Thank you, Madam President.
I would like to thank Japan for its excellent work during the month of January and wish you, Madam President, every success for the month of February. You can count on Switzerland's support.
I would also like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and Dr. Ahmed for their presentations. Switzerland appreciates the work of the Special Representative and all the staff of the Mission in Iraq, who have been committed to peace and stability in the country for almost 20 years. And we welcome the presence among us of the Permanent Representative of Iraq.
I would like to reaffirm Switzerland's support for security and stability in Iraq. The country and its people have come a long way and are looking forward to consolidating a prosperous and democratic future. Such an Iraq could further contribute to stability in the region by facilitating dialogue. The second "Baghdad Summit", hosted in December by Jordan and co-organized by Iraq and France, is an example thereof that Switzerland welcomes.
Switzerland congratulates the new Iraqi government and wishes it every success in implementing its reform program, which includes fighting corruption, providing basic social services, protecting human rights and building accountable institutions. It is also crucial to deepen the dialogue with the Kurdistan Regional Government. We thank UNAMI for supporting the Government in implementing these reforms. In addition, we welcome the good representation of women in parliament and note that three women hold ministerial positions. We encourage Iraq to strengthen the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in all aspects of life and particularly in political decision-making. In addition, the approval of the law against domestic violence would be an important step towards gender equality.
With a view to a stable and prosperous Iraq, I would like to highlight three other points:
First, the return and reintegration of the nearly 1.2 million internally displaced Iraqi men and women is critical to stability and social cohesion. We encourage Iraq to continue its efforts to find durable solutions in a secure, voluntary and dignified manner. We support Iraq in these efforts. Civilian documentation for all displaced persons is fundamental to enable them to access basic social services, including education. Mines also impede the return of displaced persons. They cause casualties, especially among children. Therefore, humanitarian demining, risk education and assistance to mine victims must be intensified.
Secondly, the security situation in Iraq remains worrying. Switzerland condemns all violations of Iraq’s sovereignty. We call for respect for Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
We are also very concerned about the more than 110 attacks attributed to Da'esh between last October and December. In this context, we wish to recall that measures to combat terrorism must be carried out in full respect of international law, in particular human rights and international humanitarian law.
Third, climate change is a destabilizing factor in Iraq. It is one of the elements contributing to droughts and water scarcity, with serious consequences for agriculture and livelihoods. At the recent "Baghdad Summit," the Iraqi Prime Minister called water scarcity an "existential threat" for his country. We welcome Iraq's willingness to work with its neighbors on joint management of transboundary water resources and welcome UNAMI's support to this end. Switzerland is also pleased to continue its long-standing cooperation with the Iraqi authorities on this issue in the framework of the Blue Peace Initiative.
Finally, Switzerland welcomes the close cooperation between the members of the Tripartite Commission on missing Kuwaitis and third-country nationals.
The formation of the new government in Iraq and its ambitious agenda are a signal of hope after a prolonged period of political stalemate. However, the challenges remain significant. This Council must support Iraq with a united voice as it continues on its journey to a stable and prosperous future.
I thank you.