I will now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of Switzerland.

I would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and Ms. Khanim Lateef for their presentations. Switzerland appreciates the work of the Special Representative and all the staff of the Mission in Iraq for almost 20 years. And we welcome the presence among us of the Representative of Iraq.

Switzerland welcomes the Iraqi government's reform program, which includes fighting corruption, providing basic social services, combating climate change and protecting human rights. We encourage the government to take concrete steps to implement these reforms and thus meet the legitimate aspirations of the Iraqi people. Three points are particularly important to us:

First, we welcome the good representation of women in parliament as well as in government and encourage Iraq to build on this to strengthen women's full, equal, meaningful and safe participation in all aspects of life. As Ms. Lateef just said, the approval of the law against domestic violence would be an important step. In addition, efforts to protect the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly and more generally to protect the space for civil society must continue. Those responsible for human rights violations must be held accountable. In this regard, we welcome UNAMI's activities to assist the Government in these areas.

Second, the protection of minorities and the most vulnerable is essential for social cohesion and national reconciliation. In this regard, Switzerland welcomes Iraq's efforts to find durable solutions for internally displaced Iraqis. Providing them with the necessary civil documentation to access basic social services, including education for children, is fundamental. We recognize the progress made by the Iraqi government in implementing the Yazidi Survivors Law with the first payments. In addition, the issue of the inclusion of children born as a result of conflict-related sexual violence deserves to be addressed, in particular by tackling the administrative obstacles they face in registering.   

Third, Switzerland welcomes Iraq's accession to the 1992 UN Water Convention. We welcome the organization of the conferences on water in Baghdad and on climate change in Basra. Indeed, climate change is a destabilizing factor in Iraq. It is contributing to droughts and water scarcity, with serious consequences for agriculture and livelihoods, which increase the threat of social unrest and internal displacement. Every measure aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change also serves the purpose of prevention. Therefore, Switzerland thinks that climate change aspects should be maintained and strengthened in the mandate of UNAMI.

With regard to missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals, we welcome the ongoing efforts to make progress on this issue, including the question of missing Kuwaiti property, in particular the national archives.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate our commitment to Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity and to thank for its efforts to bring greater stability to the region by facilitating dialogue. This Council has a duty to support Iraq as it continues its journey towards a stable and prosperous future. Switzerland will engage in the negotiations for the renewal of UNAMI's mandate with this aim.

I now resume my duties as President of the Council.

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