Euronews 9 Oct 2019

Meet the activists fighting Russia's home-made alcohol epidemic


Meet the activists fighting Russia's home-made alcohol epidemic…

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Briefing by Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), on the situation concerning Iraq.

In her first address to the Security Council in her current position, UN Special Representative for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said although there had been a smooth transition of power to Adel Abdul-Mahdi as Prime Minister, the Government remains incomplete and "ultimately, the people of Iraq are bearing the brunt of the political stalemate."

Hennis-Plasschaert told the Council today (13 Feb) that four ministerial positions remained vacant and Iraqi parliamentary session had been adjourned until March. She noted that long government formation processes are not new, nor are they unique to Iraq, but stressed that in the context of Iraq, there is real urgency to complete the process to consolidate the security gains achieved, to focus on rebuilding the country, and to ensure a high- quality provision of services for their citizens.

SOUNDBITE (English) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, United Nations:
"Now Mr. President, ultimately, the people of Iraq are bearing the brunt of the political stalemate. Bearing the brunt at a time when it is critical to address their needs and demands for better services. At a time when the Iraqi citizens ought to be able to rely on strong democratic governance and viable state institutions. So yes, it is high time for Iraqi leaders to shift focus from factional politics, and to invest efforts in addressing the immediate needs of the Iraqi citizens as further delays could give space to significant repercussions on the stability of the country."

The Special Representative welcome steps taken by the government to address corruption. She underscored that the fight against corruption would not be easy, but it was "a much needed one as corruption is vast and pervasive at all levels in Iraq; it is a much-needed fight in order to revive public-trust."

Turning to the humanitarian situation, Hennis-Plasschaert the humanitarian community would focus on meeting the needs of 1.75 million people, including internally displaced persons and returnees to areas of severe need. She said the 2019 response plan for Iraq was seeking 700 million USD, adding that humanitarian programmes would be implemented alongside recovery and stabilisation efforts.

She said, "While significant efforts are underway to reconstruct infrastructure and restore basic services it will take many years and billions of dollars to rebuild the country. And Iraq will - undoubtedly - need the continued attention of the international community to make this transition successful and sustainable."

Iraqi ambassador Mohammed Hussein Bahr Aluloom said repeated Turkish airstrikes on the Kurdish region in his country "constitute a grave violation to [Iraq's] sovereignty." He added, "It is a condemned and rejected act, regardless of the reasoning behind it, as it is in contradiction to international law and goes against the principles of good neighbourly relations."

Bahr Aluloom reiterated the Iraqi Government's commitment to disallow the use of Iraqi territory to carry out acts that hinder the security of its neighbours.
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