of local elections, he said that after a 10-year hiatus, the Federal Government is working with the region of Kurdistan and all other regions of Iraq on “equal footing”.
Acknowledging that his country has faced a “corruption pandemic”, Mr. al Sudani stressed that the Government is focused on eradicating “this disease”.
He expressed his belief that there is a symbiotic relationship between corruption and terrorism. It is vital to pursue those who spread corruption, he said, adding that the money they have stolen must be returned.
The Prime Minister highlighted Iraq’s intensifying efforts to combat drugs and any related activities, noting “it is no secret that there is a direct relationship between terrorism and drugs.” he said.
Committed to international law
The Prime Minister further noted the desire for Iraq to be a part of the solution to any international and regional problem, and that it is committed to international law and respects all UN resolutions.
It will also pursue friendship with its neighbours and will not be a launching point of aggression against any other State.
Mr. al Sudani warned of the consequences of religious extremism, something that Iraq knows well, and denounced it in all forms. “Burning the holy Qur’an is a hate crime,” he stressed.
Turning to climate change, he noted that “the land of Mesopotamia” is suffering from drought, cautioning “the cradle of civilization must not be allowed to die of thirst.”
Iraq is working on exerting more efforts between relevant regional States to form a negotiating bloc and to manage cross-border water resources.
He stressed the need to mobilize international efforts to ensure the sustainability of water sources. On a national level, Iraq has taken steps to lower emissions and combat pollution. However, institutions are needed to deal with mounting climate challenges.
Iraq’s youth population
Young people constitute 60 per cent of the country’s population and are its “best investment,” he continued, noting several programmes to support students and the youth, including on job prospects.
Prime Minister al Sudani also recognized the role of women in helping Iraq achieve victory against terrorism.
He also noted that his country has become a secure environment for investors, and as a pivotal State in the global oil market, is working on establishing a regional corridor to facilitate transportation and trade.
Full statement in Arabic available here.