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Wed. May 22nd, 2024

The government of Iraq has asked the UN to end its decades-long political mission to the country by 2025, stating that the force is no longer necessary, according to a letter seen by AFP Friday.

In the document sent to the Security Council, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia Al-Sudani described what he said were “positive developments and the achievements” by successive Iraqi governments as well as fulfillment of the UN mission’s mandate.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), in existence since 2003, has overcome “great and varied challenges,” he said, concluding that “the grounds for having a political mission in Iraq” no longer exist.

Calling for an end date of December 31, 2025, Al-Sudani specified that the mission in the meantime should focus only on issues pertaining to “economic reform, service provision, sustainable development, climate change and other development sectors.”

UNAMI was established in 2003 by a UN Security Council resolution at the request of the Iraqi government before being expanded four years later. It is renewed every year.

The mission also advises the government on political dialogue and reconciliation, as well as helping with elections and security sector reform.

The Security Council next week will debate renewal of the mission since the current mandate terminates at the end of the month.

During the mission’s last renewal in May 2023, the Council asked the secretary-general to launch a strategic review, which was overseen by German diplomat Volker Perthes.

In a report issued in March, Perthes signaled that an end to the mandate could be appropriate, concluding that “the two-year period identified by the government for the mission’s drawdown can be a sufficient time frame to make further progress.”

He also concluded that the period would provide sufficient time to reassure reluctant Iraqis that the transition “will not lead to a reversal of democratic gains or threaten peace and security.”

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